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.
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