Partner With UConn

Ways to Partner

As a leading research university, UConn possesses an extensive portfolio of industry-supportive assets: world-class faculty, state-of-the-art equipment and labs, and technically proficient students. When these assets are integrated with companies through a variety of business-friendly partnerships, good things happen. Here is a summary of the some of the partnership opportunities that exist for your company:

Sponsored Research

Sponsored research is a core UConn/industry partnership endeavor. Companies can leverage the leading-edge expertise of UConn faculty to solve problems and pursue opportunities. These projects are well-coordinated with objectives and timelines clearly defined, all with the goal of supporting the innovation interests of our industry partners.

SBIR/STTR Collaborations

UConn’s position as one of the nation’s leading research institutions, with its broad set of world-class faculty and resources, ideally positions it to collaborate with other organizations to pursue and leverage extramural SBIR and STTR grants for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects. Extramural funding collaborations often extend to other funding sources including state and foundation grants.

Tech Park

The Tech Park, a bold step for UConn and the State of Connecticut, builds upon the successful operating models of other university technology parks throughout the country. Its mission is to:

  • Accelerate innovation with industry, from startups to mid-sized and large corporations
  • Provide an active interface linking basic research and industrial applications
  • Advance the economic development goals of the State of Connecticut

Tech Park’s cornerstone building is currently under construction. Comprising 115,000 square feet, it will feature agile and flexible-use laboratories, including tenant labs. An investment of $40 million in specialized equipment is planned for the building.

Institute of Materials Science (IMS) Industrial Affiliates Program

Established in 1974, the IMS Industrial Affiliates Program provides convenient access to resources at the IMS to assist industry partners with short-term, materials-related research, development, and production projects. Typical requests include analysis of product and process difficulties, troubleshooting of raw materials, identification of contaminants, and failure analysis.

Faculty Consulting

Companies can access the expertise of our faculty, who are subject matter experts in their respective fields, by directly engaging them on consulting projects.

Licensing Intellectual Property

As leading scholar-researchers in their respective fields, UConn faculty create an abundance of intellectual property (IP) that can be licensed through the University. This IP falls broadly within the physical sciences and life sciences/biotechnology fields. Organizations can license IP to accelerate their research and development and process improvement goals.

Business Incubation

UConn has an active Technology Incubation Program (TIP) program. TIP has incubator labs in Storrs, at UConn’s Avery Point campus in Groton, and in Farmington. TIP’s goal is to accelerate the successful establishment and development of entrepreneurial companies. In addition to lab space, office space, specialized equipment, and instrumentation, TIP companies also can access an array of support resources and services through relationships with various University departments, schools and functions, and with government and industry.

Senior Design Projects

Senior design projects are one- or two-semester courses arranged through specific departments within the School of Engineering. They offer an excellent way for companies to access the skills, creativity, and energy of UConn’s talented students. Projects involve a faculty mentor and are designed to address specific real-world engineering problems for industry partners. Students have access to many of UConn’s labs and advanced equipment. These projects often provide companies with focused hiring opportunities. In addition to senior design projects, organizations also can access student resources through University internships and co-op programs.

Student Internships

Many departments within the University support student internships. These internships are coordinated through UConn’s Center for Career Services. Internships typically occur after the student has successfully completed core common body of knowledge course requirements. Many organizations leverage the positive experiences of student internships to support their workforce development and employee hiring interests.


Business Friendly Policies

Intellectual Property Rights

Edison Liu in group
Edison Liu, center, president and chief executive officer, The Jackson Laboratory speaks with Rachel O’Neill, professor of molecular and cell biology and genetics and genomics graduate students Michael Peracchio, left, Amanda Dupuy and Sarah Trusiak between sessions of the UConn/JAX Genomics Symposium, held at the Student Union Theater at the University of Connecticut on Sept. 6, 2012. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

We understand that our industry partners may develop intellectual property (IP) at UConn’s facilities.  In general, IP that a company brings with them, or that is developed as a direct result of sponsored research, belongs to the company; IP that is co-developed with UConn students, faculty, or staff is shared. UConn frequently grants the right of first refusal on non-exclusive licenses for IP that is co-developed, and commercial licenses are often granted upon receipt of up-front milestone payments. In all cases, we strive to meet the needs of our industry partners with transparent, equitable, and simple agreements that work for both parties.


We understand that protecting intellectual property is critically important to your company. In most cases, we can have a non-disclosure agreement signed within 48 hours so that conversations can begin promptly.

Publication Restrictions

While timely publication of research findings is important, we understand that our industry partners need time to evaluate whether new knowledge or information is proprietary or subject to patent protection prior to public disclosure.  We allow our partners sufficient time to review proposed publications, presentations, abstracts, poster presentations, or other forms of public disclosure to ensure that confidential information is not inadvertently released. Publication embargoes of 30 days are routinely granted; however, longer embargoes may be negotiated when appropriately justified.

Flexible Business Arrangements

We are quite flexible in our business arrangements and strive to be timely and responsive to industry needs and timelines. We look forward to forging a lasting relationship that is based on trust, responsiveness, and the deliverables that satisfy the needs of your business.

Through UConn and in some instances in collaboration with UConn and other organizations and agencies, companies have the opportunity to source funding for technology innovation and development from an extensive set of resourceful programs.
Sources include:
  • $25 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund, administered through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).
  • $200 million Bioscience Innovation Fund, to develop collaborations with UConn faculty and industry partners that leverage external funds from federal agencies. Administered through Connecticut Innovations (CI).
  • $600,000 Technology Talent Bridge (TTB), a program that connects student interns with work on relevant projects and companies within the State of Connecticut. Administered through Connecticut Innovations (CI)
  • $1.5 million SBIR Support, available for small, high-tech Connecticut businesses seeking funding for R&D and commercialization. Administered through Connecticut Innovations(CI).
  • $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research ACP Program, involving coordinating faculty experts to work with small businesses to develop joint project plans
  • $400,000 Innovation Challenge, to work with small companies to meet innovation opportunities established by anchor companies seeking to leverage the ongoing master agreements of UConn with major Connecticut companies. Administered by Connecticut Innovations (CI).
  • $500,000 Manufacturing Prototype Fund (currently under development), to support faculty and industry partners to develop advanced manufacturing technologies (devices, processes, etc.). Administered by Connecticut Innovations (CI).
  • $250,000 Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program (MTAP), a collaboration between the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), that is designed to spur innovation within the state’s manufacturing sector.
  • Eli Whitney Investment, to provide R&D support and research space to innovative companies receiving investment. Administered through Connecticut Innovations (CI).