Five Benefits for Faculty who Partner with Businesses

Five Benefits for Faculty who Partner with Businesses

Apr 03, 2014
Partnerships

Companies often have a problem that can be uniquely solved by a university partnership.  They will invest in external research to achieve an innovative solution for a new product or process that has great commercialization or market potential.  But why would an academic want to be involved with addressing current business challenges?

Translating laboratory and academic research into independent business ventures may seem counter to the academic culture. It may be a controversial topic in theory, but in practice, there is a rise of technology clearly fueled by government.  A staggering amount of government money is made available for precisely this purpose, and programs addressing a wide variety of research initiatives are launched every year. 

The New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) is a great local example of technology-based collaboration among experts in academe, government, and industry.  New Hampshire companies define their technological problems and commit 50% funding of the project.  The state funds the other 50% and the money goes to the academic principal investigator to conduct the research: the faculty welcomes projects that fund their research. 

But what are the unique benefits to faculty from this partnership?

  1. You can enhance knowledge and perspective by learning first-hand about current issues, challenges, and trends facing businesses.  
  2. You can gain examples for teaching and make contacts for potential speakers for classes.
  3. You can introduce companies to your students as project participants, interns, and recruits.
  4. You may develop a long-term consulting relationship with that company.  
  5. You can gain or enhance your research exposure and leverage the initial funding to obtain additional private or government funding, particularly Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards.

Given these opportunities, the NHIRC is seeking NH faculty or graduate students who want to partner with small businesses. If interested, or for more information about the NHIRC or SBIR/STTR training in  NH, go to this website at http://www.nhirc.unh.edu/ or contact Gretchen Smith at 603-862-0123.

-Gretchen Smith, NHIRC Program Manager

Photo Credit: Finlay McWalter / Alexander Calder’s L’empennage (1953)

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