About Us

A unique forum for representatives from Universities and Industry to find better ways to partner

The UIDP tackles strategic and tactical challenges impacting the environment for research collaboration. We are a project-oriented organization where our members identify issues impacting university-industry (U-I) relations and opportunities to develop new approaches to working together.

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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.

Want to share UIDP with your colleagues? Download the brief, About UIDP

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.

Leadership Circle Members

Leadership Circle membership carries with it an obligation to support the UIDP at a minimum level of $20,000 per year or $50,000 over a three-year period. In return, Leadership Circle Members receive benefits that enhance and catalyze the value proposition afforded Leadership Circle Members.

Current Leadership Circle Members: Boeing • CannonDesign • Elsevier • Georgia Tech

Leadership Circle Members may nominate someone to sit on the Board, are prominently featured in UIDP materials, and have the opportunity to host UIDP events at their home location. To become a Leadership Circle Member, email info@uidp.net.

Our Mission

The UIDP supports mutually beneficial university-industry collaborations by developing and disseminating strategies for addressing common issues between the two sectors.

Our Values

  • 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
Open communication
  • 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 Boccanfuso

Anthony M. Boccanfuso


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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.


Robert Starbuck


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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.

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Denise Duane

Chief of Staff

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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.

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Linda Toro

Event Manager

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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.

Michelle Lubaczewski

Operations Associate

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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 Kelkar

Abishai Kelkar

Program Assistant

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Abishai is a Program Assistant who will provide critical support to event program development and implementation.  Events include conferences and workshops, as well as, virtual ones, such as webinars and he will play a key role in the on-going delivery of high-quality events.

Abishai 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 McMaster’s general election campaign and currently serving as a volunteer for the state campaign.


Angie Taylor

Membership Services Coordinator

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Angie is the UIDP Membership Services Coordinator. She 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 angie@uidp.net if interested in learning more about UIDP.

Sandy Mau

Sandy Mau

Marketing Communication Manager

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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.

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Melissa Drake

Projects Assistant

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Mary Katherine Isbell

Operations Assistant

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John Wareham

Program Manager

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John brings decades of experience in program and project leadership to his role. Prior to coming to UIDP, he served as assistant director of the Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University. Before moving to South Carolina in 2015, he served in management roles at several University of California campuses and learning centers, including tenure as deputy director of the Lick Observatory. John also has experience as an entrepreneur and partnership builder, collaborating with private and public entities to fund, develop and operate five ice skating rinks in California and Colorado.

UIDP Board (Voting Members)

Mark Schmidt,  Immediate Past Chair

John Deere

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Mark Schmidt is the associate director, stakeholder relations, for John Deere.

Mark joined John Deere in 1999 and holds 13 United States and international design and utility patents. His role at Deere provides technical leadership on science and technology policy and sustainability issues, as well as responsibility for developing Deere’s global university strategy and relationships. He has been quoted and cited in several media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Money, Bloomberg, Fox News, U.S. News and World Report, and others. Mark is active in several professional societies, trade associations, and standards development organizations.

He is a director and vice-chair of the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and a member of the North Carolina State Plant Science Initiative Advocacy and Resource Development Task Force. He is also a director of The North Carolina Arboretum (TNCA) and serves on a special research advisory committee focused on economic development from innovation products from plant extracts. Through TNCA, he also co-leads the Landscape Stewardship Initiative. Mark is a member of the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) Expert Working Group.

Previously, he has served as a member of the United Way of the Greater Triangle Food Security Team, North Carolina State University Plant Science Initiative Advocacy and Resource Development Task Force, and Duke University Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering advisory board. His family actively supports North Carolina 4-H and the Junior League of Raleigh.

Mark holds bachelor’s degrees in landscape architecture and agronomy from Purdue University, a master of science in agronomy degree from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in crop science from the University of Illinois. Mark is an Eagle Scout.

Jay Walsh, Chair

Northwestern University

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As Northwestern University’s senior advisor to the president for research and science, and as vice president for research beginning in 2007, Jay Walsh oversees a research infrastructure and annual research budget exceeding $675 million. He also directs 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 has seen 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 has 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. Additionally, Jay has 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.

Jay has contributed his insights and leadership beyond Northwestern, too. He 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, Incoming Chair


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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.

Barclay Satterfield, Industry Director

Eastman Chemical Company

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Barclay Satterfield is the external innovation site leader for Eastman Chemical Company. She manages an office on the NC State University Centennial Campus that supports the execution of two multi-year research partnerships with NC State and with UNC. In this role, Barclay’s team members connect industry and university researchers to drive collaborative engagement.

Prior to joining Eastman in 2013, Barclay performed life cycle assessment studies as a consultant and was a Science Policy Fellow in the American Chemical Society’s Office of Public Affairs.

Barclay earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Yale University.

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Keith Spencer, Industry Director


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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

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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

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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.