Inventions and ideas are only as good as the practical applications they can bring to society, and an organization devoted to helping get those inventions and ideas out of the lab and into society will be at West Virginia University next week for its annual meeting.

WVU, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, is hosting the 18th General Meeting of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, a project of the National Academies. Northrup Grumman is also a co-sponsor.

“Higher education needs partners from industry and government,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “Our country is going through a fundamental economic re-set, which has been painful for many sectors, including higher education. Through university-industry collaborations, we can transform the challenges into opportunities. Our partnerships will yield life-changing innovations and the skilled workforce needed for today’s economy.”

The conference, which will draw about 150 university leaders devoted to research and industry relations along with industry executives in areas such as intellectual property and technology transfer, will begin at the University of Pittsburgh on April 22, and then move to Morgantown that evening. It will conclude on Thursday.

Panels will focus on strategies for effective energy management, opportunities for cyber-security collaborations and tools to enhance university-industry partnerships – as well as on a number of other key issues. A full agenda is available at

UIDP is an organization of 112 universities and companies seeking to enhance the value of collaborative partnerships between universities and industry in the United States. UIDP provides a unique forum for university and industry representatives to meet and discuss operational and strategic issues such as contracting, intellectual property and compliance matters. These conversations might otherwise never take place. Officials say they serve to help university representatives better understand the culture and constraints of their industry counterparts, and vice versa.

“The UIDP is very pleased to hold its Spring 2014 general meeting at WVU. We are an action-oriented membership organization that seeks practical approaches to improving how companies and universities work together,” said UIDP Executive Director Anthony Boccanfuso. “Holding our meetings on location at leading research universities such as West Virginia University help us advance our agenda.”

WVU’s participation in UIDP is another example of the University’s fulfillment of its 21st Century land-grant mission, Gee said.

“Teaching, research and service are the core of what we do. Nothing brings all three together like initiatives such as UIDP, where the ideas, technologies and systems developed in classrooms and labs can be translated into society for the betterment of all,” he said.

The meeting will also be open to WVU faculty and staff, who can register onsite on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Waterfront Place Hotel.



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