. "5 Assessment of the Impact of MRSEC Collaboration with Industry." The National Science Foundation's Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers Program: Looking Back, Moving Forward. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.
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The National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers Program: Looking Back, Moving Forward
program requirements in program solicitations. This would enable centers to put the appropriate focus and resources on this aspect of their center and for reviewers to make appropriate judgments about accomplishments.
Recommendation: Together with the team of MRSEC directors, NSF shouldprovide a mechanism to enable industry to effectively understand the resources and expertise available through the network of MRSECs. This mayrequire a coordination function that currently does not seem to exist, suchas a national network liaison officer based at NSF.
Industrial outreach and knowledge-transfer effort is inherently based on interactions among people. Encouraging more personnel exchanges, such as student internships, extended sabbaticals for industrial researchers at MRSECs, visits by MRSEC faculty to key industry partners, significant industrial involvement on MRSEC advisory boards, and so on, will be essential to effective knowledge transfer and skill development (especially for students). For instance, centers that have better exposure to industrial partners could provide access to students involved in other MRSECs. Centers’ tapping into these shared opportunities presented by the entire MRSEC program would enhance the program’s overall impact.