While the classic approach to funding research at universities relies on public funding (sometimes augmented by philanthropic sources), there is an increasing amount of research being funded by industry, including by multinational corporations. Funding of this nature has unique advantages and challenges, and its optimized utilization can increase modern research universities’ impact on society.
At the same time, joint academy-industry research presents unique challenges related to intellectual property (IP) rights, reporting and publishing, and the involvement of students. It is often difficult to maintain the balance between research, development, and engineering. However, academy-industry research, as is often found at research universities, adds value to industry and proves that the effort to promote this form of collaboration is worthwhile.
Recent years have seen increased efforts by research universities to form companies based on IP developed during the course of research. Forming new “startup companies” has unique advantages compared to licensing IP to existing industry and has been demonstrated to significantly increase employment opportunities.
The Technion will hold an international conference to define these challenges, to review solutions currently in use, and to learn about new avenues for enabling collaboration between academia and industry.