IPRIME (Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering) member companies receive a one-third discount on instrument time (but not staff time) for proprietary work.
There are additional, collaborative routes available to IPRIME member companies. These collaborations fund open, publishable research at internal-to-UMN charge rates for both instrument and staff time. Usually the materials studied are model systems provided by the company, chosen to be representative of important technological systems whether in current products or under development. There are two routes by which collaborative work can be pursued, within IPRIME fellowships and via the NMP program of IPRIME:
- Fellows: IPRIME companies with a Sponsor level of membership have the option to name a Fellow for a given year, which results in a $10,000 appropriation (from the membership fee) to collaborate with an IPRIME principal investigator (PI) -- whether a faculty member OR CharFac scientist. Fellows collaborating with faculty groups commonly seek training in the CharFac for hands-on use of instrumentation in basic modes of operation. Fellows collaborating with CharFac scientists often seek more specialized and advanced methods as provided by the staff scientist(s), further designed to address a specific materials/technological problem of interest to the IPRIME Company (this kind of fellowship is virtually identical to a Methods Collaboration). The staff work is often exploratory and in some cases pioneers fundamentally new analytical methodologies (and may be published as such).
- NMP interaction: IPRIME companies may further collaborate with CharFac scientists by choosing to participate in the Nanostructural Materials and Processes program (via staff member Haugstad as PI, who represents the CharFac, but the company rep may directly interface with additional staff members). In this case a portion of the company’s membership dollars flow to the CharFac for research performed by the staff in collaboration with a company representative (who may also be a Fellow, i.e., this NMP interaction may extend and leverage the collaborative work of the Fellowship).
Professional / Ethical Confirmation by IPRIME Fellows:
Prior to receiving clearance to begin activity in the CharFac, all new IPRIME fellows must confirm (documented in a simple email) the following understanding:
- Basic methods training followed by hands-on usage presumes a non-collaborative interaction.
- A Fellow seeking contribution from a CharFac technical staff member(s) that extends beyond basic training and assistance should presume that scholarly collaboration (co- authorship) is likely.
- A final decision on whether a collaborative interaction is adopted must take place in discussion with the CharFac staff person(s) contributing the effort, under the assumption that the CharFac staff member(s) will provide some of the most pertinent information to steer this decision.
- The industrial fellow is principally responsible for ensuring that the decision in (3) is fully understood and carried out by the members of a given collaborative group, and by any entities that invite formal communications from a member or members of this collaborative group. In other words it is not the responsibility of the CharFac staff scientist to track down and ensure that the Fellow, and/or other collaborators, and/or entities seeking communication from this collaboration, have indeed carried out the decision in (3).