A private sector company gave equipment to my institution after June 1, 2017, i.e., the date specified in the FY 2017-18 R&D ITRS and P-o-C/P RFP in which Grants, Awards, and “in-kind” contributions may be applied toward any matching commitments required during the contract term. Although the equipment is used in other areas of research on campus, it would also be used for my research (analysis/testing) for the company. Could the company serve as an industry partner for my project?
Though the company could serve as a partner, the fact that a company gave (donated) equipment to an institution does not constitute an industrial partnership or meet the goals of ITRS. An industry partnership must represent a true collaboration between the institution and the private sector. Proposals submitted to the ITRS must involve research, not just analysis/testing for a private company. Any equipment that represents an in-kind contribution must be used specifically for the ITRS project; otherwise, access to university equipment should be considered an Institutional Capability and Commitment. As stated in the RFP, the specific objective of the ITRS is to fund research proposals with significant near-term potential for development and diversification of Louisiana’s economic base. The ITRS is also a stimulus program. To be funded, proposal must provide evidence that the project will: (1) involve significant private-sector or Federal Funding or, at a minimum, develop a plan to greatly increase the likelihood of receiving Federal or private-sector funding in the near term; or (2) result potentially in the enhancement or establishment of a Louisiana business or industry which will attract significant revenue to the State. Finally, regardless of any commitment in year 1, as described here, the industry partner must formally pledge and honor, if funded, in-cash or in-kind matches specifically to the research project for all years for which BoRSF funding is requested.