Issue Date: October 29, 2007
BASF Commits $20 Million To Harvard Research
BASF and Harvard University's Office of Technology Investment have agreed to form the BASF Advanced Research Initiative. With $20 million from BASF, the five-year program will initially support 10 postdoctoral students and other Harvard researchers, primarily in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. However, the initiative will also draw on a network of faculty and students in labs throughout Harvard.
The partners say the agreement sets up a novel model for university-industry collaborations. They call it a "fully collaborative, integrated partnership" among Harvard and BASF researchers intended to foster a "vibrant and dynamic" intellectual exchange.
Venkatesh Narayanamurti, dean of the engineering school, says the research initiative will allow the school "to bolster our existing excellence in basic and applied research and develop new ways to bring research out of the lab."
Stefan Marcinowski, BASF's executive research director, says he is looking toward the practical applications to come from the initiative. "We expect this initiative to generate new and unconventional innovations, which can lead to future products."
Project areas could include applied physics, applied mathematics, chemical biology, systems biology, bioengineering, and materials science. One target for investigation is improved delivery of active-ingredient molecules in polymer systems for applications in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, cosmetics, food, and feed. Another project will seek a better understanding of biofilm formation to help researchers find new ways of inhibiting microbial growth.
Under the agreement, BASF will have the opportunity to further develop discoveries and innovations. But Harvard faculty investigators will reserve the right to distribute and publish any discoveries from the initiative.
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