MESSAGE FROM THE CO-CHAIRS
Jacques Gansler (Co-Chair)
Professor and Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise, School of Public Policy
University of Maryland at College Park
Uma Chowdhry (Co-Chair)
Chief Science and Technology Officer Emeritus
In August of 2014, the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Since its formation in 1984, GUIRR has followed its original charter to “convene the senior-most representatives from government, universities and industry to define and explore critical issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda.” Leaders from the three constituent sectors – government, academia, and industry – explore ways to enhance collaboration, improve the productivity of the nation’s science and technology enterprise, and maintain our competitive edge.
GUIRR holds three formal meetings each year on such issues of pressing interest and importance to the nation. Recently GUIRR members took a hard look at the U.S. patent system to ascertain to what extent it encourages and/or, alternatively, inhibits innovation. The Roundtable also recently considered the potential implications of underinvestment in U.S. infrastructure, including our highways, railways, waterways, national broadband capacity, the electric grid, and our schools. Trends in research globalization has been another focal issue, with GUIRR members considering the balancing of active participation and engagement in global research efforts while ensuring that national security needs are met.
Much of the work of GUIRR between meetings is done by its members in smaller working groups that can quickly catalyze high level government-university-industry cooperation on specific issues identified by the Roundtable. One highly energized working group is currently pursuing activities to help improve the effectiveness of international research collaborations.
The University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) and the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) are two semi-autonomous GUIRR-sponsored cooperative initiatives within GUIRR. The UIDP is crafting collaborative experiments on new approaches to sponsored research and licensing arrangements, with the strategic goal of a healthy, long-term university-industry relationship. The FDP, with members from 10 federal agencies and 119 institutional recipients of federal funds, helps to reduce administrative burdens associated with federal research grants and contracts.
GUIRR-initiated collaborations of individuals from the government, university and industry sectors have a continuing record of success in improving the effectiveness of the U.S. in science and technology and its application to national goals. Looking to the future, we believe this approach – reflecting the initiative of its members – will remain timely in an increasingly complex and interdependent world.