Industry-Sponsored Research Week

U Maryland, Carnegie Mellon partner with Facebook to collect COVID-19 data


By David Schwartz
Published: May 5th, 2020

University of Maryland and Carnegie Mellon University faculty have been working with Facebook to design a worldwide survey aimed at collecting coronavirus data during the global pandemic. continue reading »

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Penn State links with start-up to reduce greenhouse gas using microwave plasma technology


By David Schwartz
Published: May 5th, 2020

A multi-disciplinary collaboration between Penn State’s EMS Energy Institute researchers and a Pittsburgh-based start-up is seeking to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions while also paving the way to disrupt the chemical and material industries. continue reading »

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Survey of Sponsored Research Agreements between the Private Sector and Higher Education


By David Schwartz
Published: May 5th, 2020

The Survey of Sponsored Research Agreements between the Private Sector and Higher Education includes 150 pages of key data and trends based on extensive survey results from major research universities and their agreements with private sector entities.

This one-of-a-kind resource provides a rich set of benchmarks and data to compare against your own sponsored research activity. It’s jam-packed with over 180 easy-to-scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find in any other publication. The report provides an in-depth look into key data so you can compare your practices and see how you stack up against other organizations — and use the data to point you to areas for improvement.

For complete details, CLICK HERE >>

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Harvard and Astellas establish strategic research alliance for biomedical drug discovery research


By David Schwartz
Published: May 5th, 2020

Harvard University and Astellas Pharma Inc. have struck a three-year strategic research alliance to support multiple projects focused on therapeutics and technologies of mutual interest. The alliance will provide crucial support to future collaborative research efforts when the academic laboratories return to regular activities following the significant disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic, Harvard officials note. continue reading »

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Don’t miss tomorrow’s webinar from UIDP: Student Hiring and Internships During a Time of Uncertainty


By David Schwartz
Published: May 5th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown months of careful strategic planning into chaos. Operations have been upended as leaders evaluate critical considerations around human capital and ordinary business never previously contemplated. How does this new corporate reality affect ongoing employment, student co-ops, internships, and hiring practices? University administration, faculty, and students are vested in these plans. So are their industry partners.

To provide guidance, UIDP is producing Student Hiring and Internships During a Time of Uncertainty, a live webinar scheduled for tomorrow, May 6, from 12:00-1:00 pm EDT. The expert panel will include moderator Bonike Akinsanya from CannonDesign, Matt Wendorf of VMWare Inc., Susan Krause from Lockheed Martin, and Dana Gharda of Lam Research.

The session will focus primarily on what companies are doing with this year’s planned cohort of undergraduate interns, how hiring schedules are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the long-term ramifications on employment issues. CLICK HERE for details.

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U Queensland’s new Industry Connect program guides industry to engagement options


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

University-industry engagement has been a key to innovation in Australia for quite a while, despite what conventional wisdom might say, according to Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy, pro-vice-chancellor for research partnerships at The University of Queensland in Brisbane. What has changed, he says, is the more recent “synthesizing of transdisciplinary capabilities.” And it is that change, he adds, that has led to a restructuring of the university’s approach to engaging industry partners — through a multi-faceted program called Industry Connect.

“Universities and industry have been interacting for a long, long time — despite the rhetoric,” he asserts. “Some of the greatest technologies around us have come through industry interactions. And at a base level, you could say the workforce and talent that powers industry come from the university.”

So, what is this change he felt was so important that UQ needed to change the structure of industry outreach to address it? It comes down to providing interdisciplinary options across the university, which ultimately leads to improvements in translating discoveries and the talent behind them to the marketplace.

“Gone are the days when an individual researcher on their own can solve a problem; you need a collision of capabilities,” Krishnamoorthy comments. “In a strong sense you need a senior person who is packaging things together. Roles like that are more and more important and necessary, and more universities are rolling large programs together involving multi-disciplines. That’s essentially my role; ensuring that we effectively work with industry.” That “effectiveness,” he adds, includes growing the number and volume of contracts, dollars, and impact created for industry.

“We need to do better, to do more, always,” says Krishnamoorthy, “and that’s where Industry Connect comes in. My office is especially important when industry does not know how to connect with the university.”

His approach, he explains, is very simple. “If industry knows exactly what their problem is and how to solve the problem and who to work with at the university to solve it, university senior executives should literally just get out of the way,” says Krishnamoorthy. “But our machinery should ensure that negotiations work effectively. We provide facilitation in a smooth, unpainful manner, and we have to have the policies and frameworks for contractual arrangements, costing, overheads, and legal matters on IP.

“But,” he continues, “if you have a situation where industry does not know what its problems are, but knows roughly that there are some difficulties in area ‘X’ and describes some sort of long-term goal — like our carbon footprint is horrible and we need to find ways to reduce it — that’s where Industry Connect comes in.”

The value of Industry Connect, he says, is most keenly felt when the industry partner is not sure how they should work with the university, what its capabilities are, or who to work with. “We construct the program for them,” says Krishnamoorthy. “It could be short-term, long-term, or medium-term work, with PhDs or post-docs. And, there’s no obligation; they can talk to us, work with us, have a bunch of academics pitch them, spend the whole day with us and then say, ‘See you later.’”

A detailed article on U Queensland’s Industry Connect program appears in the April issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For complete subscription details, click here.

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Three webinars this month address COVID-19 challenges for TTOs


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

Tech Transfer Central has scheduled three important webinars for the coming month, each addressing a different set of challenges being faced by TTOs and other research commercialization offices as they adjust to life in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on any of the titles below for complete details and registration info.  

Also coming soon:

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Maryland university system’s task force is mobilizing state’s COVID-19 research


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman is assembling a task force to leverage and mobilize systemwide research and innovations to address the COVID-19 pandemic. continue reading »

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University College London partners with AI company on COVID-19 research


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

University College London’s UCL Innovation & Enterprise is partnering with AI technology company Causaly to advance their ongoing research into COVID-19. The company has granted several UCL researchers access to their software, with a view to opening up access to others in the future. continue reading »

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When the old ways don’t work, we create new ways


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

With permission, University-Industry Engagement Week is reprinting this blog post written by Anthony Boccanfuso, executive director of UIDP

When the old ways don’t work anymore, we create new ways. The COVID-19 crisis is a prime opportunity to forge entirely new pathways to ensure the R&D engine keeps humming.

UIDP hosted a lively webinar last week on the future of collaborative partnerships; 495 registrants heard from a panel of research and innovation leaders from GSK, JPMorgan Chase, and Procter & Gamble. The conversation was upbeat, even while it focused on current challenges and partnership approaches. I’d like to share some of my key takeaways:

  • Companies are not cutting back on university partnerships, although we won’t be going back to business as usual.
  • We’re communicating more, not less, and this is a good thing. Virtual approaches can actually enhance partnerships.
  • We will continue to adopt new partnering approaches using new tools. This crisis is forcing us to accelerate our transformation to digital innovation.
  • Open innovation will continue to be important in driving innovation, and companies need everyone upskilled in doing it.
  • Companies will reconsider their physical footprints given the current work-at-home norm.
  • We’re still early in the change process, and not everything has been decided.
  • Training and upskilling will be important for people across sectors and job types.
  • Some budgets are being reworked to meet current needs; for example, moving money from travel to personnel.
  • Internships, by and large, are continuing, but often they’re going virtual. Some hires are being delayed, but not cancelled. (Join UIDP’s May 6 webinar for more on this.)
  • Multi-party approaches are the future and vital, since challenges are too large and can’t be solved by individual companies or universities.
  • In-person interactions will be less frequent, but we will find new ways to offset the loss from networking and maintain or increase serendipity.
  • Companies are evaluating current approaches to open innovation and trying to bring in more employees to think about how to leverage partnerships; companies are also trying to think about new ways for external parties to work with them.
  • There’s a strong desire for more seamless collaboration between government, industry and universities that creates new knowledge that leads to innovation, and that creates jobs while continuing to train our future workforce.

Now is the time to examine what’s working to move collaboration forward. University and industry research partnerships are, by and large, rising above the limitations of today’s stay-at-home conditions. As our panelists noted yesterday, COVID-19 is taking down some of the walls that separate us. It’s also greasing the wheels of innovation. We’re translating a crisis into opportunities for new, vibrant partnerships.

For more information on UIDP and its resources for universities and companies seeking to enhance and expand partnership activity, go to www.uidp.org.

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


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

Industry’s reliance on university collaborations for R&D is no longer just a trend – it has become more like a seismic shift. Innovation-starved corporations are eagerly seeking out university partners, but only those universities that have embraced this shift and prepared their campuses for a new level of integrated industry engagement will reap the benefits.

That’s why we’ve 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 for at-home learning.

For complete details on this valuable collection, click here.

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New York City universities ramp up entry to computer science and cybersecurity careers


By David Schwartz
Published: April 28th, 2020

As career plans get upended and layoffs abound, four New York City graduate schools have signed onto a groundbreaking online program that quickly and inexpensively prepares students without computer science backgrounds to enter master’s degree programs in the high-demand fields of cybersecurity, data science, and computer science. It could be quite a boon for area employers, which could tap into the schools for a new workforce pipeline. continue reading »

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