Academic-Industry collaborations are a two-way channel. For some faculty, being an entrepreneur by spinning out a startup company, commercially vetting the technology, and getting a taste of the business aspects can be exciting. For other faculty, being an entrepreneur requires too much bandwidth but they are happy to advise on a scientific and small project basis to help the company succeed and get some experience for their students. Still, others might be interested in working with companies to match up academic research projects with technology and product roadmaps to build a synergistic partnership. With the PME as a relative newcomer to the corporate engineering space, getting the attention of corporate technology scouts is a critical step to building these partnerships.
Corporate technology scouts often consider IP portfoliios, publication trends, and a critical mass of expertise, and use these metrics find alignment with their product and technology roadmaps. Healthy alignment advances the probability of engaging with core faculty to better understand the technology and see if a partnership can be formed. Directionality reports are meant to complement these metrics and extrapolate future products and services to form a more detailed picture of what a partnership might look like. The director corporate engagement can work with the faculty to develop these reports.
Connections with industry
- Provides an alternate source of research funding – albeit more applied and with additional business constraints
- Helps with the potential commercialization aspect with some federal grants
- Forms pipelines for students looking for career positions
- Provides insight into technology road-mapping trends
- Helps the university increase its visibility cross-section from the perspective of corporate technology scouts
- Increases the robustness of the partnership with the company with additional contact points