Co-hosted by Princeton, tech research conference draws large crowd on West Coast

Monday, May 14, 2018

UIDP 26: The University-Industry Conference on Building Collaborations in the Technology Ecosystem

Silicon Valley, April 16-19, 2018

When Princeton and Cisco team up to talk about research collaborations in technology, universities and industry show up.

The Spring conference of UIDP, staged in Silicon Valley by Princeton’s Office of Corporate Engagement and Cisco, drew 300+ representatives from companies and higher ed to discuss “building university-industry collaborations in the technology ecosystem.” It was the largest UIDP meeting ever. UIDP is an organization that grew out of the national academies more than ten years ago and is dedicated to strengthening university-industry partnerships. The four-day event featured more than 90 speakers from industry, academia and government, presenting in 40 different sessions.

Princeton decided to work with Cisco to host the meeting in Silicon Valley to highlight the University’s strength in technology-related research, as well as Princeton’s West Coast outreach activities and collaborations. In the words of Dean Pablo Debenedetti who helped to open the event,

The path of innovation that brought us the digital age began on McCosh Walk. And the pathways that run through Princeton’s legendary campus continue to lead to where tomorrow’s innovations are being made. Whether you are a university or a company, the gates to innovation at Princeton are open. We look forward to working with you.

Princeton on the Pacific Coast: Collaborating with the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

The UIDP meeting was one of two events staged by Princeton in Silicon Valley during the April week dubbed, "Princeton on the Pacific Coast."  The  Princeton Entrepreneurship Council also held one of their popular "Tiger Talks on the Road," focusing on AI and computer vision. The session included a presentation by Professor Thomas Funkhauser, head of the Princeton 3D Vision Lab and the David M. Siegel ’83 Professor in Computer Science. 

Highlighted Princeton Presentations from UIDP 26

1. Princeton's Legacy in Computer and Data Science

Dean for Research Pablo G. Debenedetti 

Princeton’s Dean for Research Pablo G. Debenedetti opened the conference with a presentation highlighting the University’s collaborations with companies across campus. Debenedetti went on to recount the Princeton’s rich legacy in computer and data science, starting from early work in electromagnetic induction in the 1800s up to today’s groundbreaking work in quantum computing, computer networking, AI and IoT. Debenedetti told the group “The computer and technical age that brought us the fantastic innovation and success of Silicon Valley took root and was nourished in Princeton.”


2. Academia, Industry and Government: Technical and Non-Technical Thinking in Cybersecurity Policy

Professor Ed Felten, Director of CITP and Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs

Aaron Kleiner, Microsoft

Professor Ed Felten, director of the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs, teamed up with Aaron Kleiner of Microsoft to talk about “Cybersecurity Policy in the Age of AI and IoT.” Although Felten has spent most of his career in academia, he has had two stints in government policymaking, including as the Deputy U.S. Technology Officer in the Obama White House. Felten discussed ways in which “policy questions can inform what we do as academics” and inform how companies think about products. Felten is interested in integrating technical and non-technical thinking.

3. Improving the Internet: The Importance of Collaboration in Research

Jennifer Rexford, Chair of the Computer Science Department

Speaking via teleconference from the Princeton campus, Professor Jennifer Rexford, Chair of the Computer Science Department and a veteran of eight years at AT&T, talked about her career-long research interest in innovating the Internet itself to make it “more secure, more efficient, more reliable and more cost-effective.” Comparing the effort to “changing the tires on a car while it is being driven down the highway”, Rexford underlined the importance of collaboration– across disciplines and with industry – to this area of research. She also outlined the different approaches and strengths of industry versus academia.

4. A Matchmaking Database for Research: The Best Science is Done in Teams 

Eli Khazzam, NJ Economic Development Authority

Kelechi Okere, Elsevier

Coleen Burrus, Princeton's director of corporate engagement, moderated a panel on the State of New Jersey’s new research asset database, Princeton is one of five universities participating in the pilot. Eli Khazzam of the NJ Economic Development Authority said government can make a difference by bringing together universities and the private sector. The hope is that the database will function as a matchmaking platform for researchers from industry and academia to find each other and forge collaborations that lead to innovation and real economic development in the state. Kelechi Okere of Elsevier, the company providing the technology platform for the database, said statistics about research around the world back up that hope. Using the number of times a piece of research is cited as a measure of innovation, Okere said that academic-industry collaborations produce research with the highest impact. He noted, “Around the world, the most impactful science is done in teams.” 

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Tiger Talks on the Road Returns to California

Princeton on the Pacific Coast 2018

UIDP26 Highlights (Video at