A unique forum for representatives from universities and industry to find better ways to partner
UIDP tackles strategic and tactical challenges impacting the environment for research collaboration. We’re not a lobbying organization. We are a solutions-oriented organization where our members identify issues impacting university-industry (U-I) relations and opportunities to develop new approaches to working together.
Members of the UIDP work together to:
- Maximize the potential of existing collaborations and partnerships along the entire Partnership Continuum.
- Build new networks and opportunities for future collaboration.
- Remove barriers to joint research project success.
Some of the finest innovation companies and best research universities in the world belong to UIDP, representing a broad cross-section of industry sectors, organizations and academic institutions. Working together, we find practical solutions to shared challenges impeding collaboration success, irrespective of who we are or where we work.
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Identifying new partners
While UIDP’s focus is on developing practical solutions to address obstacles to collaboration, we know how challenging it can be to identify new partners with the right combination of shared values and strategic and technical competencies. We offer UIDP members several ways to identify and connect with potential new partners.
The UIDP supports mutually beneficial university-industry collaborations by developing and disseminating strategies for addressing common issues between the two sectors.
- The development of a deep understanding and respect of the diverse goals, missions, and cultures between our universities and companies, and appreciation of the synergy that they can afford
- An environment where mutual respect fosters candor and communication
Commitment to making a difference
- Innovation for the public good, maximizing to the greatest extent possible, the information and products that will ultimately be available to the public
- Mutual commitment to sharing our experiences, diverse perspectives, and expertise, and lead to high impact training and professional development
- Alignment of the varied goals and cultures of university and industry in pursuit of innovation and research
- Strategic, result-oriented thinking and the development of practical, active demonstrations or pilots
- Recognition of the benefits of university-industry collaborations and the opportunity lost when mutually beneficial agreements cannot be reached
- An appropriate level of trust based upon personal engagement and shared experiences
- A commitment to principled and transparent negotiations
Anthony M. Boccanfuso
President & CEO
As the UIDP’s President, Tony is a leading expert on university-industry relations and over the past 29 years, he has gained significant experience and insights by working in the academic, corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Tony holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of South Carolina and a B.S. in Chemistry and Political Science from Furman University. Tony also serves as a consultant for government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporations and is the former Chair of the MedStar Health Research Institute. Tony is married to Dr. Laura Boccanfuso, who founded Van Robotics; along with their three children, they reside in Columbia, SC.
Bob is a UIDP Associate, serving as our Treasurer and a co-lead on our Clinical Trials Project. He retired in 2008 after 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry, ending his career as the Assistant Vice President of Clinical Development, Special Projects at Wyeth Research in Collegeville, PA where he headed the biostatistics, clinical programming, clinical data management, and field monitoring functions.
Chief of Staff
Denise has been providing operational and administrative support to Tony and the UIDP since 2008. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a Master of Arts in Communication from Ohio University. Prior to relocating to Columbia, South Carolina, Denise worked for the Rochester City School District in Rochester, NY for 15 years where she was an analyst in the Department of Research, Testing and Records. Denise and her husband, Paul, are now based in Columbia, South Carolina.
As UIDP’s Events Manager, Linda is responsible for planning and coordinating meetings, workshops and other activities, as well as providing marketing support for UIDP functions. Her events experience spans arranging small conferences to managing and promoting large-scale street festivals, while her 16 years in university marketing and communications puts her in a unique position to create high-quality event experiences for UIDP members and partners.
Melissa, our events associate, has over four years of event planning experience and provides support to plan and coordinate numerous conferences, workshops, and other events throughout the US, internationally, and virtually every year. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. Prior to joining UIDP Melissa worked for a land conservation non-profit as their marketing and communications coordinator.
Michelle assists the UIDP team with special projects and member database management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from the Rutgers University. Her professional background includes 10 years as Assistant Director at the Rutgers Employment Center, three years as a faculty member at DeVry University and four years as a Test Administrator for graduate law and medical school entrance examinations.
Abishai is a project assistant, providing critical support to event project management, development and implementation. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a dual degree in international studies and religious studies. Prior to joining UIDP, he completed an internship for a non-profit that promotes U.S.-Arab economic cooperation. Likewise, he is heavily involved in local SC politics, previously interning for Governor Henry McMaster’s general election campaign and currently serving as a volunteer for the state campaign.
Membership Services Manager
As the UIDP Membership Services Manager, Angie ensures that all UIDP members receive the maximum return on their membership investment by leading membership communications including news, benefits and services offered by the UIDP as well as connecting members with other opportunities that arise within the U-I environment. Angie has joined the UIDP team after earning her Bachelors from the University of Pittsburgh specializing in Business administration with a focus in Marketing and Operations Management. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in learning more about UIDP.
Marketing Communication Director
As UIDP’s marketing communication manager, Sandy is responsible for planning and executing communication strategy across the organization. She brings more than 20 years of experience in persuasive writing, translational journalism and multi-channel communication to the UIDP team. Sandy has bylined hundreds of articles and reports, specializing in making complex topics accessible to a broad audience. She is a proud alumna of the University of California San Diego.
Jay Walsh, Immediate Past Chair
University of Illinois System
Joseph “Jay” Walsh is the interim vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System. Previously, he served as Northwestern University’s senior advisor to the president for research and science, and as vice president for research beginning in 2007. In that position, he oversaw a research infrastructure and annual research budget exceeding $675 million. He also directed the development and implementation of University-wide research-related strategic plans through leadership support for programs such as the Energy Frontier Research Centers, the UI LABS (University + Industry Labs) consortium and national hub for digital manufacturing, and the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering. Northwestern saw an increase of 134% in industry funding for research during his time as the university’s VP for Research.
Under Jay’s leadership, the Office for Research made significant contributions to the development and support of Northwestern’s core research facilities and research institutes and centers, including the Institute for Policy Research, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, the International Institute for Nanotechnology, and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern. He also championed global impact programs, such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship-Young African Leadership Initiative and the program on Equality Development and Global Studies.
Jay joined Northwestern in 1988 as a professor of biomedical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he later served as associate dean for graduate studies and then senior associate dean. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a doctorate degree in medical engineering from a joint Harvard Medical School – MIT program. Walsh’s early research on laser-tissue interactions has framed understanding of laser ablation and the scientific foundation for today’s standard laser-based procedures in medicine and surgery. More recently, his research has focused on the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of light.
He also serves on the board of directors at Current, a Chicago-based consortium of academia, industry, and governmental organizations focused on innovations in advanced water research and technology, UI Labs, and the Chicago Council on Science and Technology; the board of governors at Argonne National Laboratory; the Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel; the Naval Research Advisory Committee; and the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for Sponsored Research. He was also the chair of the UIDP 27 conference (fall of 2018 in Evanston, IL) and he is a member of the Chicago Technology Initiative, a new organization comprised of corporate, academic, and government leaders focused on strengthening Chicago’s global leadership position in technology-driven, inclusive economic growth.
Chris Ramming, Chair
Chris Ramming is a technology strategist and research manager with a passion for working at the intersection of theory and practice. At VMware, he is a senior director of research and innovation, with responsibility for the VMware academic research program as well as an incubator that explores disruptive technologies to generate new lines of business for the company. Chris has a background in computer science with degrees from Yale and UNC Chapel Hill. He previously worked at Intel’s University Collaboration Office and has also held roles at DARPA and AT&T/Bell Labs Research. Chris previously chaired DARPA’s Information Science and Technology (ISAT) study group and currently is on the board of the Computing Research Association.
Theresa Mayer, Incoming Chair
Theresa S. Mayer is the executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue University, where she oversees the $670 million research enterprise of the university and supports holistic engagements with federal, industry, and global strategic partners. Prior to this role, she was the vice president for research and innovation at Virginia Tech. During her 23-years at Penn State University, she served as the associate dean for research and innovation in engineering, the site director of the NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, and a distinguished professor of electrical engineering and materials science. She is widely recognized for her work in advanced manufacturing of nanoscale electronic, optical, and biomedical devices, which has been supported by the DoD, NSF, DOE, NIH, and industry. Mayer has over 200 technical publications, invited presentations and tutorials, and holds ten patents in these areas. Several of her inventions have been transitioned into commercial and military systems. She is actively engaged in service to her profession and the nation, including the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, PCAST. Mayer received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University.
Nerissa Draeger, Industry Director
Nerissa Draeger is Director of Global University Engagements at Lam Research, a position she has held since 2017. She oversees Lam’s academic partnerships and strategic research collaborations in pursuit of disruptive and enabling technologies to advance the semiconductor industry. Her leadership is focused on creating diversity in both our technology and talent pipelines to drive innovative solutions for our customers. Dr. Draeger has led various programs since joining the company in 2000; including feasibility of emerging materials and processes, new product development, and strategic business and intellectual property development.
Dr. Draeger’s background is in thin film deposition and she earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her B.S.E. degree from the University of Michigan. She has authored over 30 patents and numerous technical publications.
Keith Spencer, Industry Director
Keith Spencer leads the U.S. Academic Liaison Team at GSK and is responsible for putting agreements in place to facilitate GSK’s collaborations with U.S. and global academic institutions. He also works to increase GSK’s profile within the U.S. and find opportunities to improve and expand GSK’s search for innovative science and talent. Prevously, he served as part of the innovations team at the global research charity, Wellcome Trust, which financed healthcare opportunities. Keith trained as an organic chemist and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Oxford. After a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania, he spent 10 years in the biotech sector with Arrow Therapeutics and is a co-founder of the biotech company, Reviral.
Sophia Herbert-Peterson, University Director
Georgia Institute of Technology
Sophia Herbert-Peterson is director of industry contracting for Georgia Tech Research Corporation, the contracting entity for sponsored research at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is responsible for managing all contracting activities, developing and implementing policies and procedures that support the research collaboration process, and developing and deploying strategic initiatives for industry engagement. She is also an active supporter of diversity leadership initiatives on campus, such as Georgia Tech’s Inclusive Leaders Academy and the Leading Women@Tech Program. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Sophia served as a law clerk for the Honorable Earl B. Gilliam in the Southern District of California, as in-house counsel for two Fortune 500 companies, and practiced at an Atlanta law firm. Sophia earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies and Spanish literature from Manhattan College and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Anne O’Donnell, University Director
UC San Diego
As Senior Executive Director of Development, Corporate Relations at UC San Diego since January 2017, Anne leads a new Central Corporate Relations Office to develop holistic relationships with corporations to support UC San Diego’s strategic plan and fundraising objectives. Anne served over 17 years at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering building corporate engagement programs, first launching the Director of the Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP) with 75+ high technology and life science member companies for custom access to faculty, research, students. More recently, Anne continued to build new corporate engagement models as the Executive Director, Corporate Research Partnerships where she built the first seven of the Dean’s Agile Centers of Excellence–multidisciplinary faculty teams focused on technologies that are highly relevant to industry. Under Anne, CAP ran the Team Internship Program and started Executive Education Engineering degree programs. An alumna of Mount Holyoke College, Anne went on to Harvard University earning a Master’s in Public Policy and a Master’s in Theology. Anne is an active member of UIDP Membership Committee and co-led the Collaboration Metrics Project. As a NACRO member, Anne served as Benchmarking Chair and past Conference Planning Co-Chair. As faculty for Academic Impressions, Anne has taught the Holistic Corporate Engagement course for the past five years and has a webinar in building corporate affiliate programs. Anne serves on Board of Catholic Charities of San Diego and is an ICF certified professional leadership coach. Anne is married and a mother of five great kids ages 15-27.