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Connect, Collaborate, Create: Partnership across Academia and Industry with UIDP


Connect, Collaborate, Create: Partnership across Academia and Industry with UIDP

by Kathy Lynch and Jilda Garton

Academic-industry relations are essential to innovation. Working together, universities and companies have brought solutions to the world that solve our most pressing technological, economic, biological, and social problems. Effective collaborations drive discovery, catalyze new markets and new products, and create new academic fields and industry sectors.

When universities and industry leaders enjoy a symbiotic relationship, society benefits from the resulting innovations that drive progress and provide a trained workforce. These collaborations answer today’s most pressing challenges and create technologies to improve lives.

However, the cultures, reward systems, and metrics of industry and academia often do not align, and this can impede effective collaborations. Negotiations can be large, complex, and difficult to organize. They require two very different types of partners to work together: universities move at a measured pace, while industry must keep up with quarterly demands and a rapidly evolving economy. Developing and sustaining mutually effective partnerships requires coordinated relationship management, business development, and contracting to succeed. Strategic academic-corporate relations with an integrated internal and external approach can be an invaluable asset in these efforts.

Yale University, along with more than 100 other top-tier research universities and companies, collaborates within UIDP (formerly known as University-In- dustry Demonstration Partnership) to build relationships, share strategies, and solve problems to advance effective academic-industry relations. UIDP brings together professionals in a broad variety of roles, both in industry and in academia, who are essential to this work. UIDP programming is appropriate for academic staff in research administration, advancement, and business development, and on the corporate side, research and develop- ment, R&D, scouting, contracting, and corporate citizenship. This ability to bring together so many roles and functions and guide them into collaboration is UIDP’s secret sauce and an invaluable contribution to the field.


Kathy Lynch, MBA, joined Yale in 2019 as University Director, Corporate Strategy & Engagement. She has more than 20 years of experience in academia, building and sustaining effective multi-sector partnerships with lasting impacts on policy, curriculum, and research. She currently serves as the University Director on the UIDP Board and can be reached at