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  • consults with Center members to set a research agenda focused on shared research interests and opportunities;
  • shares the intellectual property developed by the Center equally among Center members;
  • has Center members monitor and advise on the progress of the research, which speeds two-way transfer of knowledge between universities and industry;
  • has industrial and other partners that are the primary financial resource for the Center;
  • has a formal structure and policies for Center members outlined in an I/UCRC membership agreement;
  • relies primarily on graduate student involvement in the research projects, thus developing students who are knowledgeable in industrially relevant research;
  • has a Center Director, based at a university or college, who is responsible for all Center activities; and
  • has formal evaluations of the partnership conducted by an independent evaluator.


Universities and colleges with sufficient research and graduate education capabilities are eligible as lead institutions for I/UCRC Program support. Since a comprehensive range of disciplines and skills is necessary to address the research issues of interest to industry, a critical mass of interdisciplinary research capabilities is required to form a Center. In order to ensure a sufficiently broad base of research expertise, multiple universities or colleges are encouraged to partner in forming a Center. Each partner university or college is expected to attract industrial support to the Center.

I/UCRC Program Operational Requirements

Non-NSF Support

To be eligible for the I/UCRC Program, a Center is required to obtain a total of at least $300,000 annually in cash membership fees from a minimum of six Center members. This is the minimum funding needed to support a vital research agenda and to ensure the Center can support a number of students and research projects. The minimum number of members required produces a critical mass of partners and encourages a more generic research program. In general, Center members are industrial firms, although some may be other organizations such as Federal agencies. A Center may designate a number of membership categories with varying levels of membership fees and member benefits. However, there must be at least one membership category with membership fees of $25,000 or higher per year with at least three members

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