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A National Convocation on 
Revitalizing the University-Industry-Government Partnership
in Support of Research in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

National Academy of Sciences Building
Fred Kavli Auditorium
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Convocation Videos
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened leaders of business and industry, federal and state government, higher education, and other sectors of society for a day of dynamic presentations and stimulating conversations about strategies for:
  • Revitalizing the role of our nation’s research universities in educating creative workers and leaders for the 21st century;
  • Advancing our nation’s health care, food production, and national security capacities;
  • Serving the needs of all citizens in their local communities through outreach and extension; and
  • Stimulating innovation and growth in business and industry.
We explored the central role of research universities in our nation’s economic, social, and cultural growth and advancement; partnerships between research universities and essential sectors across our nation; and the workforce of the 21st century that we will need to remain the most vital economy and society in the world.

8:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Welcome

Neal Lane, senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute, Rice University and former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

9:05 a.m. Origin of this Conference
Jim Duderstadt, President Emeritus of the University of Michigan

9:15 a.m. Opening Comments on the Role of Science & Research in the Nation’s Social, Economic, and Cultural Well-Being

Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences

9:30 a.m. Research Universities and the Future of America

Chad Holliday, Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Inc., and Chair of the study committee that produced the landmark NRC 2012 report by that title (by video).

9:40 a.m. The History of the Government-University-Industry Partnership

Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

10:00 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m. Panel One: Key Stakeholders in the Partnership
  • Ana Mari Cauce, President of the University of Washington (Moderator)
  • Jeannette Wing, Director of the Data Science Institute at Columbia University and Former Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research
  • Celia Merzbacher, Director of Strategic and Institutional Planning at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Michael McPherson, Chair of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
11:30 a.m. The Federal Research Agenda: A View from the U.S. House of Representatives
Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology

12:15 p.m. Lunch in the Great Hall and adjacent rooms

1:00 p.m. Keynote: The Research University in the Innovation Ecosystem: Building Partnership for Education and Research (Return to Auditorium)  
Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

1:30 p.m. Panel Two: Key Issues and Opportunities
  • William (Brit) Kirwan, President Emeritus of the University System of Maryland (Moderator)
  • Health: Mary Woolley, President of Research!America
  • Sustainability: Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officer of the Nature Conservancy
  • Partnerships for Economic Development: Laurie Leshin, President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
2:45 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. Higher Education, Research, and Training: A View from the U.S. House of Representatives
Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee

3:30 p.m. Comments and questions from the audience

4:30 p.m. Adjourn to a Reception and Showcase of University Research in Great Hall


In addition to the presentations and panels, the National Academies hosted a showcase of the following University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Start-Up Firms throughout the day, located in the Great Hall adjacent to the auditorium. These university-affiliated start-ups demonstrate the economic benefits of university-industry-government collaboration:

Arizona State University: Gemneo Bioscience
Gemneo is developing gene-sequencing technology that will enable high-throughput, single-cell resolution of cancer and immune cell transcriptomes, allowing physicians to tailor treatments for individual patients.

Texas A&M University: Stand2Learn

Stand2Learn provides a wide variety of height adjustable desks for K-12 students, which improve classroom engagement and the overall health of the students.

University of California, San Diego: Tri-D Dynamics
Tri-D Dynamics uses their 3-D printing technology, C-RED, to rapidly manufacture cheap and efficient expendable rocket engines.

University of Cincinnati: Eccrine Systems

Eccrine Systems is designing wearable technology capable of quickly and accurately sensing a wide variety of analytes, such as cortisol and glucose, in sweat.

University of Colorado, Boulder: ReForm

ReForm is developing a low-cost and highly adaptable prosthetic socket technology to make wearing a prosthetic leg more comfortable and to enable amputees around the world to walk independently.

University of Kansas: Digital NanoGenetics LLC

Digital NanoGenetics™ is an early stage start-up developing an automated, portable single biomolecule sequencing technology, called exonuclease time-of-flight (X-TOF™).

University of Michigan: FlexDex

FlexDex’s platform technology enables highly intuitive, one-to-one mapping of a surgeon’s arm and hand motions to a surgical instrument inside a patient’s body, increasing precision and reducing fatigue.

University of South Florida: Hemolix
Hemolix is designing a low-cost, mobile health system for the early diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication that is fatal if not detected in time.


James J. Duderstadt, Chair
President Emeritus,
Professor of Science and Engineering
University of Michigan
Ana Mari Cauce
University of Washington
Richard K. Miller
Olin College of Engineering
Peter Henderson
Senior Advisor to the President
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Patrick L. Murray
Senior Program Officer in US Government Relations
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
William (Brit) Kirwan
Chancellor Emeritus
University System of Maryland
Cheryl A. Oldham
Vice President of Education Policy
US Chamber of Commerce
Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce Program; US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Neal F. Lane
Senior Fellow in Science and Technology Policy
Baker Institute
Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus
Rice University
Chad Womack
National Director of STEM Initiatives
United Negro College Fund (UNCF)


Tom Rudin
Board on Higher Education and Workforce
Barbara Natalizio
Associate Program Officer
Board on Higher Education and Workforce
Maria Lund Dahlberg
Program Officer
Board on Higher Education and Workforce
Yasmeen Hussain (until July, 2017)
Associate Program Officer
Board on Higher Education and Workforce
Austen Applegate
Senior Program Assistant
Board on Higher Education and Workforce


Research Universities and the Future of America:Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation's Prosperity and Security (2012)
Full reportSummary

Meeting of the Planning Committee for the Research Universities Convocation

July 28, 2017
Keck Building
Washington, DC 

Research Universities and the Future of America: A National Convocation
October 10, 2013
The National Academies Building
Washington, DC
More Information


carnegie of NY
National Academy of Sciences W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fund