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April 8, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
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Webinar: How Companies Approach Academic Research Engagement in these Disruptive Times

April 8, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Join us to learn how our industry members, in diverse sectors, are evaluating and reframing their current approaches to academic collaborations.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on our lives and on our economy. Universities and colleges are virtual, companies are curbing operations. Supply chains are pivoting to support food, medical, and household goods distribution, and social distancing has become normalized. At the same time, the research community has shifted into high gear to develop solutions to this major challenge. Learn how our industry members, in diverse sectors, are evaluating and reframing their current approaches to academic collaborations.


Free for members, registration required

Who Should Attend

  • Leaders in academic and corporate organizations, as well as other interested parties who are dedicated to forming partnerships to lead their groups to advance research in the current environment.

Webinar Overview

The webinar will focus primarily on:

  • evaluating (or reevaluating) the value of U-I partnerships and collaborations;
  • industry perspectives and opportunities with academic research; and
  • industry strategies to partner with academics to create innovation.

We’ll also explore:

  • How companies can honor current commitments to research projects, and whether there will be receptivity to flexibility in revising project timelines;
  • How new academic collaborations can move forward, and if so, whether they will be business-as-usual or will refocus on COVID-19-related research and topics;
  • How constrained budgets will present new opportunities for multi-company projects, i.e. Pepsi and Microsoft teaming to provide supply chain solutions;


  • This highly participatory webinar includes lively discussion and Q&A with leaders from Northwestern University, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Microsoft, and PepsiCo. Attendee participation is encouraged.


Jim Bray is the Director of the Office of Corporate Engagement at Northwestern University, where he provides industry leaders access to the university’s talent, research, and resources. In coordination with partners across multiple campuses, the Corporate Engagement team strives to ensure a company’s involvement with Northwestern is strategic, streamlined, and supportive of company and university goals. Prior to Corporate Engagement, Mr. Bray held roles at Northwestern focused on commercialization and entrepreneurship. In 2011, while working with other partners at Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago, he was a founder of Chicago Innovation Mentors, a successful program that matches entrepreneurial faculty with teams of seasoned executives and experts to guide the development of new ventures. He holds an MS in Biotechnology and a BA in Biology from Northwestern University.


Gaylene Anderson, US Director, Contracts and Alliance Management at Boehringer Ingelheim. Gaylene is responsible for negotiating sponsored research and license agreements, and partnering with academic institutions to manage strategic alliance programs. Prior to joining BI, Gaylene served as the Director, Cleveland Clinic/ University of Notre Dame Global Alliance Commercialization Program – managing all life science IP, negotiating sponsored research opportunities, and spinning out new startup companies. Prior to the Cleveland Clinic, she worked for the University of Idaho and the University of Hawaii as a Senior Licensing Associate.

Kent Foster is Microsoft’s University Relations Lead on a team focused on specific R1 universities in North America. The five-person university relations team targets longer term institutional opportunities, while creating closer alignments with campus recruiting, research investments, and partnership with various product and engineering teams in Redmond. Prior to returning to Microsoft in 2016, Kent spent a “sabbatical” at Facebook at the Menlo Park headquarters on an academics team working on external academic collaborations with research scientists /engineers in Infra Engineering, Oculus Research and Connectivity Lab. Kent’s tenure at Microsoft included computer science faculty audience marketing roles and directing the Studios University program in the Entertainment / Xbox business.

Kent’s professional experience includes roles at the University of Michigan in program management at the William Davidson Institute and alumni relations at the School of Information. Kent’s early career includes sales roles at Digital Equipment Corporation and NeXT Computer. Kent has an BA in Far Eastern Languages and Literature (China) and an MPP from Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.

Dr. Austin Kozman is an R&D Director at PepsiCo working in the PepsiCo Technology Ventures team. The PepsiCo Technology Venture (PTV) team is charged with identifying, researching, and developing emerging novel technologies for our food and beverage business. The ultimate goal of PTV is to locate “development ready” technologies and business propositions that are robust enough to perform successfully at a pilot scale where internal R&D teams can further explore potential applications that can impact our portfolio of beverages (Pepsi, Tropicana, Gatorade, etc.) and/or foods (Lays, Doritos, Quaker, etc.); therefore enabling complete adoption and integration into PepsiCo. PTV is most interested in the areas of agro/crop science, ingredients, processing, packaging, products, and novel business models that influence our core business; but also explore any area that impacts our business: e.g. sensors, analytical equipment, point of sale equipment, distribution/fleet, etc. Austin has worked as a thermal engineer for over 25 years.

Austin received his B.S.M.E. from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters of Engineering and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Austin has three issued US patents and six currently pending (3 issued UK patents). In 1999 Austin was selected as the Young Engineer of the Year by the North Texas Electronic Packaging Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 2010, Austin was elevated to Fellow Status in ASME. Austin is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

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