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NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. Sarma Vrudhula, Professor Arizona State University. I/UCRC: Industry/University Cooperative Research Program . Mission :

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nsf industry university cooperative research center

NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center

Sarma Vrudhula, Professor

Arizona State University


I/UCRC: Industry/University Cooperative Research Program


To contribute to the nation’s research infrastructure base by developing long-term partnerships among industry, academe and government

To leverage NSF funds with industry to support graduate students performing industrially relevant research


To expand the innovation capacity of our nation’s competitive workforce through partnerships between industries and universities

Over 30 years of fostering long-term trusted relationships between Industry and academe based on shared value

i ucrc approach
I/UCRC Approach




Academic sites, members, sectors served may evolve in time

Cooperatively Defined, Sector Precompetitive Research

Industry, Agency $

NSF Solicitation outlines partnership parameters

Shared Intellectual Property

Cooperative Operation


(Indirect reduction)


Provide the framework for industry to realize ongoing value from university fundamental research

NSF Seeds Activity, Centers succeed based on value they provide to their members, faculty.

i ucrc fast facts fy13 snapshot
I/UCRC Fast Facts – FY13 Snapshot
  • National Scope of I/UCRCs

ENG – Engineering

CISE – Computer and Info. Sci and Eng.

  • Centers Nationally:
  • 68 Centers with 193 Sites
  • 70% are at Land-Grants, 42% of Land grants have CRCs
  • Over 1000 Memberships,52% Large Business, 26% SB, 15% Federal Members
  • Program Funding
  • $16.4M in Program Funding $130M in Total Center Funding,
  • 8:1 Leveraging of NSF funds
  • Students
  • 2100 students engaged
  • 1000 graduated in 2011, over 30% hired by members
  • 350 PhDs, 425 MS & 250 UGs graduated last yr, trained in Center research
  • Sustainability
  • Over 40 Graduated I/UCRCs remain in operation
typical organizational chart
Typical Organizational Chart


Industriesacross the United








Academic Policy Committee


Faculty and Industrial Representation


Faculty and Industrial Representation

Faculty and Industrial Representation














what value does an i ucrc offer
What value does an I/UCRC offer?

Outcomes from a cooperatively defined and managed, shared portfolio of pre-competitive research

  • Value to IAB
  • IAB Research Needs
  • New research and education program directions
  • Leveraging of POC results from IUCRC projects
  • Trusted relationships with industry
  • Ready partners for translation of discoveries
  • Student recruitment, retention and placement
  • Entrepreneurial research with paths to commercialization
  • Lead industry-driven research projects
  • Maximize investment by pooled membership fees and matching federal funds
  • Networking with industry peers and customers
  • Access to intellectual property
  • Access to pre-publication research
  • Work with world class researchers & facilities
  • Access to students
  • Technology transfer
  • I/UCRC Research
  • Center Faculty Research
  • Academic Value
  • 6
funding formula
Funding Formula

First five years

  • lead university receives $70K+$10K for each additional university
  • partnering universities receive $50K-$70K1 each

Second five years

  • lead university receives $35K+$10K for each additional university +$8K for evaluator
  • partnering universities receive $25K-$35K3+$5K2 each


1. Funding level depends upon industrial membership level ($150K-$300K)

2. For evaluator, $8K first site, $5K second site, $3K third site, $0K additional sites

3. Note: REU’s, graduate fellowships, faculty fellowships, TIE awards, international, etc., are in addition to the base amounts above.

win win
  • For industry, an I/UCRC:
  • provides an avenue to investigate a topic which may otherwise not be done
  • accomplishes research at a fraction of the cost
  • allows an industry to utilize the talents and resources of a university
  • vehicle for changing the university culture: multidisciplinary; strategic fundamental
  • provides an excellent recruiting tool for building the future of the company
  • For the academic community, an I/UCRC:
  • stable funding source for research
  • exposes the academic community to the ‘real world’
  • establishes a meaningful research focus -- industrially-relevant fundamental
  • provides support for research and students
embedded systems research

Embedded Systems Research

Sarma Vrudhula, Professor

Arizona State University

Spyros Tragoudas, Professor

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

embedded computing systems
Embedded Computing Systems

Avionics instrument

Access switch

Ethernet cable

Ethernet cable

Backbone switch

Access switch

Avionics instrument

  • Sensing, Computing, Communication, Control

2001: Consortium for Embedded Systems – founded as Intel / Motorola partnership

2006:New Management

2009: Achieved NSF designation as Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC)

2009 - CES collects $2.5 million in membership fees;

2013: Conducts 70 research projects

  • Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC)
  • Membership-based, guided by industry advisory board (IAB)
  • Industry selects and drives research projects conducted by university faculty and students
  • Purpose
    • Fundamental research addressing industry-specific needs
    • Shared IP model – all members share resulting intellectual property
center for embedded systems ces
Center for Embedded Systems (CES)

A research collaboration between:

areas of expertise
Areas of Expertise

Detailed research areas available at: http://embedded.engineering.asu.edu/iucrc/index.php/overview

i ucrc model
I/UCRC Model

Membership-based, guided by IAB

Industry selects and drives research projects conducted by university faculty and students


  • Research addressing industry-specific needs
  • Shared IP model – all members share resulting intellectual property

Annual Membership: $50K with overhead reduced to 10%

annual timeline project cycle
Annual Timeline / Project Cycle

Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Progress Report Meeting at ASU, Tempe

  • Topics of interest due – industry to academia

Request for Proposal (RFP) sent to faculty / Membership fees billed

Proposals due to directors / Proposals due to IAB

“Soft” vote/evaluations complete

Final proposals due

Proposals posted on CES website

  • IAB Annual Meeting in SIUC, St. Louis
  • Present final & progress reports
  • Review and rank proposals
  • Announce new projects
  • Present center update & Expenditures

New projects begin












Results of final projects published

On-going research projects


becoming a member
Becoming a Member
  • Join through:
  • Arizona State University

Sign a one-time membership agreement

Work with site director / faculty to customize a research project or get involved with in-progress projects

technology transfer
Technology Transfer
  • "Since joining the Center for Embedded Systems this past year, Rockwell Collins is finding that the center provides us with a very cost effective opportunity to pool our resources with other companies to attack difficult technology issues. We have also found great value in leveraging the skills of the researchers to tackle problems specific to our own technology interests."
  • Scott J. Zogg, Sr. Director, Embedded Information Systems
  • Advanced Technology Center, Engineering and Technology
  • Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA

“The NSF Center for Embedded Systems has enabled us to integrate network-on-chip synthesis technologies developed by Professor Chatha’s group into Qualcomm Corp R&D design processes. Our interaction has been very good, and we have also had the benefit of attracting technically strong interns.”

Rudy Beraha

Director, Engineering

  • Qualcomm Corp., San Diego, CA
benefits of membership
Benefits of Membership
  • Conduct pre-competitive or exploratory research in an efficient, cost-effective way
  • Access faculty members with laboratory and computing facilities
  • Gain royalty-free non-exclusive IP rights on shared projects
  • Fund research at reduced overhead
  • Maximize ROI from pooled membership dollars and matching federal funds
  • Recruit engineering students with embedded systems experience for internships and permanent employment
roi on 50 k year membership fee
ROI on $50 K / Year Membership Fee
  • Typical value to Center for Embedded Systems’members, which varies each year (chart based on the Center’s year 4 membership/projects):

This consortium is worth ~$1.5M in research projects.

additional information
Additional Information

Research project titles:



Background - faculty, students & staff: