Welcome to the University Industry Initiative  (UII)

Collaborations between companies and academic institutions can yield great benefits – translation of research into products, discovery of innovative approaches and techniques, talent development, and more. Rich in potential benefits, such collaborations are not necessarily easy to launch. Whether you are on the university or industry side, you want to understand best practices in these arrangements.

Contact:  Acting Chair:  Devendra Mishra, Executive Director, BSMA




The BSMA University-Industry initiative fosters innovation through joint and sponsored research, provides a pipeline for talent, and supports industrial projects for life sciences and healthcare. By leveraging Academia and Industry’s collective infrastructure, resources, and expertise, we will combat critical challenges, such as new drug development, talent shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Collaboration between academia and industry will provide the BioPharma industry greater reach for translation of research into products, discovery of innovative approaches and techniques, talent development, and more.


  • To promote collaboration that fosters innovation in the life sciences
  • To generate innovative programs that benefit participating companies, institutions of higher education, and the industry in general

Participating companies can benefit:

  • Cultivate source of talent for internships, co-ops, jobs, and etc.
  • Take advantage of lower cost research and project management by utilizing students and faculty for consulting work
  • Participate in shaping applied education for supply chain professionals

Institutions of higher education can benefit:

  • Gain support for industrial research
  • Gather industrial insights for curriculum
  • Increase ability to support student internships, co-ops, jobs, and other
  • Sustain and enhance alumni activities
  • Take advantage of presentation opportunities at conferences, webinars and other events
  • Access industry experts
  • Publish in the Weekly Newsletter called Bio-Intel


  • Engage in practical activities that can produce visible deliverables in less than one year.
  • Provide collaboration platform
  • Build community of life science professionals
  • Enable innovation through collaboration
  • Ensure education meets career needs of professionals


Based on feedback from industry and academia, the initiative will develop one or two key projects annually that deliver one or more of the benefits listed above.

  • Highlight academic research of interest to industry
  • Identify industry challenges
  • Create forum at BSMA Conferences to showcase faculty and student’s presentations
  • Participate in steering committees to drive industry initiatives
  • Publish in the newsletter, Bio-Intel
  • Demonstrate early collaboration efforts by spotlighting a student project at the October BSMA conference
  • Develop a pipeline of scholarship support for AI, information technology, and clinical
  • Launch job clearing house, the BSMA Career Portal

For each of the above, generate a newsletter article(s), website material, outreach to entire community, repurpose content, and address problem.

 Project development and management steps:

  1. Survey BSMA corporate and educational leadership and members for feedback on this pipeline (initial stage) and then additional needs that could be satisfied by collaborative projects (later stage)
  2. Select project topics based on stated criteria (to be developed)
  3. Recruit a small (2-3 members) ad hoc committee for each project. Committee is charged with developing and launching its project, monitoring its progress, and reporting to BSMA leadership on results.
  4. Promote each project to BSMA members and the broader life science community.
  5. Collect participation fees.
  6. Once projects conclude, disseminate summary and lessons learned to entire BSMA membership as well as others who have expressed an interest in BSMA collaborations.
  7. Dissolve the ad hoc committees


1.  University-industry collaborations Online Conference: The interactive webinar will provide: the who, what, when, where, why, and how of successful university-industry collaborations. Our panel of experts will share their experiences and tips – plus identify pitfalls to avoid.

  • Two hours online – possibly 9-11A PST/11A-1P CST/1-3P EST
  • Featuring speakers and panels highlighting best practices in university-industry initiatives – For example, Shannon Braun, KGI; Darin Detwiler, Northeastern; someone from Illumina; someone from BioMarin; etc.
  • Suggested pricing: $10/attendee

 2.  Supply Chain Career Opportunities Online Conference 

Life science supply chain is in the spotlight. It is a growing field with plenty of emerging opportunity for students and recent graduates. What are good strategies for securing internships, jobs, co-ops, and more in supply chain? Attend this interactive webinar for answers.

  • Two hours online – possibly 9-11A PST/11A-1P CST/1-3P EST
  • Featuring speakers and panels aimed at Career Services offices and students – where the jobs are, talent and career development, resume tips, interviewing, skills required, etc.
  • Suggested pricing: $10/attendee

 3.  Hackathon

  • Online in two four-hour segments – preparing for the Hackathon, organizing your team, selecting a topic, etc.
  • Four-eight hours online for work and presentations by up to eight teams
  • Suggested pricing: corporate sponsor $5000; team entry fee $500

 4.  Webinars

  • Each is designed to be one hour online
  • Pricing is complementary with webinar code
  • Getting started with industry engagement – identifying company prospects – summer 2021
  • Getting started with industry engagement – identifying academic assets – fall 2021
  • Getting started with industry engagement – perfect pitch – fall 2021
  • Getting started with industry engagement – contracting ins and outs – winter 2021


Description of the Profile of each member university:

  1. Name of University
  2. Title of area of expertise for membership in UII
  3. Short description of this area of expertise, not to exceed 500 words
  4. University logo (relative to area in alignment with UII if not main university), high resolution, jpeg format
  5. Link to each university (be specific to university webpage that aligns with UII if not main university)

Description of the Profile of the University Champion:

  1. Photo:  high resolution jpeg file; from top of head to collarbone, show shoulders
  2. Title of champion
  3. Bio of champion, not to exceed 150 words
  4. link to champion’s webpage on university website

California Department of Public Health


Jennifer Bergstrom

Northeastern University
Profile of University Champion

Cuneyt Eroglu

Keck Graduate Institute
Profile of University Champion

Ed Arnheiter

Arizona State University

Profile of University Champion

Eugene Schneller

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Profile of University Champion

Mary Long