About Us

A unique forum for representatives from Universities and Industry to find better ways to partner

The UIDP tackles strategic and tactical challenges impacting the environment for research collaboration. We are a project-oriented organization where our members identify issues impacting university-industry (U-I) relations and opportunities to develop new approaches to working together.

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Members of the UIDP work together to:

  • Maximize the potential of existing collaborations and partnerships along the entire Partnership Continuum.
  • Build new networks and opportunities for future collaboration.
  • Remove barriers to joint research project success.

Some of the finest innovation companies and best research universities in the world belong to UIDP, representing a broad cross-section of industry sectors, organizations and academic institutions. Working together, we find practical solutions to shared challenges impeding collaboration success, irrespective of who we are or where we work.

Identifying new partners

While UIDP’s focus is on developing practical solutions to address obstacles to collaboration, we know how challenging it can be to identify new partners with the right combination of shared values and strategic and technical competencies. We offer UIDP members several ways to identify and connect with potential new partners.

Leadership Circle Members

Leadership Circle membership carries with it an obligation to support the UIDP at a minimum level of $20,000 per year or $50,000 over a three-year period. In return, Leadership Circle Members receive benefits that enhance and catalyze the value proposition afforded Leadership Circle Members.

Current Leadership Circle Members: Boeing • CannonDesign • Elsevier • Georgia Tech

Leadership Circle Members may nominate someone to sit on the Board, are prominently featured in UIDP materials, and have the opportunity to host UIDP events at their home location. To become a Leadership Circle Member, email info@uidp.net.

Our Mission

The UIDP supports mutually beneficial university-industry collaborations by developing and disseminating strategies for addressing common issues between the two sectors.

Our Values

  • The development of a deep understanding and respect of the diverse goals, missions, and cultures between our universities and companies, and appreciation of the synergy that they can afford
Open communication
  • An environment where mutual respect fosters candor and communication
Commitment to making a difference
  • Innovation for the public good, maximizing to the greatest extent possible, the information and products that will ultimately be available to the public
  • Mutual commitment to sharing our experiences, diverse perspectives, and expertise, and lead to high impact training and professional development Alignment of the varied goals and cultures of university and industry in pursuit of innovation and research
  • Strategic, result-oriented thinking and the development of practical, active demonstrations or pilots. Recognition of the benefits of university-industry collaborations and the opportunity lost when mutually beneficial agreements cannot be reached
  • An appropriate level of trust based upon personal engagement and shared experiences
  • A commitment to principled and transparent negotiations


Anthony M. Boccanfuso


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As the UIDP’s President, Tony is a leading expert on university-industry relations and over the past 29 years, he has gained significant experience and insights by working in the academic, corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Tony holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of South Carolina and a B.S. in Chemistry and Political Science from Furman University. Tony also serves as a consultant for government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporations and is the former Chair of the MedStar Health Research Institute. Tony is married to Dr. Laura Boccanfuso, who founded Van Robotics; along with their three children, they reside in Columbia, SC.


Robert Starbuck


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Bob is a UIDP Associate, serving as our Treasurer and a co-lead on our Clinical Trials Project. He retired in 2008 after 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry, ending his career as the Assistant Vice President of Clinical Development, Special Projects at Wyeth Research in Collegeville, PA where he headed the biostatistics, clinical programming, clinical data management, and field monitoring functions.

Denise UIDP

Denise Duane

Chief of Staff

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Denise has been providing operational and administrative support to Tony and the UIDP since 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a Master of Arts in Communication from Ohio University. Prior to relocating to Columbia, South Carolina, Denise worked for the Rochester City School District in Rochester, NY for 15 years where she was an Analyst in the Department of Research, Testing and Records. Denise and her husband, Paul, are now based in Columbia, South Carolina.

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Linda Toro

Event Manager

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As UIDP’s Events Manager, Linda is responsible for planning and coordinating meetings, workshops and other activities, as well as providing marketing support for UIDP functions. Her events experience spans arranging small conferences to managing and promoting large-scale street festivals, while her 16 years in university marketing and communications puts her in a unique position to create high-quality event experiences for UIDP members and partners.

Michelle Lubaczewski

Operations Associate

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Michelle assists the UIDP team with special projects and member database management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from the Rutgers University. Her professional background includes 10 years as Assistant Director at the Rutgers Employment Center, three years as a faculty member at DeVry University and four years as a Test Administrator for graduate law and medical school entrance examinations.

Caroline Black

Meeting/Communication Associate

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Caroline Black is responsible for assisting in planning and coordinating meetings, workshops, and other activities, as well as providing communication and digital marketing support for UIDP functions. With over 13 years of event planning and marketing experience, as Managing Editor at a magazine and in development at non-profits, she is in a rare position to create meaningful experiences for UIDP members and partners.

Angie Florentine

Membership Services Coordinator

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Angie is the UIDP Membership Services Coordinator. She ensures that all UIDP members receive the maximum return on their membership investment by leading membership communications including news, benefits and services offered by the UIDP as well as connecting members with other opportunities that arise within the U-I environment. Angie has joined the UIDP team after earning her Bachelors from the University of Pittsburgh specializing in Business administration with a focus in Marketing and Operations Management. Please contact her at angie@uidp.net if interested in learning more about UIDP.

Liz Kennell

Project Associate

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As UIDP’s Project Associate, Liz assists with the management of the overall project portfolio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clemson University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining UIDP, Liz completed internships in nonprofit development and local government management.

UIDP Board (Voting Members)

Randy Hall, Presiding Chair

University of Southern California

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Randy is Vice President for Research at the University of Southern California, and is responsible for leading research initiatives across the university, overseeing research advancement, administration and ethics.  The Stevens Center for Innovation, USC’s center for technology transfer and corporate research relations, is one of the units that reports to him. In additional to serving as Vice President, Hall is Professor in the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He is also a board member for the USC Health System.

Jilda UIDP

Jilda Garton, Immediate Past Chair

Georgia Institute of Technology

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Debbie is the Director, Strategic Universities for Boeing Research & Technology organization. In addition, Debbie currently serves as the functional systems engineering lead for Engineering Operations & Technology and is active in the Industrial Research Institute. Debbie’s background is diverse, having leadership roles in engineering, technology, business development, manufacturing and supplier management for both development and production programs.

Mark Schmidt, Incoming Chair

John Deere

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Dr. Mark Schmidt is the Manager of Science and Technology Policy for John Deere. He is responsible for Deere’s global university relations and currently holds thirteen patents. He began his career at Deere in 1999 previously working in R&D and innovation management as well as strategy and public policy. Mark holds leadership roles with the Conservation Technology Information Center, North Carolina Arboretum, and North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative. He is also an Eagle Scout and lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife and four-year old son.

Arturo Pizano, Industry Director

Siemens Corporation

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Dr. Arturo Pizano heads the University Relations Program of Siemens Corporation, Corporate Technology, the central R&D arm of Siemens in the United States. In this function he is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with strategic university partners in the region. Dr. Pizano joined Siemens in 1993 as a Research Scientist with a background in computer science and data management. Subsequently he assumed positions as Project and Program Manager as well as Head of the Multimedia and Video Technology Department where he oversaw the development of next generation multimedia technologies for integration into the company’s products in the mobile communications field. Before joining Siemens he worked at the Software Research Center of Ricoh Corporation. Dr. Pizano holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, and BS degree in Actuarial Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Werner Kaufmann, Industry Director

BASF Corporation

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Werner Kaufmann is Senior Manager Technology Scouting, responsible for the design, implementation and operation of the North American Scouting Network. Werner joined Ciba-Geigy in Switzerland in 1988, where he held various positions in Process Development, Production, Research & Development and New Business Development in Switzerland, Germany and the U.S. Prior to BASF’s acquisition of Ciba in 2009, Werner had global responsibility for Ciba’s Emerging Competencies organization, was Head of R&D for Ciba North America and also managed Ciba’s venturing activities.

Lisa Lorenzen, University Director

Iowa State University

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Lisa Lorenzen is the Executive Director of the ISU Research Foundation and Director of the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer OIPTT), focused on technology transfer and economic development. The ISU Research Foundation owns and manages intellectual property on behalf of Iowa State University. The OIPTT markets and licenses intellectual property and negotiates contracts related to sponsored research with industry and manages grant programs related to economic development. Before joining ISU in March 1999, Lisa worked for five years as a computational biologist in the bioinformatics group at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.