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.

For Industry

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.

For Universities

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);


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