Working With Industry

Working with industry requires identifying the best partner, establishing a strong relationship, and agreeing on a collaboration framework and Scope of Work.  We are here to partner with you throughout the entire process to come to the best approach.

Why Work With Industry

Working with Industry can provide valuable benefits to the university:

  • Research or project funding
  • Access to industry experts and ‘cutting edge / real world’ projects
  • Market knowledge and commercialization expertise
  • Equipment / facility fees
  • Licensing revenue
  • Academic publication opportunities
  • Jobs and internships for students; experiential learning opportunities

A university – corporate collaboration also provides benefits to the industry partner:

  • Research they can’t do in-house
  • Access to expertise in academia and fresh perspectives
  • New intellectual property
  • Talent pipeline
  • Access to specialized equipment / labs
  • Positive publicity / association
  • Executive education participants
  • Workforce development

What Companies are Looking for in a Research Proposal

  • Detailed, yet concise format.
  • Companies expect proposals that are brief and to the point; if not an RFP, most of the time this is scoped out jointly; often will explain the business value for the company.
  • No surprises: spell out everything.
  • Be clear about your end goal (i.e., to form a start-up) and develop a scope that under-promises and over-delivers with clear milestones, timelines, and deliverables.

University Support for Sponsored Research

  • The Office of Industry and Economic Partnerships (OIEP) facilitates engagement and communication with companies.
  • The Principal Investigator (PI) leads the research.
  • Research Administration (RA) coordinates the process and works with the PI to develop project budget.
  • The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) negotiates contracts, CDA and MTA with partners.
  • The Innovation Institute (II) assists with intellectual property (IP) negotiation and manages IP licenses and transfer.

Industry Research Engagement Steps

An industry collaboration opportunity can develop in one of several ways. (1) An industry representative can contact faculty directly, usually in response to a publication, conference presentation or search. (2) A faculty member may have a project for which they are seeking an industry partner. In the latter case, OIEP can help identify potential partners. In both cases OIEP can help facilitate the entire process.  

 

STEP 1: As discussions with a company begin, focus on assessing the degree of alignment from a scientific standpoint. Only share non-confidential information at this stage. If and when confidential information needs to be shared, initiate the CDA process with the Office of Sponsored Programs via myRA. Ensure any background work, that may be utilized in the collaboration, is fully disclosed with the Innovation Institute for IP protection prior to discussing the work with the company.

 

STEP 2: Work with the company to frame a Statement of Work (SOW) with aims of mutual benefit. OIEP can help facilitate these discussions. Key university considerations are research objectives and the amount of corporate support required. Key partner considerations are alignment with company research, business value, budget, and timeline. Ensure your COI disclosures are up-to-date in anticipation of working with the company.

 

STEP 3: Work with your research administrator to draft a budget aligned to the SOW. For large or complex agreements, notify the OSP Corporate and Clinical Contracts team that a new partnership is in the works. OSP can in some cases begin contract negotiations while the SOW and budget are finalized.

 

 

STEP 4: Finalize the Scope of Work, including project deliverables, milestones, and associated budget. Your research administrator will ensure all costs, including indirect costs (F&A), are included.

 

 

 

STEP 5: Initiate the contracting process with a submission to PERIS in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). OSP will negotiate the contract with the company, involving the Innovation Institute as needed for IP-related matters.

 

 

 

STEP 6: Following contract signing and administrative setup, the project is launched. You, as the PI, will lead the research relationship with the company. An Alliance Manager from OIEP can assist in relationship management, help resolve conflicts, and ensure the project stays on track.

 

 

 

STEP 7: A successful project provides an opportunity to explore further engagements with the company.