Clemson University Research Foundation makes strategic shift

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November 19, 2018

Established in 1981, the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) is a 501(c)(3) organization exclusively founded for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. Since its founding, CURF’s main objective has been to encourage, promote, and support research, development, and related activities of Clemson University.  During its 37 years of operation, CURF has supported diverse research initiatives and facilitated technology transfer at Clemson University. In assisting Clemson faculty with moving their technologies out of the laboratory and into the commercial markets, CURF has served as a key connection between University faculty and industry.


Recently, CURF was challenged with an opportunity to strengthen their support of the CU Research Enterprise through a broader service offering and to reshape their brand in a way that will maximize their ability to operate at the convergence of multiple disciplines.  To meet such a challenge, CURF has partnered with The Brand Leader, a full-service branding firm, to clarify the CURF mission, values, and services to their primary stakeholders, increase visibility of their expanded support role, and promote opportunities for future collaborative research engagements between CU faculty and industry.


The power of the CURF brand lies in CURF’s ability to initiate and build research partnerships between Clemson faculty inventors and industry by leveraging its established core competencies in technology transfer, Intellectual Property, and business development. The basis of CURF’s success is relational and not transactional. In the past, the CURF brand has been primarily focused in marketing the technologies produced and disclosed by faculty researchers at Clemson. As CURF takes the steps to realign their brand with the ClemsonForward 2020 plan, the main focus of their brand will be geared towards providing faculty with the resources they need to promote not only their disclosed technologies, but also their research expertise and interests to a broader audience with the intent of contributing to an overall increase in high-impact research activities throughout the entire Research Enterprise.


After being in business for nearly four decades, CURF recognizes that the needs and interests of their diverse internal and external customers has evolved. It is CURF’s goal  to keep pace with the evolution of their customer base and their needs. Revising the CURF brand voice and strategically positioning their message with the ClemsonForward 2020 plan, will allow CURF to promote and guide their stakeholders to successful outcomes, not only in technology transfer, but in sponsored research engagements throughout the Institute.


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