Last week, NC State hosted the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) Conference alongside presenting partners Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International.
The event united leaders in academia, industry and government to discuss how they can improve collaboration — and continue fostering innovation on a global scale.
In his opening remarks, Chancellor Randy Woodson noted the growing importance of industry-university partnerships for NC State.
“We believe that our ability to be world-class as an institution means that we have to have world-class business partners,” he said.
“Our relationships couldn’t be more important to the economic vitality of our region — individually and collectively — but also to our country and our world.”
The three-day conference, hosted at the StateView Hotel and Conference Center on Centennial Campus, included workshops, breakout sessions and panel discussions focusing on best practices for university and industry partners.
Centennial Campus is home to 75 corporate, government and nonprofit partners working alongside many academic departments and units. Conference attendees toured the campus and other collaboration spaces like Hunt Library, Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory, Wilson College of Textiles and Nonwovens Institute.
Anthony Annunziata, leader of the IBM Q Network, gave a keynote presentation exploring the future of quantum computing — and our university’s role in moving it forward.
NC State became the first university in North America to establish an IBM Q Hub last year. Building on a 30-year partnership, we’re joining a global network of Fortune 500 companies, national research labs and leading universities working together to advance the rapidly emerging field for business and science.
“IBM and NC State have a very long history. The strength of industry collaboration here is one of the many reasons why we decided that this was the place to be,” said Annunziata.
A Leader in Partnerships
NC State ranks fourth nationally for share of industry-sponsored research. UIDP28 served as an opportunity to share successes and learnings gleaned from decades of collaboration with leading companies.
See some of our partnership highlights:
BASF, a founding member of NC State’s plant soil consortium, participates on our Agricultural and Life Sciences Research Foundation Board, and has been highly engaged on our Plant Sciences Initiative. The company has also supported numerous faculty research projects and student research competitions. In recent years, engagement with BASF has expanded to include research collaborations in the area of animal health.
Eastman Chemical Company has invested more than $16 million in its strategic partnership with NC State. Over the last six years, the partnership has resulted in 100 funded research projects, 50 students hired and 30 invention disclosures. Eastman recently renewed the partnership for another six years.
IBM has worked with NC State for more than three decades, yielding breakthroughs in cloud computing, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, renewable energy, advanced networking and healthcare IT. Since 1984, IBM support to NC State has totaled more than $30 million, including sponsored research, student and faculty fellowships, equipment donations and more. In 2016, IBM opened its IBM Education Innovation Center on Centennial Campus, a collaboration space for NC State students and faculty and IBM employees to solve complex challenges. In 2018, IBM announced NC State as the first university-based IBM Quantum Computing Hub in North America.
LexisNexis moved to Centennial Campus in 2013 with 150 employees and quickly grew to 700 today. The company’s growth has been largely fueled by the availability of talent, hiring from programs like its annual hackathon, where more than 100 NC State students compete to solve advanced technology challenges.
“NC State is proud to have been chosen to host this conference, bringing together 350 university and industry leaders from across the country,” says Leah Burton, director of the NC State Centennial Campus Partnership Office and Industry Alliances and co-chair of the UIDP Conference.
“It gave us the opportunity to highlight NC State’s unique strengths while learning from each other about best practices in university-industry partnerships.”
“NC State research is at the core of effective university-industry partnerships,” added Genevieve Garland, NC State’s assistant vice chancellor of research operations and communications and co-chair of the UIDP Conference. “This conference allowed us to explore new ways to bring our research from the lab into the world.”