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University Industry Collaborations

Creating partnership opportunities between American University’s STEM graduate programs and industry

In 2021, American University embarked on a new initiative to strengthen its University-Industry Collaborations (UICs) by identifying opportunities in the biosciences / chemical sciences / life sciences / environmental sciences in the DC metropolitan area and beyond. The goal is to better align our STEM graduate programs to meet industry needs and forge partnerships that will lead to knowledge and technology exchange. These exchanges typically occur in the form of an R&D collaboration with our faculty and graduate students.

For the initiative’s first phase, we are engaging R&D firms in the I-270 Technology Corridor that are seeking a strategic partnership. The I-270 corridor is a major biotechnology/life sciences cluster next to AU’s campus that ranks 5th among US life sciences clusters, based on NIH funding, venture capital funding, patents, dedicated lab space, and jobs in the industry.

We develop a UIC by performing a discovery interview with a firm’s leadership to better understand its business needs and R&D interests. Then faculty and staff follow-up and propose ideas and solutions. Our faculty and graduate students are eager to explore these R&D opportunities in our brand-new state-of-the-art Hall of Science, where exciting discoveries are being made across the life sciences disciplines.

AU is uniquely positioned to connect industry to our university research community via UICs. These UICs will lead to innovations and long-term growth for our partners as well as for our STEM graduate programs. For more information on AU’s UIC initiative and to inquire on building a strategic partnership with us, please contact us at