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Industry Partner FAQ

What are the focus areas of the Center?

CVDI brings both synergy and complementary data science and big data research initiatives in the areas of data acquisition and management, analytics, visualization & human interaction, applications to drive innovation in visual and decision informatics. The research topics within the analytics domain include visual analytics, predictive analytics, augmented intelligence, data summarization, deep learning, complex systems' analysis, evolutionary optimization, agent-based models and simulation, privacy-preserving learning, and meta-learning. New visualization and human computer interaction topics include interactive visualization, human computer interaction modeling, cognitive assistance, and immersive analytics. Topics in data management include big data platforms, knowledge organization, data fusion and integration, parallel processing of massively large datasets, and green computing. The Center also brings complementary expertise in health informatics, biomedicine, energy, computational law, education, cybersecurity, disaster management, advanced manufacturing, psychology, and environmental science.

How does the industry partner and university collaborative process work? 

The research conducted CVDI is done in collaboration with an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) that ensures through the feedback loop and voting process that it aligns with the emerging needs of the consortium and its IAB members.

What are the benefits of joining an NSF IUCRC? 

IUCRCs offer a platform for significant leveraging of financial investment by members to accelerate the knowledge base in emerging technological and manufacturing sectors and develop an industrially savvy workforce to benefit US economy by:

  • Leveraging of affiliate investment
  • Access to faculty, students, facilities, and infrastructure at all Center sites (18 senior faculty per center on average)
  • NSF’s 40+ years of experience with the IUCRC program (performance oversight an external independent evaluation)
  • Access to sector-identified, pre-competitive research
  • Precompetitive industry relevant research shaped by members and faculty
  • 90% of membership fees go toward research
  • Sector networking, to learn from industry peers, competitors, customers, and regulators
  • Option to expand innovation capacity globally
  • One Center; one membership agreement for all (all under one umbrella)
  • Company savings: Lower risks, accelerate competitive R&D and internal cost avoidance
  • Early and continual access to the discovery and innovation process as well as its results

Can a small business join CVDI? 

Annual memberships for small businesses are available at a reduced rate. A small business is as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small business members benefit from a greater ROI and can qualify for additional funding and subsidized fees, for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants obtained from the NSF.

How much does it cost to become an industry member? 

The annual membership price is $50K. Small Business annual membership price is currently $20K. Each $1K of membership fee paid provides a company with a single voting right. CVDI does allow for companies to purchase more than one membership (not to exceed two seats on the IAB) thus providing the company additional IAB slots and increased voting privileges.

How are the membership payments handled? 

Payment of membership fees are made to the sponsoring University as a lump sum effective March 1st or in four equal quarterly installments on the 1st day of March, June, September, and December of each year of sponsorship.

Is there a list of previous research and publications? 

Past and current research topics as well as all Center publications are available to IAB members companies via the official CVDI website.

Can industry members license CVDI research? 

IAB members are entitled to a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to the results of the Center research during their active membership. Exact details as well as exclusive royalty options can be found in the CVDI Industrial Member Agreement.

Are there opportunities for dedicated/exclusive royalty research through CVDI? 

Please speak with your sponsoring university for options on exclusive enhancement contracts that can be layered on top of your IAB membership.

What is the process to join CVDI? 

The process for joining the Industry Advisory Board is very straightforward:

  1. A meeting of interested parties between the sponsoring university and the potential member company is held, on an on-demand basis, to review, partnership agreement and identify mutual beneficial areas of research.
  2. IAB contract signed by both parties, and
  3. First annual/quarterly payment made to sponsoring university.

What are my responsibilities as an industry member? 

The IAB strongly influences the Center’s strategic direction and research focus by having a leadership role in the selection and evaluation of research projects. Company commitment and IAB participation is key to a successful partnership.

Responsibilities include:

  • Meeting financial deadlines regarding membership fees
  • Participate in research project reviews
  • Vote on project funding
  • Attendance at Fall/Spring IAB Workshops
  • Provide mentorship to PIs and graduate students
  • Connect with CVDI Researchers and other IAB members to develop collaborative relationships

Other Questions?

Interested in becoming a CVDI Industry Advisory Board Member or have any questions about membership? Let us come visit your company to better understand your challenges and demonstrate the benefits of a CVDI partnership, as well as share some of our success stories.

Email UL Lafayette Site Director, Raju Gottumukkala for more information.