foster continuous improvement in the processing, functioning, and effectiveness of the partnership.
Approaches to Improving Industry-University Partnerships in the U.S.
Finally, workshop participants suggested productive approaches to increasing the number, value, and effectiveness of industry-university research partnerships. Some of the many ideas to emerge are listed here.
Options for industry activity include these:
- take the lead to develop technology goals and development strategies with the participation of universities, state, and federal agencies;
- designate contact points for universities as liaisons to establish continuity in communications and linkages;
- communicate to students and to faculty the reality of business priorities and expectations for newly-hired scientists and engineers.
Members of the academic community together might:
- become more user-friendly by designing intellectual property policies that facilitate commercialization, by providing one-stop shopping, by offering databases, and by developing marketing interfaces with industry;
- facilitate sabbaticals at companies for interested faculty, and arrange cooperative opportunities for students;
- modify incentive and reward systems to award credit for interdisciplinary, industry-university research collaborations, thereby acknowledging the value of team approaches and of applied research.
For Research Partners
All participants in collaborative research can strive to:
- reach a clear understanding about the different motivations for participating in collaborative research in order to foster a win-win climate for negotiations;
- look for innovative approaches to access research equipment and facilities, e.g. leasing equipment and space, sharing facilities, and using those resources for dual purposes, such as research and testing;
- encourage students to pursue both discovery and problem-solving research;
- encourage strategic relationships between specific universities, specific companies, state agencies, and federal agencies, to broaden interaction beyond technology areas (e.g., business, law, and social sciences);