MESSAGE FROM THE CO-CHAIRS
C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr.
University of Maryland at College Park
Chief Science and Technology Officer Emeritus
In 2009, the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since its formation, 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.”
GUIRR holds three formal meetings each year on such issues. In 2009 GUIRR addressed: (1) food safety challenges, given the complexity of a global food supply chain, (2) means to minimize impediments to effective partnerships, technology transfer and sharing of knowledge at the global level, and (3) the growing constraints and fragility of rare earth and other natural materials that comprise current, emerging and strategic technologies. All three issue-areas have important economic as well as national security implications.
Much of the work of GUIRR between meetings is done by its members in 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 pursuing activities to help improve the effectiveness of international research collaborations. Another working group is examining how to best manage and cope with large data sets. A third working group quickly mobilized this past year to host a workshop designed to leverage the capabilities of the national labs in safeguarding the nation’s food and food system security through innovative repurposing of current and legacy technologies.
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 120 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 interdependent world.