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Industry Sponsored Research

Sponsored research provides a temporary, flexible research arm to help solve industry problems. An important byproduct of the cooperative industry-university relationship is facilitating the transfer of technology from the university to industry. Another contribution is to develop technologies that can be put to practical use by society, as well as the education of scientists, engineers, and others. Cooperative efforts are based on mutual benefits, as well as benefits to society.

Nano institute of Utah (NIU) carries out research to advance the frontiers of science and technology and to further educational programs. Instruction and research are interdependent. Both are less effective when decoupled from each other. Industrial sponsored research projects must maintain a balance between the university's pursuit of research as an integral part of the educational process and industry's search for useful knowledge to be applied toward the development of products, processes and services.

Each industry-sponsored project is led by a NIU Principal Investigator (PI) who guides the research, shapes the resulting technology, and is responsible for the scientific coordination with the sponsoring company.

Industry-sponsored projects are initiated by a company using a Sponsored Research Agreement (Template is provided by the University of Utah Office of Sponsored Projects):

  • Research Agreements define a budget and a scope of work to be conducted by NIU researchers (possibly assisted by a sponsor-paid visiting scientist) and may provide sponsor access to resulting inventions and research results within the project scope and term. Sponsoring company:
      • Selects Research Scientist and Applicable Technology
      • The Technology and Venture Commercialization lists available technologies which are browseable by category or searchable by key word (
    • Prepares Research Proposal
      • Research scientist represent themselves in consulting agreements with private companies
    • Negotiates Terms
      • Statement of Work
      • Budget (Indirect cost: 49.5%
      • Intellectual Property Statement
      • Publication Statement
    • Completes Sponsored Research Agreement with the University
      • Involves a research agreement between the university (university researcher) and the sponsoring company
      • Includes Option Agreement with defines the licensing rights of the company to any intellectual property that may emerge from the sponsored research.

For more information on research areas of interest at NIU see Available Research Sponsorships at the Nano Institute of Utah.

Companies can find additional information on potential research collaborations by contacting the NIU at


Last Updated: 8/17/21