University-Industry Collaborations at center of UAS7 presidential visit to New York
How can colleges and universities best collaborate with businesses and industries to serve the professional interests of their students? What can universities in Germany learn from their U.S. partners in this regard, and vice versa? These were some of the questions at the center of the UAS7-presidential delegation visit to New York from November 3 through November 6, 2015.
The delegation included the presidents of four UAS7 member universities: Michael Kortstock (Munich University of Applied Sciences), Ute von Lojewski (Münster University of Applied Sciences), Karin Luckey (Bremen City University of Applied Sciences), and UAS7 Chairman Bernd Reissert (Berlin School of Economics and Law).
On Tuesday, November 3, the group visited the University at Albany (SUNY) where they were welcomed by President Robert Jones and Harvey Charles (Vice Provost and Dean of International Education). The presidents also met with Sanjay Goel (Associate Professor in the Information Technology Management Department at the Albany School of Business) and James Stellar (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost). In the afternoon, the delegation toured the SUNY Polytechnic Institute at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, where they were accompanied by executive staff members Michael Fancher and Michael Liehr. Building on the earlier successes of the SUNY-UAS7 partnership (especially in the field of student exchanges), the partners discussed potential areas for new collaborations, including faculty and research exchanges as well as mutual grant proposals for international internship opportunities.
On the following day, November 4, the UAS7 delegation and the UAS7 New York office invited partners and friends to a workshop on University-Industry Collaborations at the German Consulate in New York City. The event was designed to serve as a transatlantic dialogue about challenges and best practices in the areas of industry partnerships and workforce development. Its goal was to determine strategies for future collaborations on these issues. The UAS7 delegation was proud to host representatives from its partner universities Drexel University, University of Pittsburgh, University at Albany (SUNY), Binghamton University (SUNY), as well as befriended institutions such as the City University of New York, the German American Chamber of Commerce New York, the German Center for Research and Innovation New York and the German Embassy in Washington DC.
The topic of University Industry Collaborations stayed in the spotlight on November 5, when the UAS7 delegation attended the 18th Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education, which was co-organized by the Institute of International Education and DAAD New York. UAS7 organized a panel discussion on “Industry Academia Collaborations in Germany and in the US – Challenges and Best Practices for international partnership”. The panelists Kristine Lalley (University of Pittsburgh), Karl Siebold (UAS7/Munich University of Applied Sciences), and Bernd Reissert (UAS7/Berlin School of Economic and Law) presented best practices, and common challenges for international industry partnerships and students exchanges. The conference also allowed the UAS7 delegation to meet many new colleagues and potential partners in the field of international engineering education.
The last day of the visit, November 6, brought the UAS7 presidents to Stony Brook University (SUNY) on Long Island, where the delegation was welcomed and accompanied by Wolf Schäfer (Interim Dean of International Academic Programs and Services) and Yoomni Noh (Assistant Dean for Global Initiatives). After meetings with David O. Conover (Vice President for Research) as well as Dennis Assanis (Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs), the delegation met with Yacov Shamash (Vice President for Economic Development) as well as several staff and faculty members from the Center of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWIT) to discuss industry’s role in academic scientific research. After a tour of CEWIT’s laboratories, the visit concluded with a tour of select research laboratories at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).
The visit showed that the subject of university-industry collaborations is growing in importance among U.S. higher education administrators. UAS7 intends on continuing to play an active role in these discussions, and to offer its own best practices as a model to its U.S. partners. The delegation visit was an important, and successful, step in the direction of developing a lasting transatlantic exchange on these issues.