Universities can provide access to cutting-edge labs and facilities, opportunities to pursue federal research funding, students for the talent pipeline, and access interdisciplinary solutions to problems facing industry. In turn, industry offers opportunities for additional applied research, unique research assets, and co-investment in long-term research in strategic priority areas among other benefits.
Although interviewees had a mixed view of the usefulness of university-industry research consortia, other mechanisms such as university centers and institutes that provide a focal point for communicating technology strengths to industry and offer strategic areas of focus for specialized research, investment, and support were identified as effective mechanisms for securing, establishing and expanding research collaborations.
Policy levers that could help advance the agenda outlined in the report include enhanced funding for translational research and for programs that explicitly support industry-university collaborative research; expanded partnerships between federal funding agencies and industry to co-fund university research in strategic areas; and, incentivized regional collaborations among universities, industry and state and local economic development organizations.
The full APLU report is available here.