In addition, the mechanisms by which academia contributes have changed as traditional patterns of industry-university interaction such as contract research, cooperative re- search, and personnel exchanges have been augmented by new modes of inter- action. Industry provides more than financial support for academic research, and academic research contributes more than technological advances to industry, although some contributions are difficult to measure in dollars.
A comparison of patterns of interaction reveals a number of ways industry, academia, and govern- ment could realize even greater benefits through university-industry interaction.
The nature of university-industry interactions varies from industry to industry as well as among companies within a given industry and individual academic institutions. Each of the industries studied has a distinctive environment and poses differ- ent challenges for university researchers.
In building infrastructure for network systems, universities have historically been test beds for new concepts and capa- bilities. For the medical devices and equipment industry, fundamental In the aerospace industry, the mature, highly concentrated airframe, propulsion, and launch-vehicle sectors have a fairly narrow range of interactions with academic research, often using consulting agree- ments and contract research to develop better process methodologies and tools.
By contrast, the less mature unmanned aerial vehicles sector of the industry looks to academic research for technical support, as well as for new concepts and understanding.
As a result, although academic research has had a significant impact on both, neither industry has developed interfaces with academic research comparable to those of the medical devices and equipment industry or the network systems and commu- nications industry. The wide variety of university-industry research interactions in these five industries makes it difficult to make generalizations.
With the notable exception of multicompany research centers at universities, most financial support by industry is negotiated company by company. Companies have different needs and abilities to interact with academic researchers, and universities have differ- ent resources to devote to research of value to industry. Generalizations about what works best for all industries and universities should, therefore, be made very cautiously. The academic research enterprise is a major component of the national innovation system in the United States.
The core competencies of aca- demic research help sustain and leverage innovation to the benefit of industry. Box summarizes the innovation systems for the five industries, which are innovative to varying degrees and in different ways that tend to change over time. A large number of research structures and mechanisms, both internal and external to the university e.
A strong market and consumer demand for new technologies provides strong commercial incentives for introducing new technologies and, there- fore, strong incentives for funding research to create them. The research culture in the United States fosters innovation by supporting the movement of ideas and people among a broad range of diverse research. Even though research is often essential to innovation, there is rarely a linear progression from a research result to advanced development to product development to economic return.
Ideas and people tend to bounce around, and new ideas are sometimes stymied by political or business impediments and forced to find alternative routes to implementation. The sources of these contributions include engineering, the natural sciences, com- puter sciences, mathematics, social sciences, behavioral sciences, management studies, and policy sciences. Graduates Trained in Research Finding Integrated research and education helps maintain the flow of human resources from universities that contributes to an educated, trained industrial workforce.
University graduates and faculty are also involved in many technology-based, start-up companies. Individuals with research training are highly valued by industry, whether or not they are involved in research for the companies that hire them.
In addition to the specific body of knowledge acquired through academic research, industry values research experience because it re- quires abilities that are prized in any technical endeavor: Academic researchers also participate in new companies.
Many technology- based start-up companies emerge from academic research and continue to attract research graduates as they grow. Many high-technology clusters around the coun- try have developed around one or more research university. Contributions from basic, long-term academic research in a broad spectrum of disciplines have figured prominently in industry performance.
Portfolio theory, linear programming, derivative-pricing theory, and pros- pect theory, all of academic origin, have laid the foundation for whole new families of financial products and services. Academic contributions to linear and integer programming and queue theory are the building blocks of the information-management and decision-support technologies at the heart of the integrated-logistics revolution. Medical devices, such as magnetic resonance imaging machines and pacemakers, are based on the contributions of fundamen- tal research from multiple disciplines in the natural sciences and engineering.
In the network systems and communications industry, universities have made im- portant research contributions to the development of digital subscriber-line tech- nology, third-generation wireless communication, computer graphics, databases, search engines, generalized processor sharing, parallel processing, traffic man- agement, and stable broadcast networking. In aerospace, contributions of basic research include: Contributions from Applied Research Finding Academic researchers in applied research and the academic re- search infrastructure are directly involved in the development of industrial tools, prototypes, products, and production processes, as well as the delivery of prod- ucts and services.
Sometimes applied research is protracted and has cumulative, incremental results. An example might be continued improve- ments in computational fluid dynamics as a tool for modeling airflow. Another would be the long-term contributions of academic researchers to improved produc- tion processes and product performance in electronic storage devices.
Short-term research projects, stu- dent projects, and consulting projects to solve specific, important problems in industry are based on formal and informal relationships between companies and faculty.
Examples include assistance in produc- tion scheduling in logistics, simulations of airflow and nondestructive evaluation of materials in aerospace, and models for pricing derivatives and securities in.
Most universities consider this an important aspect of the service role of the university and encourage these interactions. Research centers, especially those with industrial participation, are another avenue by which universities perform both "directed" basic research and applied research that helps industry.
Sustained interactions between academic research and industry have been a source of "key ideas" that have generated significant technological opportunities through a fusion of knowledge of the possible and knowledge of what needs to be done. Specific contributions of academic research basic and applied represent key ideas derived from sustained interaction between academic research and industry.
Key ideas and the major technological opportunities or breakthroughs that result from key ideas are often the product of cumulative research inter- actions and advances involving the flow of ideas and people back and forth across the boundaries between universities and industry.
Examples of key ideas include: For a graphic illustration of the interaction between academic and industry research on key ideas leading to major technological advances in information technology see Figure Academic research in a given field or discipline may contribute directly or indirectly to more than one industry; and many innovations result from complementary advances in more than one field of research.
Many contributions of academic research to an industry are mediated through other disciplines or embedded in technologies, products, and services derived. Basic research in physics, biology, and chemistry has led to new knowledge and capabilities in microelectronics, genetic engineering, and other fields that have directly contributed to the creation of high-value, high- technology products and services.
Contributions from academic research to major cross-sector technologies, such as information technology, have directly benefited many industries. For example, information technology is critical to the technical and market performance of aircraft and has profoundly changed the structure and performance of the financial services, as well as the transportation, distribution, and logistics services industries.
Similarly, intelligent sensors, computer-aided diagnosis, and robotics are the basis for many new medical de- vices. Research in materials science and bioengineering has enabled advances in products and processes in many industries. The five industry studies have also underscored the multidisciplinary char- acter of many innovations in products and services.
For example, the develop- ment of new medical devices relies heavily on advances not only in the life sciences, but also in the physical sciences and engineering.
Contributions from the Social Sciences Finding Many valuable contributions to industry have resulted from aca- demic research in the social, behavioral, management, and policy sciences. Network Systems and Communications Industry Academic business schools have long been concerned with making the ben- efits of information technology available to businesses.
Through research, a num- ber of approaches and techniques have been developed, including decision- support systems, the implementation of information technology for strategic ad- vantage, computer-supported cooperation, productivity research, and software development methodologies. Deregulation, partly a response to academic re- search in economics, has affected all five of the industries in this study to varying degrees. Economics research on network externalities and Internet economics has helped to define business strategies for electronic businesses and Internet service providers.
Organizational aspects of communications service companies are the focus of attention in new information-management schools and programs. Re- search by psychologists and social scientists has explored how people use com- puter and communication systems and the effects of these systems on people and organizations. An excellent example is a classic study by Card et al. In addition, clinical research studies that help determine the acceptance or rejection of new medical devices require a broad-based approach that incorporates a variety of disciplines.
Aerospace Industry In a broad sense, academic research on production and management systems, typically performed by business faculty, has had an enormous impact on all manufacturing industries.
Concepts that have contributed to recent increases in productivity in manufacturing, such as total quality management, workforce em- powerment, supply-chain integration, and just-in-time production, were identi- fied and disseminated by academic researchers. Great new content is added all the time.
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