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Membership Process

UIDP is an association of leading research universities with strong, forward-looking industry engagement programs; large companies possessing (or striving to have) significant university relationships spanning workforce development, research, and commercialization arenas; and other research performers such as independent research organizations.

Membership with UIDP is by invitation (effective December 2018). The association maintains a standing Membership Committee that reviews queries from interested parties and, working with UIDP staff, determines whether an invitation is warranted.

UIDP sees value in remaining a selective organization to enable productive meetings and collegial relationships among its member representatives. It strives to balance these characteristics with the expectation that its membership will include leading research-intensive universities from throughout the world and innovation companies seeking to maximize their academic engagement programs. For select and limited purposes, non-members can participate in UIDP activities and gain access to many of the organization’s learnings.

The Membership Committee reviews inquiries from interested universities, industries, and other research performers, using the UIDP Membership Guiding Principles and Membership Indicators. The Membership Guiding Principles specify the primary purpose of the UIDP and the corresponding characteristics of its member institutions.

In assessing potential new members, the Membership Committee uses both quantitative and qualitative criteria as outlined below.

UIDP Membership Guiding Principles

  1. The primary purpose of UIDP is to provide a unique forum where academic and industry representatives with diverse interests and job responsibilities gather to discuss strategies for advancing collaborations between the sectors.
  2. UIDP universities possess robust research enterprises and the necessary breadth of experiences to be intellectual contributors to UIDP efforts. Universities are expected to have unique approaches to industry engagement and be contributors to our forum.
  3. UIDP companies have significant experience working with universities or a committed strategy for developing university collaborations. Industry members are expected to bring forth ideas for the UIDP to address and pursue using the UIDP project process.
  4. Most interested parties (companies, national labs, other research organizations, and universities) possess unique experiences along the entire UIDP Partnership Continuum and the ability to contribute to the UIDP discussions.
  5. Companies that are strictly university vendors or service providers (law firms, professional service firms) are ineligible for general membership but can pursue participation through Leadership Circle membership.

UIDP Membership Indicators

To assess potential new members, the UIDP board has adopted the following set of membership indicators that are distinct for each sector.

University. These indicators consider an organization’s comprehensiveness and quality in research, as well as the reputation of an institution’s current corporate engagement program.

Industry. Interested companies are assessed based on public information including quantitative and qualitative measures.

University Indicators

  • Competitively funded research support: For US universities, the Membership Committee uses the National Science Foundation (NSF) research expenditure data. The data is gleaned from the NSF Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges/Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD) data for the most recently available three-year average. https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/webcaspar/index.jsp. For universities outside of the US, the UIDP will ask for equivalent publicly available research expenditure data.
  • Industry funding: The university’s overall magnitude and percentage of research expenditures from industry. This information is derived from the same sources noted in item I.
  • Large-scale academic-corporate research centers: The Membership Committee reviews a university’s ability to lead large scale and well-funded research consortia, preferably including current UIDP members.
  • Reputation: The Membership Committee will selectively query current UIDP member representatives to determine their experiences in working with any potential member.

Industry Indicators

  • Overall R&D funding levels: The Membership Committee will review (using publicly available data) a company’s overall commitment to R&D as demonstrated by its level of funding.
  • Investment in University R&D: Interested parties will be asked to provide publicly available information on their current or prior investments in university R&D (including the names of university partners as appropriate) as well as other university activities such as participation in a University Research Consortia, Corporate Affiliate, or Industry Liaison Programs.
  • Commitment: For companies with limited, prior experiences, a stated commitment to enhancing their academic engagement programs must be provided.

General Indicators

  • Advance current member interests. The most significant and overarching principle is whether an interested party’s admission to UIDP will contribute to our overall mission of advancing collaboration between the sectors.
  • Industry: University ratio. The UIDP accomplishes its mission by maintaining a healthy ratio of companies to universities. While there is no fixed cap on the number of members, the UIDP strives to maintain a size that allows for inter-personal highly engaged interactions among its member representatives.


Organizations interested in pursuing membership may contact UIDP at info@uidp.net