NSF LogoTowards Effective Community-University-Industry Collaboration Models

NSF Visioning Workshop at Boston University
July 27‐28, 2017


Overview and Objectives

This is the first of two workshops that will bring together stakeholders engaged in Smart & Connected Community (S&CC) projects for the purpose of examining successful partnership models, identifying metrics that partners agree are indicative of success, identifying potential or perceived impediments to broader success, and distilling generalizable lessons/patterns that may be applicable in other settings.

In this first (planning) workshop, the main goal is to identify practices and perceived hurdles, and distill a set of questions that can be posed to a broader set of partners and projects in the second workshop, illuminating the challenges faced by cities in advancing research projects to reach and impact communities. Particular emphasis will be given to sustainable ways in which university‐based research can be translated into city pilot projects and deployments in potential partnership with industry.

Note: The second workshop will be held in the Washington DC area, and is tentatively scheduled for mid-late November, 2017.


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.

Thursday July 27, 2017: Day 1 – Retrospective
8:30 – 9:00 Check-In and Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Opening Remarks, Self Introductions, and Overview of Objectives and Plans
9:30 – 10:30 Project Perspective: Introspective/Discussion of Partnership Experiences
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee/Email Break
11:00 – 12:30 Partner Perspective: Introspective/Discussion of Partnership Experiences
12:30 – 14:00 Working Lunch: Identify case studies (moon shots and low-hanging fruits)
14:00 – 15:00 Hack The Process: Map case studies to reference collaboration model
15:00 – 15:30 Coffee/Email Break
15:30 – 16:30 Hack The Process: Identify stakeholders, resources, needs, and wants
16:30 – 17:00 Report Out and discussion of key takeaways
18:00 – 19:30 Dinner
Friday July 28, 2017: Day 2 – Synthesis
 8:30 – 9:00  Check-In and Breakfast
 9:00 – 10:00  Synthesize key insights from introspective and case studies from Day #1
 10:00 – 10:30  Prioritize processes and needs
 10:30 – 11:00  Coffee/Email Break
 11:00 – 12:00  Discussion and planning of next steps for survey and workshop #2
 12:00 – 12:15  Closing Remarks



The two morning sessions are meant to identify best practices that support effective S&CC partnerships as well as hurdles that stifle such partnerships. This will be based on observations and experiences from two perspectives: The project perspective (research‐ focused/academically‐driven) as well as the stakeholder perspective (deployment‐ focused/needs‐and‐wants‐driven).

Having established a retrospective understanding of what worked in previous collaborations, the afternoon session would shift towards applying these initial insights to a hypothetical case study or scenario in order to further test their applicability to defining future models of collaboration and needed investments and/or resources or programs. This mapping will be with respect to the components and interfaces of the collaboration reference model illustrated in the diagram below.

Reference Collaboration Model for S&CC
Reference Collaboration Model for Smart & Connected Community Projects


Session Details

A short summary of the objectives and activities for each of the key sessions listed in the workshop agenda is provided below (click on the “+” button to expand).


Discussion Starters

The workshop is meant as a dialogue and a candid exchange of ideas to compare notes and experiences. As such it will not feature any prepared talks or presentations. Rather, the meeting will consider a set of questions (exemplified below) that will help with this exchange of ideas and perspectives.



Confirmed attendees of the workshop, representing various stakeholders in existing Community-University-Industry collaborations are listed below.



This workshop is organized and hosted by the Hariri Institute for Computing, in collaboration with the Initiative on Cities, Office of Corporate Relations, and Center for Information & Systems Engineering at Boston University.

This workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (support pending) with in-kind support provided by IDC.



Workshop organization and program:

Azer Bestavros
Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
Founding Director, Hariri Institute for Computing
Boston University
Phone: (617) 353-9726 / Email: best@bu.edu

Administrative and logistical support:

Katherine T. Gerrety
Events & Program Manager, Hariri Institute for Computing
Boston University
Phone: (617) 358-6692 / Email: ktd@bu.edu