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Industrial Liaison Program

Boston University has formed the Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology to advance academic and technological research and development by extending discoveries in nanoscale materials and platforms toward applications that examine and seek to understand and manipulate biological systems. The Center serves as a hub for nanoscience researchers from the Charles River and Medical Campuses and builds interdisciplinary research and training. The Center connects scientists and engineers from disparate disciplines with each other in seminars, meetings, joint visitor programs, interdisciplinary courses, industrial collaborations, and seeded projects.

CNN has three core functions: First, to develop interdisciplinary research and education in nanoscience and nanobiotechnology; second, to develop and run an industrial liaison program that partners researchers with external companies for mutual benefit; and third, to connect researchers to resources for technological commercialization.

Industrial Liaison Program: A Refreshing Philosophy
Unlike traditional industrial programs that focus on membership fees for access to information, our strategy is to establish resources available through the Center built directly around research and technological development. Our ILP allows members to engage in research activity through collaboration, supporting projects of mutual interest to the faculty and external partner alike. Additional resources may include: early presentation of research results; consultation with faculty experts; dedicated symposia around member topics of interest; access to facilities; member-employed visiting scientists, etc. By engaging partners in core CNN research areas and activities the Industrial Liaison Program will build value for both parties.

The goal of the CNN Industrial Liaison Program is to build strong bridges between industry interested and active in nanoscience and nanobiotechnology and research and development at Boston University. The strategy of the CNN Industrial Liaison Program is to establish an annual membership fee in exchange for member access to the resources available through the Center. The resources may include: early presentation of research results; consultation with faculty experts; dedicated symposia around member topics of interest; member directed, focused research projects; access to certain facilities; member-employed visiting scientists, etc.

The four membership levels are: Founding, Strategic, Tactical, and Informational. There will be a range of membership fees that correspond with the membership level and the corresponding "access" that will be available to those members.  See the table below for details.

Industrial members of typical academic ILP programs have a common grievance in that they feel that their membership fees do not result in concrete results.  There exists tension between academic goals of fulfilling fundamental research objectives and industrial focus on product development, quarterly objectives and near term results. To address this observation CNN aims to create a membership program that allows members to engage in the research activity through collaboration resulting in a win-win solution for both parties.  Also, members will be allowed to account for up to 1/3 of their membership fee through in-kind support. We anticipate in-kind support to include industrial facilities access, sample and prototype preparation, visiting researchers, and internships. This approach will encourage and reward partners who are active and collaborative in their relationship with CNN to the benefit of both parties.

Founding Member: A founding member must have extensive overlap with CNN activities such that CNN’s research agenda is tightly aligned with the future direction of the founding member’s business objectives.

Strategic Member: A strategic member should have a specific mid-term objective that can be achieved through collaboration with CNN.

Tactical: A tactical member should have a strong interest in CNN research objectives with a goal of teaming with CNN to pursue federal funds.

Informational: An informational member should have an interest in CNN activity with the hope of future partnering opportunities but perhaps no specific near term objectives.  Service providers such as law firms, venture capitalist may also have an interest in becoming informational members.

CNN anticipates a total annual enrollment of 6-10 members in 3 years time.

Prof. Bennett B Goldberg
Director, Center for Nanoscience and
Nanobiotechnology
617-353-5789
goldberg@bu.edu

Mr. Michael Pratt
Industrial Program Manager
617-353-3569
mpratt@bu.edu


Level

Benefit

Annual Fee

Founding
Member

(only 2 slots available)

  • Board Position (assist in direction of CNN activities)
  • Dedicated annual technical symposia in Founder's field of interest (includes invited speakers)
  • Member directed, focused research projects (can include cross-disciplinary work such as a combination of business students and scientific field for market research and technical progress in parallel)
  • Joint funding proposals (ATP, NSEC, STTR etc)
  • Access to CNN Facilities
  • Option to license intellectual property generated by core Center activities.
  • Visiting Scientist (up to 6 months per year)
  • Faculty Consulting Services
  • First look at research results
  • Attend briefings
  • Copies of tech reports (pre-publication)

$250,000

Strategic
Member

  • Member directed, focused research project
  • Joint funding proposals (SBIR, STTR, etc)
  • Access to facilities
  • Option to license intellectual property generated by core Center activities
  • Visiting Scientist (up to 3 months per year)
  • Faculty Consulting Services
  • First look at research results
  • Attend briefings
  • Copies of tech reports (pre-publication)

$75,000

Tactical
Member

  • Joint funding proposals (SBIR, STTR, etc)
  • Access to Facilities
  • Faculty Consulting Services
  • First look at research results
  • Attend briefings
  • Copies of tech reports (pre-publication)

$25,000

Informational
Member

  • Attend briefings
  • Copies of tech reports (pre-publication)

$5,000

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