Introduction

The prevalence and vitality of research partnerships between industrial organizations and universities have increased dramatically over the last two decades. Data from a comprehensive national survey cited by the National Science Foundation reveal that four times as many industry-university research centers—a total of 286—were established in the 1980s than were created in the preceding ten years (see Cohen, Florida, and Goe, 1993; cited in National Science Board, 1996, page 121). One recent report indicates that up to ninety percent of companies with significant biomedical research interests had relationships with academic institutions in 1994 (Blumenthal et al., 1996), while another survey shows that growth companies engaged in cooperative ventures with universities enjoy increased productivity compared to other companies of similar profile (Coopers & Lybrand, 1995).

Collaborative partnerships have become strategic assets for companies that face increasingly rapid technological change, increasingly intense international competition, and diminishing in-house research resources. Such partnerships have become more attractive to universities, too, as overall growth in public funding for research has slowed substantially since the 1980s. In constant dollars, the amount of academic research and development (R&D) financed by industry increased about 265 percent from 1980 to 1993; in fiscal year 1995, industry provided a total of $1.5 billion for R&D spending by universities, or 6.9 percent of the total academic research base (exclusive of Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers; National Science Board, 1996). The federal government's efforts in the 1980s to stimulate technological innovation while reducing spending spawned an array of initiatives designed specifically to encourage industry-university collaboration in R&D. State governments, too, have stepped forward with incentives and programs that build upon their closer ties to the local and regional industrial base (Celeste, 1996).

As the number and durability of joint ventures rises, understanding of the factors that contribute to their success and to the satisfaction of the partners grows (see for example McHenry, 1990; Geisler, Furino, & Kiresuk, 1990, 1991; Chatterji & Manuel, 1993; Bloedon & Stokes, 1994; Cohen, Florida, & Goe, 1994; MacLachlan, 1994; Reid, 1994; Slowinski, Farris, & Jones, 1993; Wolff, 1994; and Giordan, 1995). Many assume that industry looks to academia primarily as fountain of basic, leading-edge research. Entrepreneurial academics, common lore continues, turn to industry for additional funding and for access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. However, the empirical literature examining the expectations and satisfaction of university and industry representatives involved in such joint ventures reveals a more heterogeneous and nuanced portfolio of motivations and considerations (Feller and Roessner, 1995).



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--> Introduction The prevalence and vitality of research partnerships between industrial organizations and universities have increased dramatically over the last two decades. Data from a comprehensive national survey cited by the National Science Foundation reveal that four times as many industry-university research centers—a total of 286—were established in the 1980s than were created in the preceding ten years (see Cohen, Florida, and Goe, 1993; cited in National Science Board, 1996, page 121). One recent report indicates that up to ninety percent of companies with significant biomedical research interests had relationships with academic institutions in 1994 (Blumenthal et al., 1996), while another survey shows that growth companies engaged in cooperative ventures with universities enjoy increased productivity compared to other companies of similar profile (Coopers & Lybrand, 1995). Collaborative partnerships have become strategic assets for companies that face increasingly rapid technological change, increasingly intense international competition, and diminishing in-house research resources. Such partnerships have become more attractive to universities, too, as overall growth in public funding for research has slowed substantially since the 1980s. In constant dollars, the amount of academic research and development (R&D) financed by industry increased about 265 percent from 1980 to 1993; in fiscal year 1995, industry provided a total of $1.5 billion for R&D spending by universities, or 6.9 percent of the total academic research base (exclusive of Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers; National Science Board, 1996). The federal government's efforts in the 1980s to stimulate technological innovation while reducing spending spawned an array of initiatives designed specifically to encourage industry-university collaboration in R&D. State governments, too, have stepped forward with incentives and programs that build upon their closer ties to the local and regional industrial base (Celeste, 1996). As the number and durability of joint ventures rises, understanding of the factors that contribute to their success and to the satisfaction of the partners grows (see for example McHenry, 1990; Geisler, Furino, & Kiresuk, 1990, 1991; Chatterji & Manuel, 1993; Bloedon & Stokes, 1994; Cohen, Florida, & Goe, 1994; MacLachlan, 1994; Reid, 1994; Slowinski, Farris, & Jones, 1993; Wolff, 1994; and Giordan, 1995). Many assume that industry looks to academia primarily as fountain of basic, leading-edge research. Entrepreneurial academics, common lore continues, turn to industry for additional funding and for access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. However, the empirical literature examining the expectations and satisfaction of university and industry representatives involved in such joint ventures reveals a more heterogeneous and nuanced portfolio of motivations and considerations (Feller and Roessner, 1995).

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--> The most general finding to emerge is the recognition that immediate commercial return is neither the only, nor necessarily the predominant, motivation for companies to enter into research relationships with university scientists. Rather, many industry leaders state they value universities most as wellsprings of scientifically trained personnel (Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, 1991), and as windows on the future of technology. In their assessment of industry's interest in university research, Feller and Roessner (1995) assert that at least two sets of factors contribute to continuing uncertainty about the means of predicting or evaluating success in industry-university collaborations. First, the range of models or structures for collaboration is extremely diverse. A corporation may fund a specific project or an individual investigator as a consultant; a consortium of companies may contribute to university-affiliated research or technology centers; or corporate, state, and federally-funded academic investigators may collaborate, either on short-term projects or on long-term programs. As the structures of these partnerships vary, so do the expectations of participants and the criteria by which success can be defined and evaluated. Second, the general use of quantitative indicators of performance and success, such as the number of patents, publications, or new products, fails to capture the diverse benefits from joint research ventures that both corporate and academic participants seek. Indeed, different individuals within different divisions of a company may seek different outcomes, and the objectives of many who participate in collaborative partnerships may change or be redefined over time. Quantifiable metrics for such complex success factors have been difficult to devise. As the sheer number and complexity of collaborative research partnerships increase—as the growth in federal funding slows or reverses, as large capital costs drive the development of consortia, and as evolving telecommunications technologies eliminate barriers to collaboration by lessening the importance of proximity between partners—members of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (the Research Roundtable), and the Council on Competitiveness (COC) believe it will be ever more important that corporate managers, bench scientists, and decision makers in government, universities, and industry better understand the structure and nature of successful and unsuccessful partnerships. To make progress toward this goal, the three organizations cosponsored a workshop at Duke University in the late fall of 1995. Participants in the conference included representatives of industry and academia with extensive experience in organizing and managing research collaborations (see roster of attendees in Appendix C). The agenda centered around four case studies of actual industry-university partnerships, and it included breakout sessions designed to facili-

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--> tate discussion about the precursors to, and the characteristics of, successful joint ventures. In this report we summarize the case studies as they were presented by those involved directly in these activities, and the content of breakout discussions. Though it does not purport to be comprehensive, we hope that this brief report of experience in the critical area of industry-university partnerships can serve as a road map for others seeking to stimulate and to nurture collaborative research relationships between industrial and academic participants.