The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs facilitates the linking of UNF research expertise and capabilities with private sector businesses and public entities for the development of technology and the provision of services that are consistent with university mission and goals. Research & development (R&D) collaborations and partnerships enable public organizations to improve their processes and services to the community. They similarly enable businesses to advance their technology platforms, create competitive products, and offer value-added services. Private sponsorship for research and training at UNF not only supports the university's community engagement objectives, it allows businesses to leverage UNF research expertise and capabilities to develop products and services for public good. All research collaborations and partnerships are conducted under appropriate, mutually approved agreements to protect the rights and obligations of all parties.
Private sector collaboration and partnership may arise from a number of situations including, but not limited to, the following:
- A company has a concept but the path to development is not clear or well defined and the company needs UNF research expertise to clarify and define the path to development.
- A company and UNF researchers have similar concepts and agree to the joint development of the concepts.
- UNF researchers and a company approach one another because of similar interests in finding solutions to specific problems.
- A company approaches UNF with a specific problem, seeking a solution that requires the research capabilities of the university.
- UNF approaches a company to develop and commercialize an IP.
- UNF approaches a company with an idea, a concept, or a potential solution appropriate to the solution of a problem.
Intellectual property developed in a collaborative research with a company or non-profit partner is subject to negotiation between UNF and the outside entity. While as a public agency, UNF must adhere to Florida Sunshine Laws, Florida Statutes 1004.22(2) provides for confidentiality of information related to the "methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, potentially patentable material, actual trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research conducted within the state universities."
UNF personnel planning research collaborations and partnerships with private-sector businesses or non-profit organizations are encouraged to contact ORSP for assistance in developing agreements to support those activities. In order for an agreement to be binding on the university, it must be signed by a duly authorized UNF representative.