After years of wariness, universities and industry scientists are forging new partnerships that are reinvigorating academic science departments, preparing students for careers and giving corporations better access to fundamental research. That 21st century alliance is the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.
Rick Mullin, C&EN senior editor, points out that collaborations established during the last several years defy earlier concerns that industry-academic hook-ups might erode academic freedom. Rather than subverting intellectual curiosity, the partnerships seem to be fostering introduction of new college courses in areas such as green chemistry, with industrial research partners contributing millions of dollars and priceless expertise to cash-strapped academic labs.
The article explains that the new funds are helping to soften the impact of cuts in state and federal funding. Economic conditions likewise have forced industry to cut back on the basic research that fosters so much innovation. And industry-university partners are filling that gap, while helping students acquire the skills needed for success in industry workplaces.
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More information: "University, Inc." cen.acs.org/articles/91/i31/University-Inc.html