ments and effective cooperation with universities and industry. The national laboratories can play an important leadership role in this cooperation and in the formation of research partnerships.
For industry, partnerships with universities and the national laboratories provide important mutual benefits. Industry needs talented graduates to promote growth and innovation, and university faculty and students have much to gain from direct contact with the accelerating pace of technological change. For small companies that may not have R&D capabilities of their own, such partnerships can mean access to unique skills and facilities.
An urgent need is the development of workable intellectual property policies. Agreements must address inventions, patents, copyrights, and the restrictions of proprietary research. Difficulties naturally arise because of the different concerns of the participating institutions. Among large companies, cross-licensing arrangements are common to provide access to important patents. For small companies, exclusivity can make the difference between success and failure. Universities, often the sources of intellectual property but not the commercial users of it, can gain important income from its sale or licensing. National laboratories, which have concerns similar to those of universities, have benefited from legislation authorizing cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) for joint research projects with industries. In general, it has been difficult to achieve agreement on terms for research partnerships, particularly since the agreements are often negotiated by people not directly involved in the joint work.
A 1996 report of the Council on Competitiveness, Endless Frontier, Limited Resources: U.S. R&D Policy for Competitiveness, noted that “R&D partnerships hold the key to meeting the challenges that our nation now faces.” These partnerships include informal collaborations, exchange programs, facility sharing, and various formal relationships such as CRADAs. Technology is creating new modes for partnership, such as long-distance collaboration and information sharing. And partnerships are now more important than ever, since the nation's major industrial laboratories have been forced by divestiture and global economic forces to take a nearer-term, more focused approach to R&D.
Recommendation 6. The federal government, universities and their physics departments, and industry should encourage mutual interactions and partnerships, including industrial liaison programs with universities and national laboratories; visitor programs and adjunct faculty appointments in universities; and university and national laboratory internships and sabbaticals in industry. The