Wednesday, June 23, 2010

University Collaborators in Third Frontier Projects Find Many Opportunities to Work Together

University Collaborators in Third Frontier Projects Find Many Opportunities to Work Together

The Ohio State University (OSU) and the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) have proven to be excellent performers over the last 5 to 6 years in several Ohio Third Frontier grants, including:
Collectively, just these four Third Frontier investments have created over 450 new jobs with average salaries above $57,000, plus over $220 million in new product sales. Further, these four collaborations have attracted over $200 M in Federal and industry funds to the state and attracted or started 10 new companies. In addition, through collaboration with IDCAST, one Dayton company has grown its federal government portion of sensor revenue from $3 M a year to over $50 M a year in four years. Such success has generated so much media excitement that now the WCIs (CMPND and IDCAST) and the Third Frontier Research Commercialization Program (RCP) are considered models for University-Industry-Federal Lab collaborations. For Ohio, such statistics reflect major accomplishments for the universities and for the State!
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin visited OSU and expressed interest in having more in-depth, technical discussions on five or six topics, including high-performance and more abrasive-resistant coatings. Through fast action by Dr. Sharell Mikesell (OSU – Industry Liaison Office) and by Dr. Alex Morgan at UDRI, the required confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) was put place in less than 48 hours. This allowed for a full, in-depth discussion among OSU and URDI participants with the Parker Hannifin researchers.
The OSU-URDI-Parker Hannifin meeting had several success points:
  1. This joint approach was a major time saver because it brought together research experts from multiple universities in one place; the collaboration created one-stop shopping coordinated in the universities.
  2. During the meeting, new synergies were discovered between the two universities that otherwise might never have been found and thus, might never have been made available to the State.
  3. The ability to build on each other’s strengths and thereby formulate more robust projects has helped make Ohio companies even stronger as global competitors.
Parker Hannifin's view of the meeting is summarized by Dawn Zhu, Sr. Project Engineer: ”What impressed us the most are the large network and joint effort OSU is able to provide. We were directed quickly to the right resources based on our particular interest, not only among OSU itself, but also among several major collaborating universities and institutes throughout Ohio. OSU functioned as a central hub of a comprehensive information network. To us, this is a huge time-saver.”


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