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Name-dropping, with a purpose

large group of people at NC State

By Anthony Boccanfuso

UIDP started a new fiscal year July 1 by welcoming two non-U.S.-based university members. Karolinska Institutet is not only ranked among the top global institutes for medical education and research, it is also the home base for the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. It is well known for its industry partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and is an active collaborator in multi-party, multi-national research efforts. The University of Cambridge has a long history (established in 1231) as a leader in academic excellence and scientific output; it counts among its graduates 120 Nobel Prize winners, 11 Fields medalists and 7 Turing Award winners. It cultivates a multi-disciplinary team approach to advance the impact of research on society, with established industry research partnerships across a range of sectors.

It’s worth noting that these institutions join six other UIDP members from across the globe—Australia National University, University of Tokyo,  McGill University, University of Tokyo, University of Toronto, and University of Waterloo—and many highly-regarded U.S. peers in UIDP membership. The UIDP community includes 75 of the top 100 U.S. research universities (according to the National Science Foundation by research expenditures) and 20 of the top 25 academic universities internationally.

Last fiscal year, we welcomed 10 world-class universities to our membership: Australian National University, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, Cleveland State University, Drexel University, Duke University, McGill University, Stanford University, the University of Utah, and UT Southwestern Medical Center to our academic member ranks. And, although our fiscal year only began July 1, five university members have already joined: Yale, University of California Berkeley, University of Alabama Huntsville, and, of course, our newest two.

Academia, however, is just one side of the UIDP community. During FY2020 and on the leadup to the current fiscal year, we added 14 distinguished industry members as well: Autodesk, Danaher Corporation, Deerfield Management, FM Global, General Motors, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, L3Harris Technologies, Mars, Microsoft, Merck Corporation, Novartis, Schlumberger, and Zoetis.

A glance at our prestigious membership list will make an immediate impression on anyone in the research community. But the value of membership in UIDP begins and ends with engagement—the deeper, the better. As a community, UIDP is a brain trust for developing and disseminating best practices in university-industry partnership, but we only succeed when our member representatives contribute to that trust.

These are difficult times, but we’re growing because that value proposition—sharing, collaborating, and solving partnership challenges—remains strong. I’m encouraged to have seen member representatives from many of these newly-joined companies participating on our COVID-19 calls, speaking at events, and interacting in our project workgroups. And you’ll hear from more at our upcoming UIDPConnect 2020 conference in September.

This new fiscal year is born in the midst of a world pandemic and its related medical, social, and economic, challenges. Now more than ever, productive research partnerships are crossing sectors and international boundaries to solve our biggest problems. Karolinksa Institutet and the University of Cambridge joined us because other UIDP members found value and thought they would, too. As a community, UIDP believes that academic-corporate partnerships are the engine for rapid innovation, fostering economic growth and the new products and services that improve the human condition. How can UIDP help you and your research collaborators accelerate innovation and strengthen partnerships?