Planning and Managing Industry-University Research Collaborations

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Mounting global competition, rapid technological change, and skyrocketing research costs are changing the arm's-length relationships between industry and universities toward closer and more direct cooperation. Yet, many companies remain unsure how to proceed in establishing effective alliances with the right universities and faculty investigators. Many books and articles describe features and benefits of the diverse forms of cooperation between the two communities, usually from the academic viewpoint. Based on his experiences in directing many (successful) collaborations between Du Pont and research universities, Carboni offers fresh insights and practical guidelines for planning, organizing, and conducting effective bilateral research initiatives, from the corporate perspective. Strategies and techniques are outlined, which enable managers and technical professionals to deal with major issues and problems throughout every phase of the undertaking. A historical analysis helps the reader to understand the forces and events that have shaped the changing relationships between industry, academia, and government since World War II. The advantages and pitfalls of major types of industry-university research interactions are described so that the reader may evaluate and choose the best options for his or her company's needs and circumstances. The reader is shown how to analyze the key technical issues and gaps of his or her company as a basis for selecting a balanced portfolio of university projects. Factors to be considered in choosing suitable faculty investigators are discussed. For less experienced managers, the book offers suggestions for obtaining executive and in-house support, negotiating research agreements, and evaluating and transferring key scientific and technological findings to the organization for exploitation. This book is a valuable desk-side resource for corporate executives and technical staffs who seek fresh insights and information concerning the role, conduct, and potential impact of university collaborations on the company missions. The treatise enables academic and government scientists, research administrators, and consultants to acquire a deeper understanding of corporate needs, values, and expectations from these alliances.