Message from the Co-Chairs
Since its establishment 1984, GUIRR has acted on its mission 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 – work together mindfully on shared important problems, exploring ways to enhance collaboration and public-private partnership, 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. Members haven taken a hard look at the U.S. patent system to ascertain to what extent it encourages and/or, alternatively, inhibits innovation. They’ve considered what the big data revolution means for research, how the merging of previously distinct disciplines (“convergence”) is creating news disciplines as well as a new model of scientific research, and how innovation can be financed in new and novel ways. The topics are varied, cross-cutting, and have serious policy implications.
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) were two semi-autonomous GUIRR-sponsored initiatives. The UIDP crafts collaborative experiments on new approaches to sponsored research and licensing arrangements, with the strategic goal of catalyzing healthy, long-term university-industry relationships. In July 2015, UIDP transitioned out of the Academies after its prosperous 8-year incubation period with GUIRR and now operates as an independent nonprofit organization. The FDP, with members from 10 federal agencies and 155 institutional recipients of federal funds, continues under GUIRR’s mantle and works 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.