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Overcoming Barriers to Collaborative Research: Report of a Workshop Appendix C University-Industry Collaborations Discussed at the Workshop Partnership/Program Type of Collaboration Key Points Amgen's collaboration with Sloan-Kettering, Max-Planck Institute, MIT, and other academic institutions Ranges from sponsored research and student support to faculty consulting and focused collaboration on clinical trials. • Valuing contributions is an issue: universities are trying to capture greater value but may be unrealistic. • On some issues (delay of publication) there are standard practices that work; sometimes companies ask for more time to patent than they really need. • Other issues include preventing conflicts of interest (in clinical trials) and restrictions placed on institutions by some non-profit sponsors. Carnegie Mellon University's collaboration with industry, including the Data Storage Systems Center, collaboration with Caterpillar, and university-based start-ups Includes an Engineering Research Center, master agreements, and start-ups in which the university owns equity. • More inexperienced foreign-based companies are entering collaborations. • More master agreements are required, with more difficult and complex negotiations. • The management structure for master agreements is important. • Complex interactions must be coordinated among university-managed incubators, tech transfer to start-ups, university equity ownership, and faculty entrepreneurs. • Insights from collaboration do make it into the curriculum, often more quickly than people realize. Biotechnology Research and Development Center (national consortium) For-profit corporation with equity ownership by industry members. Commercializes Department of Agriculture-sponsored research • Focus has gradually moved from discovery research to demonstration of feasibility on campus. • Will give universities greater equity if they reduce indirect rates.
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Overcoming Barriers to Collaborative Research: Report of a Workshop Partnership/Program Type of Collaboration Key Points Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Incubator Program University owns three buildings housing a number of start-ups, some coming out of the university, some spun off from larger companies. • One of the oldest university-run incubators; high survival rate but no huge successes yet. • Networking and collaboration are essential; alumni are potential "angel" investors. • Emerging trend is to link university endowment or public venture capital firms with the incubator. Optoelectronics Computing Systems Center Engineering Research Center (ERC). • ERC program was intended to create a new kind of student. This is happening, but more needs to be done to move insights into the curriculum. • Some companies have caused management problems by pulling out funding at short notice or funding at lower than critical mass and demanding background rights. • A general issue is that ERCs and Science and Technology Centers may promise more than can be delivered and become disconnected from the university. There are examples where the center played a positive role in breaking down disciplinary and other barriers on campus. • This ERC has launched a number of start-up companies, helping to create a regional technology focus. University of Utah, various collaborative projects Start-ups generated by university research, sponsored research. • Rules are needed to protect the institution, faculty, and students. • In one case a company sponsors research by a faculty member who holds equity in the company. The university holds equity as well and has a broad licensing agreement. This sort of relationship can be difficult to manage. • Can negotiate non-disclosure for longer than 60–90 days if no students are involved and non-tenured faculty members sign an agreement that they understand. • Some private foundations are now imposing onerous intellectual property right provisions. • Indirect costs simply cannot be negotiated away. Need to pay them somehow. Sometimes it is a matter of saying no to faculty members who insist that waiving them is needed to gain industry support. • Demand for reach-through rights to inventions developed through use of university research materials can be a problem. The university wants the package to be of maximum use, but difficulties arise when industry wants a royalty-free license to the work of many individuals.
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Overcoming Barriers to Collaborative Research: Report of a Workshop Partnership/Program Type of Collaboration Key Points Real-Time Innovations Start-up based on software developed at Stanford; used in robotics, space shuttle. Currently Stanford is a Real-Time Innovations subcontractor on an Advanced Technology Program contract. • Company provides a platform for Stanford-developed tools to become more widely used. • Patents on software do not generate much revenue; value is mainly defensive. • Success based on long-term relationships, trust, understanding. National Textile Center/University Research Consortium Government-supported industry consortium that funds university research. • Has brought together companies representing the entire value chain: Dow Chemical through Wal-Mart. • Centered on a highly competitive global industry that does not receive much federal support. • Encourages universities to focus on industry problems. Akzo Corporate Research, collaborations with academia Various forms of collaboration, including a project to remove toxic chromium from products involving Akzo, NASA labs, Drexel University, Polytechnic University, and Ohio State University. • Chemical industry is focusing internal research on definite product goals; speculative work is done only in partnerships. • Key factors are trust, good intellectual property provisions, and sufficient funding. • University productivity goes down in proportion to time spent preparing the next proposal. Universities need a consistent liaison in the company. • Funding must be committed for three years—the length of a dissertation. • Companies see the benefit in attracting graduates as employees. • Companies will go to overseas universities when conditions are favorable. ARCH Development Corporation Non-profit subsidiary of the University of Chicago aimed at commercializing inventions from the university and Argonne National Laboratory. • To date, 20 companies have been launched. Income rising gradually with occasional spikes. Now self-supporting. • Finding CEOs for the start-ups is an issue. • Should tech transfer be handled in-house, by a non-profit subsidiary, or by a for-profit contractor? Some functions may need to be managed close to home. Walt Disney Imagineering Hiring students, engaging in some sponsored research. • Interdisciplinary skill sets are increasingly important to the entertainment industry (e.g., computers and art). • Better to walk away from a negotiation immediately rather than waste time when the chemistry is not right or trust is lacking.
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