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UIDP Academy

Consortia Workshop

UIDP Academy events bring together expert practitioners to discuss effective strategies and common sticking points within a mutually beneficial and respectful forum. The Consortia Workshop will highlight the differences and issue presented by types of participants, whether government, industry, foundation or third party structure. The workshop session will be led by experienced representatives from a strategically assembled set of organizations representing different models and different sectors. While no two consortia are exactly alike, attendees will hear perspectives and examples from the session facilitators on common models and issues critical to managing consortia including:

  • Aligning expectations, cultures, and the mission of the participants
  • Governance for managing transparent multi party decision processes and accountability
  • Addressing key policy matters including confidentiality, intellectual property, and data sharing among participants.
  • Understanding the financial structure
  • Measuring value and impact


Consortia Workshop and Agenda Presenters

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Rationale & Planning for the Consortia and Recruiting

The landscape of industry interactions for innovative external research is shifting. Companies are under pressure to create new products, solutions, and services and while the overall R&D budgets are increasing the proportion for academic partnership is shrinking (IRI study September 2016). Strategic activities with consortia provide a venue for leveraging multiple sources of funding (other people’s money) as well as the strengths of many organizations to solve large complex issues in specific research thrusts. However, the consortia activities must strategically fit with a company’s mission to warrant the risk reward analysis. This session will talk about the rational and internal analysis that goes on before a company commits to a consortia as well how to consortia can effectively position their objectives to attract the right industry partners.

Aligning Vision, Mission, and Resources of Participants

Once the partners have identified that the consortia is a good fit with their overall strategy, then comes the work of aligning multiple needs into a single vision. Not only can the cultures and expectations of the participants can be very different on what the target mission should be but the resources and expectations of participation they bring to the consortia can vary. For example is the industry partner a participant or an observer. This session describes the time and processes it takes to review and align on consortia mission and project objectives in IACMI and I/URCR models.

Establishing Governance: Leadership Roles, Structure and Decision Making Process

Even when the mission and vision of the partners is aligned the consortia can still fail without a clear and transparent governance structure. The consortia governance outlines the decision making roles and methods guide the consortium’s scientific and operational strategy. For example, this includes the processes and protocols for project management such as the project cultivation, selection, execution and termination. The governance structure and leadership team establishes trust between participants as to how the consortia will be managed. It operationalizes the achievement of promised value. This session gives examples of consortia governance structures that support successful partnerships and insights into how a company looks to the governance structure to tactically assess the risk and rewards tradeoffs for participation.

Managing Financial Resources

Consortium derive their funding from an often tiered membership fee structure for industry, state and federal agencies, universities and in kind contributions. The proposition value is company dependent and must be identified prior to engagement. The cost sharing dictated by the funding agency can be challenging and matching funding cycle and project cycle is critical. The effort involved to manage participants cannot be underestimated for small companies and faculty the funds can be often disproportionate to the size of the company. This session discusses the distribution of different funding sources and the challenges in managing those sources and participants.

Maximizing Operational Effectiveness

The management structure of a consortia involves many stakeholders from the Technical Directors/Faculty/ Principal Investigators/ student to the Director for General Operations, Membership Sales, SOW Development, Membership Communications, and Project Management. Clearly defined processes and procedures are recommended such as establishing memorandum of understanding (MOU) or Cooperative Agreements/ Membership Agreement that outline the charter, bylaws that describe BOD, Federal Advisors, C-level structure, Technical Advisory Board (TAB) composition, and staffing which evolves over time from a start-up to a fully functioning operation. This session describes some operational structure as well as addresses the significant time, outreach, marketing efforts needed to keep the consortia running.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Managing Intellectual Property/Licensing

Intellectual property ownership can be one of the most contentious issues in multi-party collaborations. Research may lead to discovery of new intellectual property (foreground intellectual property or FIP) that, in order to be practiced, may require access to background intellectual property (BIP) that is owned or controlled by the University, the Sponsor, or by a third party that was developed prior to, or outside of, the consortia. Developing a framework in an MOU outlining the goals and intent of the consortia – including intended IP framework which assures Industry that they won’t be blocked from commercializing their own proprietary material will be an asset to recruiting corporate partners. This session discusses how different consortia manage the process of establishing and IP management protocol in the membership agreement, and who is involved from the stakeholders in the process.

Managing Confidentiality, Data Sharing, Publications

With multiparty consortia collaborations the ability to share data efficiently becomes complicated by different timeline expectations of the participants, interoperability issues, and different expectations /requirements for confidentiality especially for highly sensitive healthcare data. However, special treatment and overprotection tends to be counterproductive and erode the element of trust needed for good communication between participants, as well as add burden to the administration of the consortia. This session discusses the time it takes to establish a system data management, storage and access protocols while enabling report sharing and public disclosure of progress results.

Managing Accountability, Outcomes and Evaluation

A means to communicate the progress of a project to the stakeholders is essential to the sustainability of consortia operation. This can involve multiple mechanisms from multi advisory boards, to internal and external evaluators and starts with clearly outlines expectations for all the parties involved about the outcomes. This session describes different approaches to finding the white space for collaborations, managing a process to start and stop projects, and different evaluations used by different stakeholders to gauge the return on investment form the collaboration.