UIDP 25 Detroit - NACRO Member Perspectives
October 6, 2017
There were a significant number of NACRO members in attendance at the UIDP 25 Conference in Detroit Sept 25-28, and the following are simply some remarks, observations and take-aways from just a few of the NACRO folks in attendance:
- Spot-on insights from technical industry leaders on creating sustainable university-industry relationships.
- Terrific demonstrations and examples of U-I partnerships -- how they started and evolved. Great to learn of the universal challenges and barriers to successful U-I partnerships-- validating that obstacles are universal! Resulted in next step conversations with new potential industry partners at conference conclusion. Great ROI
- The most impactful part of UIDP is the authority level of industry engaged academic partnership professionals who have a clear aligned mission to build collaborative partnerships (this does not extend to all, but definitely most). Recruiting our industry corporate-university relations counterparts into NACRO participation and membership is where the opportunities align best with the strategic plan. Common interest in metrics, tools, resources is a clear consideration for strategic alignment between orgs.
- As a first-time UIDP attendee I was struck by the balance in Industry member and University members. The content of both sessions as well as projects seemed to indicate that there are more substantive outcomes in terms of published projects between Industry and Universities. Met several industry folks that I may never have met outside of UIDP.
- UIDP was valuable for me because of the level of industry participation. Multiple corporate reps attended the entire thing, not just their session, and they actively engage in conversations. I appreciated the opportunity to learn industry perspectives and have “philosophical” conversations about “how” and “why” we partner, not just “what” and “when” (in addition to making more connections, of course).
- I know comparing UIDP to NACRO isn’t apples to apples but at NACRO the industry folks tend to get mobbed, whereas at UIDP they were integrated into the crowd and throughout audience in the sessions. I think a critical difference – one that I don’t know if we can get away from – is that NACRO is so development-focused. The cadence regarding research partnerships is fundamentally different, and the atmosphere at UIDP reflects that.
- As described by UofM’s Daryl Weinert: the notion of including two questions in the RFPs that the procurement (strategic sourcing) group of your university puts out for prospective companies: Do you recruit our students? Do you do research with the university? (these added questions aren’t “screeners” nor do the responses need to be affirmative, but by including them it plants the seeds of true engagement with their prospective higher ed partners…)
- Ford’s Ed Krause affirming the role of “corporate relations” and describing it as a “force for good” and a “big difference maker” in Ford’s higher ed relationships (also loved his “non-PhD’s tend to make better CR relationship managers” comment, though the PhD’s in the room probably did not!)
- Mcity: such an exceptional example of a university recognizing and marrying its strengths to a critical and emerging market need, building infrastructure—and a collaborative ‘ecosystem’—around it, and then figuring out an effective way to monetize it; as public-private partnerships go, it will be fun to watch this one continue to develop…
- GREAT group photo of the rooftop networking party on the last night of the conference (at the Madison in Detroit), and something NACRO should execute going forward!