|Engaging with Commercial Firms
NREC performs applied research and technology development for premier commercial firms located in the U.S. and overseas; for equipment manufacturers and end users. Our markets include agriculture, mining, material handling, health care, and oil and gas.
From the first sponsor visit to NREC to final project delivery, an NREC principal investigator manages the sponsor relationship and project team. Typical steps in the process include:
This briefing acquaints the sponsor with automation technology and informs us of the sponsor’s specific technical needs and overall goals. We also identify technologies that your company could bring to the project.
A key component of this phase is jointly developing a solid cost-benefit justification for adding the proposed automation technology to your products and/or operations.
We present the project plan through a formal proposal that specifies objectives, scope of work, deliverables, time frame, and associated costs. Our proposal focuses on measurable performance objectives and key technical milestones.
We negotiate a Research Agreement with the sponsor that defines confidentiality, intellectual property, licensing options, and other business terms. Existing templates jump-start the process.
We launch the project after Carnegie Mellon and the sponsor sign the Research Agreement. At the kick-off meeting, we arrange site visits to collect data on the targeted application and prioritize issues. We identify field test locations that balance cost, convenience, and operational relevance. We encourage industrial sponsors to nominate on-site liaisons at NREC to serve on the project team and expedite technology transfer.
Scheduled project reviews and demonstrations give you frequent and open contact with the project team, technical direction, and results. Our team will quickly respond to new project goals that may arise from changing conditions in your markets or operations.
Intellectual Property Protection
We work with sponsors to identify which project-developed technologies can be patented to protect the sponsor’s competitive position. We offer a variety of licensing structures and carefully protect all partner proprietary information.
Following field testing, we document lessons learned in a final report and ship the deliverables defined in the project plan. Sponsors who elect to license the technology can immediately begin to commercialize it.
For more information, contact: