Common Questions on Working with Industry
Here are a few frequently asked questions we hear about getting started with industry.
Visit the Research Support site for more information, or reach out to schedule a meeting.
I have a new idea/discovery/invention. Where do I start?
There are lots of options for finding real world applications for your research from finding companies who could collaborate on next steps or license your work to starting your own company based off a new discovery. Contact us for more information. We have resources to support all these options and to help you explore next steps.
How can I find people who are interested in using my discovery/invention?
There are lots of options for finding real world applications for your research, from identifying companies who could collaborate on next steps or license your work, to starting your own company. Regardless of how you’d like to get your idea into the world, your first step should be to talk to potential customers and gather information about interest for your new discovery. To learn more about options and talking to clients, contact Industry Engagement.
I have a meeting coming up with a company. What do I need to know?
Industry Engagement can help you prepare for meetings with a company, which can lead to excellent collaborations but which differ in important ways from academic collaborations. Our team is here to help strategize your objectives for a meeting, do background research on a company’s mission and customers, and be informed about BU’s policies around industry-related activities. Please reach out to our team to get support.
A company asked me to sign a confidentiality agreement. What should I do?
Confidentiality Disclosure Agreements (also known as CDAs) are signed by the institution, so faculty are actually not able to sign one on their own. We recommend that, before agreeing to a CDA, you learn more about the company and how a CDA may impact your research going forward. Industry Engagement can help you determine the goals of the CDA and decide on best-practice next steps. Learn more about CDAs on the Research Support site
I know what I need to do. Where can I find the right form or contact?
You can find intake forms and guidance on negotiating an industry agreement here
on the Research Support site.
If your activity is related to commercialization or technology disclosure
, visit the Bring to Market page
on the Research Support site to find the form you need.
If you are expecting an industry gift payment
Industry Engagement to start the invoice process.
For other activities that don’t require a form, keep in touch
with Industry Engagement. Our team can help at every step along the way.