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Public-private R&D partnerships spur innovation by helping private companies tap into the research capabilities of universities. This allows companies to undertake R&D efforts that would otherwise be too risky or costly for them to conduct on their own, and it allows universities to gain focused resources that help advance various fields of science.
The National Science Foundation’s Industry & University Cooperation Research Program (I/UCRC) is one such partnership. With 262 active projects, the I/UCRC produces substantial cost savings while driving innovation. In fact, when private companies conducted R&D projects through the I/UCRC partnership rather than in-house, they saved an average of $700,000 per project in 2014—up from $500,000 in 2012—thereby freeing up resources to be put to other, more effective uses.
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