University-Industry Cooperative R&D. The traditional focus of R&D cooperation between academia and industry has centered on basic research. Industry views universities as important sources of basic scientific research and technical information that complement in-house R&D capabilities. Universities can gain important insight into industry R&D efforts and financial support for ongoing research through joint R&D efforts. Both parties have the potential to benefit from corporate involvement in support of student training. Joint university-industry projects expose students in science and engineering programs to industrial research and development. These ventures may also offer firms the opportunity both to recruit future employees and to make use of on-campus consulting expertise. Although university-industry collaboration may provide benefits to both parties, there are potential difficulties with this type of R&D cooperation, including problems associated with balancing university basic research objectives with proprietary R&D work for individual firms.
Examples of university-industrial cooperation are the industry-university cooperative research centers of the National Science Foundation (NSF). More than 50 universities now have cooperative research centers that emphasize fundamental engineering and scientific research with industrial applications. Most funding comes from fees assessed industry members. State governments, federal laboratories, and nonprofit organizations also participate in the centers. Another NSF program is that of the Engineering Re-