NSF LogoNSF-Sponsored Workshop on Effective
Community-University-Industry Collaboration Models for Smart and Connected Communities Research

November 30 ‐ December 1, 2017

Washington, DC

Overview and Objectives

This two-day workshop brings together academics from a wide variety of disciplines, city officials, community partners and industry experts motivated to improve economic prosperity, public safety, efficiency, and well-being through multi-sector research collaborations focusing on smart and connected communities (S&CC). Panel discussions will delve into successful models and lessons learned in forming and managing these collaborations, and surface continuing challenges and barriers to their success. Real-time group synthesis will allow participants to identify and prioritize barriers and levers that will be addressed in greater depth by the Boston University team in a subsequent report.

Meeting Agenda

Towards the above goals, the following is an overview of the various sessions planned for the workshop. Details about these sessions are provided below. To review the presentations please click on the appropriate panel below.

Thursday November 30, 2017

[08:00 - 08:30] Check-In and Breakfast
[08:30 - 09:00] Opening Remarks and Overview of Objectives & Agenda
[09:00 - 09:45] Keynotes: Dan Stokols (UCI) & Erik Fisher (ASU)
[09:45 - 11:00] Panel 1: Building Socio-Technical Collaborations within Academia
[11:00 - 11:15] Coffee Break
[11:15 - 12:30] Panel 2: Forming and Norming City/University Collaborations
[12:30 - 13:30] Lunch Presentation: Cross-Sector Perspectives from the EPA and the NIH
[13:30 - 14:45] Panel 3: Fostering Respectful, Bidirectional Community Engagements
[14:45 - 15:00] Coffee Break
[15:00 - 16:15] Panel 4: Student Engagement as Catalyst for Successful Partnerships
[16:15 - 17:30] Panel 5: Devising and Deploying City/Community Testbeds
[18:00 - 19:30] Dinner

Friday December 1, 2017

[08:00 - 08:30] Breakfast
[08:30 - 09:00] Keynote: Mark Dowd & Daniel Correa (Smart Cities Lab) 
[09:00 - 10:15] Panel 6: Research Translation and Scaling via Industry Collaboration
[10:15 - 10:30] Coffee Break
[10:30 - 11:00] Report Back: Synthesis of Barriers/Levers/Opportunities
[11:00 - 12:15] Looking Ahead: Institutionalizing Lessons Learned: Steps & Resources
[12:15 - 12:30] Wrap-Up 

Workshop Venue

The workshop will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Crystal City at 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. All sessions will take place in he Monument View Room on the 14th Floor of the North Tower.

The Double Tree by Hilton offers an airport shuttles that goes to DCA Airport (every 15 minutes) and Pentagon City Metro Station (every 30 minutes). The airport pickup/drop off is at Terminal A at and at Terminals B & C (doors 5 & 9). The hotelpick-up/drop-off is by the lower lobby. Guests will need to be in the lobby at the desired pickup time. There is no need to sign up for the shuttle.

Attendees driving to the Workshop will receive discounted parking at the Towne Park garage (300 Army Navy Drive). Those driving in for the day will need to pickup a pass at the workshop registration desk at the beginning of the workshop. Parking is $19 a day and spaces are on a first-come basis. If you leave the parking garage without a pass, parking will be $34 a day.

Program Details

Keynote Talks

Dan Stokols
Recall-Faculty and Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior
Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy
School of Social Ecology
University of California, Irvine

Erik Fisher
Associate Professor
School for the Future of Innovation in Society
Arizona State University

Daniel Correa (co-Founder) & Mark Dowd (Executive Director)
Smart Cities Lab

Panel Discussions

Using past experiences, this panel will explore ways in which various projects, initiatives, and teams have been successful, or not, at bridging the socio-technical (ST) divide within academia. Panelists will address questions including: Why is there a divide? What are the challenges? What are the disciplinary and cultural impediments? What complementary roles do ST collaborations play in sustaining partnerships with community/government collaborators? How might ST collaborators transition from working on short-term challenges, problems, or projects to working on a variety of jointly-interesting problems?

Moderator: Yannis Paschalidis, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Boston University

– Farrah Cambrice, Sociology, Prairie View A&M University
– Ulrike Passe, Architecture, Iowa State University
– Venki Uddameri, Civil Engineering, Texas Tech

Understanding the needs of cities is vital for effective community engagement in city/university collaborations. This panel will explore: What are the resources and specific outputs being requested by cities? How do cities protect the privacy and interests of its constituents? How do academic partners systematize and professionalize their involvement to ensure collaboration rather than ad hoc interactions?

Moderator: Katharine Lusk, BU Initiative on Cities

– Tamas Budavari, Applied Math & Stats, Johns Hopkins University
– Michael Braverman, Housing Commissioner, City of Baltimore
– Zoe Hamstead, Environmental Planning, University of Buffalo
– Eric Walker, Director of Energy Development, Dept of Public Works, Erie County
– Constantine Samaras, Civil & Environmental Engineering, CMU

This panel will consider best practices for effectively engaging community stakeholders as active collaborators in research projects. Including: How can the community inform the research questions/challenges? What role can the community play in providing resources and expertise to the projects and assisting in the planning of evaluation metrics? How do researchers navigate the city/community dynamic, including in instances of tension as well harmony?

Moderator: Tom Byrne, School of Social Work, Boston University

– Brenda Bannon, Instructional Design & Tech, George Mason University
– Alan Bush, Community Planning, Honors College, University of Florida
– Sandeep Purao, Information & Process Management, Bentley University
– Elizabeth Sullivan, Brighton Main Streets, City of Boston

Engagement of graduate and undergraduate students can be a catalyst for successful Community-University-Industry partnerships. This panel will address questions including: What are the best-practices of embedding students’ projects and research, and students themselves, into city/community settings? How could curricular offerings benefit from and/or leverage S&CC projects? What opportunities could S&CC partnerships offer to city/community stakeholders (e.g., in-residence programs or certificates)?

Moderator: Ziba Cranmer, Boston University, Director, BU SPARK!

– Patricia Boyle-McKenna, Chief of Staff, City of Boston Department of Innovation & Technology
– Sajal Das, Computer Science, Missouri University Science & Technology
– Abhishek Dubey, Earth & Environmental Science, Vanderbilt University
– Mina Sartipi, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Successful governance structures and financial models can lead to robust testbed networks. This panel will explore examples and lessons learned from technological and non-technologically-focused testbeds, including: What governance structures and financial models have contributed to robust testbeds? If testbeds are developed to support research, then whose responsibility is it to sustain these testbeds beyond the lifetime of the funded project? Are there examples of non-technologically-focused testbeds (e.g., from the social science or public health) and what can be learned from these experiences? What challenges have been overcome, and what remain?

Moderator: David Corman, Program Director, CNS/CISE, NSF

– Katie Olson, Director, City Digital
– Amy Aussieker, Executive Director, Envision Charlotte
– Rebecca Chisolm, Manager Federal Business Development, Cisco

This panel will identify challenges and common barriers associated with translating research to practice. For example: What role does industry have in implementation (from pilot to deployment), sustainability of solutions, and workforce training? How can industry collaborate with researchers as a partner on the research, bridging the gap from the traditional role as a vendor? What challenges persist to these types of collaborations and how might they be overcome?

Moderator: Meghan Cook, Center for Technology in Government, University of Albany

– Elizabeth Grossman, Director of National Programs, Microsoft Cities Team
– Dan Hoffman, Assistant City Manager, Gainesville, FL
– Pierlugi Pisu, Automotive Engineering, Clemson University

Plenary Sessions

Thomas Dalbey and John Thomas
Office of Sustainable Communities
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Bill Elwood
OppNet Facilitator/Health Scientist Administrator
Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This workshop is intended to be highly participatory through roundtable discussions and rapid group synthesis that will follow each of the panels (summarized above). Participants will be grouped into eight roundtable groups. After each panel, participants will engage in a quick discussion to synthesize the takeaways from the panel – namely barriers, levers, and opportunities that came up which resonated with them as well as those that did not come up. During this session, the workshop co-chairs will summarize the feedback received from each of the roundtable groups.

This final session will explore the human, financial, and technical resources needed to advance ideas that have emerged from the workshop. Panelist will reflect on: What should universities do to “institutionalize” best practices for community-university-industry collaborations? How do we enable this community of researchers to share and copy best practices learned and to deal with new questions or challenges emerging in areas such as data privacy, transparent communication, and enrichment programs?

Moderator: Azer Bestavros, Computer Science, Boston University

– Erwin Gianchandani, Deputy Assistant Director, CISE, NSF
– Ben Levine, MetroLab
– Katharine Lusk, Executive Director, Initiative on Cities, Boston University


Workshop Organization

This workshop is organized by the Hariri Institute for Computing and by the Initiative on Cities at Boston University, with support from the National Science Foundation. For more information about the workshop program, please contact the workshop co-chairs:

Azer Bestavros

      Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science


      Founding Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing


      Boston University


    Katharine Lusk

        Executive Director


        The Initiative on Cities


      Boston University

    This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1748189. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.