Frequently Asked Questions

How can a research collaboration with Penn State help my business?

From our open intellectual property practices to our robust history of working with companies, Penn State is ideally suited to assist with your research and development needs.  Instead of spending capital on new equipment, consider accessing our state of the art facilities available to you through research collaborations with our researchers or in any one of a number of user facilities on campus.

The Office of Industrial Partnerships is your connection to Penn State expertise. Contact OIP to initiate a discussion regarding your specific needs and interests.

What sets Penn State apart from other research institutions?

The free services of the Office of Industrial Partnerships help guide you through the entire process. From identification of the best researcher(s) for your needs, through the streamlining of the contracting process, we speed up the timeline of working with the university.

A additional benefit of working with a large university like Penn State is that we have many areas of world class research. Our core research areas include:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • advanced materials
  • agricultural sciences
  • alternative and renewable energy
  • defense related research
  • environmental science and technology
  • information science and technology
  • life sciences

 

Responding to the complex demands of today's new products and services that are under development, teams of cross-disciplinary researchers often form to tackle complex challenges. These types of efforts are supported by specific institutes bridging the academic colleges. For more information regarding some of our key interdisciplinary initiatives, go to:

 

How do I begin a research collaboration with Penn State?

The Office of Industrial Partnerships is equipped to guide you through establishing and nurturing a sound relationship with Penn State researchers. We can identify appropriate researchers based on your specific needs, arrange introductory meetings or conference calls, and interface with other administrative offices. When appropriate, a Non-Disclosure Agreement can be employed to handle the disclosure and receipt of confidential/proprietary information between Company representatives and University researchers. We can also help you select, very early in the process, the appropriate contract mechanism to achieve your goals within the necessary time-frame.

What happens to intellectual property resulting from a research collaboration?

Unless directed by our investigators, Penn State will not seek to own intellectual property on inventions resulting from corporate sponsored research.  All projects will be assessed to determine if background intellectual property is required to practice any potential foreground intellectual property.  In the event Penn State background intellectual property is required to practice foreground intellectual property, we will negotiate an option or license to the extent such rights are available. 

Are sample research agreements available for company review?

A partial list of agreement templates is available for review. Each agreement is specific for the work effort being performed and deliverables being requested, whether it is a single project or long-term alliance in which multiple project orders can be issued under an umbrella master-type arrangement. In addition, a Non-Disclosure Agreement template is also available for review to handle the protection of confidential information.

What if certain parts of the standard agreements are unacceptable to our company?

Most of the standard agreements can be tailored to fit specific needs. Our templates should be viewed as a starting point for negotiations. We strive to achieve mutually beneficial arrangements in a timely manner.

Will Penn State help us identify collaborators for government funded opportunities?

Yes. The Penn State Office of Industrial Partnerships frequently assists companies looking to partner with the University to jointly develop proposals to target government funding opportunities. We will help you identify potential research expertise, and arrange discussions with appropriate researchers.