Boccanfuso explains that universities need to invest in faculty members who want to work with industry. The desire must be in the self-interest of the professor or instructor, he says, in order for collaborations to be successful. He also adds that many companies don’t know how to access higher education for collaborative solutions, that is why the concept of online portals are important. He warns that as businesses sell more and more overseas, the R&D will move overseas as well, and this is dangerous.
“The competition among universities is growing - schools in the United States have upped their game and now, many companies are looking globally for academic research partners as well as talent to fill their workforce pipeline.”
“If I have any advice for you - do an honest assessment of what you seek to achieve through greater collaboration between the academic and corporate sectors and ask your companies what they need from the state's institutions of higher education - my guess is that you will learn a great deal just by asking and listening to what companies need and seek to get from partners.”
Additionally, the federal government is investing more and more dollars in universities that are engaged with businesses. “The federal government wants to see the relevance of R&D for its large grants … it wants to see industry engagement,” he says. Meanwhile, he says that states are the incubators. They can be more nimble and can remove regulatory barriers to spur innovation.