Industry-Sponsored Research Week

New mining centre at University of Adelaide


By David Schwartz
Published: September 3rd, 2019

The University of Adelaide in South Australia will lead a new national mining research and training center featuring advanced technologies. The school hopes the center will help develop the future workforce for the country’s mining industry while boosting  the industry’s fortunes by introducing new technologies to improve operations. continue reading »

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Cleveland State revamps online portal in bid to ease industry searches


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

Cleveland State University has just completed and launched a revamped version of its Innovation Portal (https://innovation.csuohio.edu/) in an effort, according to the university, “to streamline the process of finding information about CSU’s wide range of industry-relevant research, technologies, and innovation resources.” The relaunch occurs at the same time the university has joined the UIDP, another part of its overall effort “to develop deeper and more comprehensive U-I relationship models that deliver meaningful benefits to industry partners.”

“This decision [to renovate the portal] has been matured in our minds for a number of years,” says Jerzy Sawicki, CSU’s vice president of research. “Commercialization had been growing, and we realized we did not have the robust presence in cyberspace which would allow the industry community to know what we have — strengths, frameworks and mechanisms. We also realized the IP should be interactive, and should help streamline access to tech transfer, education and cooperation. We have regional partners and offices highlighted in the portal that allows companies and entrepreneurs facing technical problems to find specific faculty or to submit technical needs to the university to facilitate an introduction.”

Sawicki adds that the university had been getting requests “all the time” from industry partners for additional types of information and ways to access it. “We have been getting questions like, ‘Do you have faculty in the area of composite materials?’ or ‘Do you have specialization in minimizing vibration or energy consumption?’” he says. “This is not just an academic exercise, but it basically targets the needs of industry and faculty. Our concern was how to make processes clearer, more transparent, and to work with the speed of industry.”

The need to upgrade the portal, he continues, was further dictated by ongoing globalization, which drives companies to develop better products and more innovative products, and by the pressure of investors to maximize returns. “The university also feels that grant funding is very competitive and looks for partnerships with industry” as a means of supplementing research funds, he adds. “We were very interested in pursuing industry as a source of funding, ideas for commercialization, and teaching portfolios for our professors. There was a mutually felt need, as industry may not have the time or the resources — or the expertise — and therefore need collaboration with a university.”

Prior to the revision of the portal, says Sawicki, “it was really just a static site with links to various resources within and outside the university, essentially dealing with commercialization, entrepreneurship, resources available to assist faculty or outside entrepreneurs, but no mechanism to communicate with people internally — or to search.”

Experience also taught the office just how much change was needed. “We at CSU and my office had been involved in a grant for the Ohio Federal Research Network (which focuses on building statewide, university-based research collaborations that involve partnering with the commercial sector), and part of the use of the funds was work towards industry outreach,” he recalls. The state-funded grant, he explains, wanted universities to find outreach opportunities from any industry in Ohio.

“We started canvassing, making calls, and setting up meetings,” says Sawicki. “It was fairly successful in that we had boots on the ground, but it was painstaking to find industry, sit down, meet with them, tell our story, and have them say what they were looking for. We thought it would be much easier if we had an electronic, digital front door so they could have in front of them all of the resources that they would need to be involved to serve their needs.”

The current portal, he continues, “has a very modern, digital foundation with the latest technology. It has a very robust framework that allows for multiple industry databases to be put together and searched by keyword.” It also allows for search combinations, he adds, and provides companies and entrepreneurs with links to university teaching resources and regional commercialization partners.

A detailed article on Cleveland State’s new industry-focused portal appears in the August issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For complete subscription details, CLICK HERE.

Don’t miss another issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor – and save $100 on your subscription! For more information and subscription details, CLICK HERE.

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Meharry med students protest research funding from Juul


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

Students at Meharry Medical College, a historically black college, are expressing outrage over a major research grant the college recently received from leading vape producer Juul, which intends to study the effects of vaping. The students and other critics at the HBCU point out that smoking-related deaths are disproportionately high among African Americans, and Juul is part-owned by Altria, one of the largest cigarette manufacturers. continue reading »

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Licensing Know-How: Capture the Full Value of Your Technologies and Foster Supportive Relationships with Licensees


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

University-based start-ups and other licensees often enjoy a close relationship with the faculty inventor of the technology the company or license was based upon, relying on the researcher to provide information as needed to help further the technology. This know-how, along with data and other information, can be crucial to the growth of the company and should be valued as such.

But ignoring it can cost you big money in the long run as a growing number of universities — who routinely incorporate know-how into their licenses — can attest. By aggressively negotiating these know-how rights, universities are capturing literally millions of dollars that would otherwise be lost. At the same time, they’re cementing valuable relationships with companies and supporting the progress of their innovations to the marketplace.

That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division is hosting an encore presentation of Licensing Know-How: Capture the Full Value of Your Technologies and Foster Supportive Relationships with Licensees, scheduled for September 18, starting at 11:00 AM to accommodate our international customers.

This program received rave reviews from live attendees, who heard two expert attorneys who describe how to value know-how, how to draft a royalty schedule for know-how, and how your negotiation can maintain the financial integrity of know-how while enjoying a positive, collaborative relationship with the licensee. In the encore presentation, you’ll hear every word and receive all supplemental materials – and you can share the program throughout your organization. For complete program and faculty details and to register, CLICK HERE.

Also coming soon:

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NC State gets six-year, $10 million extension of master research agreement with Eastman Chemical


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

NC State and Eastman Chemical Company have decided after a six-year partnership and $16 million invested by the company that they want more of each other. The two have renewed a master research agreement for another six years, with an additional commitment of $10 million. continue reading »

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Novelis puts up $2.5 million to establish innovation hub at Georgia Tech


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

Aluminum producer and recycling company Novelis is committing 2.5 million to a new innovation hub at Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology that will support research as well as education programs. The collaboration will serve as a cross-functional hub connecting Novelis’ technical and business innovators with students and faculty. continue reading »

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Effective Models of University-Industry Engagement: Case Studies in Success


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

As part of its mission to support holistic industry engagement and assist universities in attracting more corporate partners, University-Industry Engagement Advisor has produced a distance learning collection featuring four leading universities that have used innovative strategies and proven programs to achieve robust relationships with corporate partners. Kansas State University, Brown University, the University of Georgia, and the University at Buffalo are prime examples of how to foster welcoming and comprehensive industry engagement initiatives that result in research funding, job creation, philanthropic funding, talent pipeline development, and economic development.

Effective Models of University-Industry Engagement: Case Studies in Success features the details behind each of these program in four in-depth presentations. The collection comes complete with the original program materials and in three formats — DVD, online video, and transcript — so you can listen and share them with your entire staff at your convenience in any format. For complete details on this valuable collection, CLICK HERE.

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UT-Austin and industry partner developing noninvasive modeling to predict likelihood of heart attack


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

The University of Texas at Austin, working with industry partner HeartFlow Inc., are developing a noninvasive, computational modeling technology for assessing the likelihood of a heart attack in patients with high levels of arterial plaque buildup — the chief cause of heart attack in the U.S. Adding financial clout to the collaboration, the National Science Foundation has just awarded funding of $550,000. continue reading »

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Blockchain company funding accelerator and education initiatives at three UC campuses


By David Schwartz
Published: August 27th, 2019

A VC-backed blockchain company that provides seed funding for and accelerator services focused on university students is rolling out programs at three University of California system campuses. continue reading »

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Marquette employs structured plan in launch of corporate engagement office


By David Schwartz
Published: August 19th, 2019

It takes much more than a demonstrated need and a strong commitment to successfully pursue the creation of a new Office of Corporate Engagement — or to revamp an existing one, for that matter. As Marquette University has demonstrated, it takes a carefully structured plan — one that will not only lead to successful implementation, but will also lay the foundation for this, or any such office, to succeed in its mission.

“As a campus, we had a number of different colleges and business units engaged with industry partnerships for many years,” recalls Kristina M. Ropella, PhD, Dean of the College of Engineering. “But there wasn’t a lot communication between them, so sometimes we’d miss even bigger opportunities for working with the same companies — or even larger ones. We needed to be centralized to be the lens of the entire situation and see those opportunities.”

Accordingly, she says, the university president commissioned a task force in 2017 “to look at the situation, what the role of an office of corporate engagement would be, and how it would benefit the university.” They ultimately developed a strategic plan that outlined what they refer to as “unboundaries.”

The task force, says Ropella, involved 70 individuals across the campus, as well as corporate partners. “There was a smaller steering group, as well as a number of smaller working groups to look at what would be needed out of the office,” she adds. The steering group had “about a dozen” members, she says, and was comprised of the different colleges, corporate partners, and “one or two” trustees.

The smaller groups explored and discussed the ways in which the university interacted with industry in a variety of key areas:

  • Academic programs and executive education
  • Talent development
  • Corporate sponsored research
  • Technology transfer
  • Consortia and alliances
  • Corporate philanthropy and sponsorship
  • Contracts and service partnerships.

“We thought of all the ways in which we interacted and pulled faculty, staff, and corporate representatives into each of the groups,” Ropella says. “Each of them was given a couple of months to do a SWAT analysis and examine best practices and make recommendations for how the new office might best support existing activities and build on new opportunities.”

Task force members traveled to other universities for fact finding and benchmarking, she continues. “Some of them were centralized, while others were not,” Ropella shares. “We then considered the ones we thought did a really good job in corporate engagement and in the things that challenged our campus.”

How Marquette adapted the best practices it discovered — and how it chose to organize the new office — can be instructive to any university involved in industry engagement. “There were lots of reports, but we came out with the idea that while we needed some centralized functions, we also needed for some to be decentralized — not necessarily one or the other,” says Ropella. “There was value in some colleges being decentralized in some areas of industry engagement — maybe in the different types of jobs students get, or in research — but there was also overlap in customer relations, software, sponsorships, and career fairs. Those services are better managed centrally.”

A detailed article on Marquette’s new corporate engagement office appears in the August issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For complete subscription details, CLICK HERE.

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Academia cautions FBI not to “violate norms of due process” in monitoring Chinese scientists


By David Schwartz
Published: August 19th, 2019

Twenty-two higher education associations and rights groups today have released a statement in response to a push by the FBI, the NIH, and other government officials to monitor Chinese scholars working at U.S. universities. continue reading »

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Creating Win-Win Incentive Plans for Tech Transfer Staff: The Emory University Model


By David Schwartz
Published: August 19th, 2019

While incentive and bonus plans have become more commonplace in TTOs, they are still the exception rather than the rule, and those who have implemented such plans have looked to Emory University for guidance and best practice advice.

Emory’s plan was designed to further motivate the OTT staff to support faculty development of marketable technology with the goal of increased licensing revenue. The metrics and weighting have been adjusted some over the years to ensure performance milestones are met before a pay-out can occur, but the results have been, and continue to be, a slam-dunk winner for the staff and the university.

That’s why Tech Transfer Central, in partnership with Todd Sherer, PhD, Emory’s Associate Vice President for Research and Executive Director for the Office of Technology, has scheduled this insightful and detailed webinar: Creating Win-Win Incentive Plans for Tech Transfer Staff: The Emory University Model, scheduled for September 12th. For complete program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

Also coming soon:

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