The close of the Spring Semester is a time when we celebrate, reflect on the past academic year, and plot a course for the future. In this spirit, here are a few thoughts and observations on where we’ve been and where CURF is headed in Clemson’s innovation and research enterprise efforts.
- We’re getting back to “normal.” CURF has participated in multiple trade shows and conferences since October of 2021. We experienced incredibly high energy in engagement and inquiries from partners and stakeholders on both the public and private sides. If the pandemic has given us one thing in value, it has been to expand our awareness and perspective on addressing challenges. As a result, this presents excellent opportunities for new innovations and ideas.
- Everyone wants to partner…but wants to learn more about how. During the course of exhibiting, people and their organizations see the various areas of Clemson’s research enterprise and respond enthusiastically. “WOW! Clemson is working on some impressive things,” they will say, followed quickly by “how can we collaborate?” This is important because while a person may be familiar with Clemson, their organization may not be. “Making the circle bigger” or determining who from Clemson and the prospective partner becomes increasingly essential to decide on the possible paths forward and the next steps on not just what to do but how to do it. Furthermore, does the project align with the researcher’s current goals and objectives? This is important to you, and it is important to us at CURF.
- Timing is everything. When identifying and attracting resources, remember that the allocation of these resources is based on market need(s) or external forces that external circumstances can drive. By way of example, a company’s needs may have shifted multiple times since the last contact with them. Additionally, SBIR/STTR program managers have encouraged organizations to re-submit the same idea from one year to the next because the drivers that allocate the funding this year are likely not the same the following year. The old adage of being in it for the “long haul” certainly applies to opportunities – persistence will win over time.
Additionally, I am grateful and privileged to be assigned the role of primary representative for Clemson University to the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) of which Clemson has been a member for several years. I take over for JoAnna Floyd, Director of the Office of Industry Contracts, who has done a magnificent and thankless job of being the “face of Clemson” with UIDP. Please join me in extending a “thank you” to JoAnna for her many years of being Clemson’s ambassador in this space. I know I have very, very big shoes to fill.
The UIDP mission is “tackle strategic and tactical challenges impacting the environment for research collaboration” between industry and universities. It is important to note that it is an organizational membership that is a valuable resource for all Clemson personnel that is funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research. Registering as a user to UIDP is free for current Clemson personnel. Please reach out to me with any questions about their resources or recommended programming!
Stay healthy, and have a great summer!