Arden L. Bement, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, and C.D. Mote, president of the University of Maryland, College Park, today signed an agreement to broadly expand research collaborations and professional linkages between the two institutions.
"I am proud of the long and distinguished history of collaboration between NIST and the University of Maryland," said Bement. "This agreement strengthens the ties between our two organizations and paves the way for future cooperative ventures that will advance America's leadership in science and technology," he added.
"This partnership between NIST and the University of Maryland in entrepreneurial science and technology ventures is a key to the most effective use of our great complementary assets," said Mote. "While each organization will benefit remarkably by these joint efforts, it is our collaborative work to maintain national leadership in science and technology that will benefit most."
The agreement calls for both organizations to encourage cooperative work in science and technology including areas such as nanometrology and nanomanufacturing. Specific mechanisms envisioned to foster joint activities include providing transportation between the two campuses; encouraging joint use of equipment and staff; and providing opportunities for NIST staff to serve as adjunct faculty and for University staff and students to use NIST facilities and equipment.
For example, the agreement provides mechanisms for joint appointments, enabling NIST researchers to teach in the University's new Jeong H. Kim Engineering and Applied Sciences Building scheduled to open in 2005 and University researchers to collaborate on experiments in NIST's new Advanced Measurement Laboratory, which will begin operating next year.
The agreement also includes a new model for intellectual property rights that would provide protection for intellectual property created not only in collaborative projects between NIST and the University, but also projects involving the two institutions and a corporation.
"This new provision allows NIST and the University to work together with the private sector, protecting all three parties' proprietary information and intellectual property, while allowing that intellectual property to be bundled together and carried into the marketplace," said Bement.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurement, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.
The University of Maryland—the state's flagship university and the top-rated public research university in the mid-Atlantic region—advances knowledge, provides outstanding and innovative instruction, and nourishes a climate of intellectual growth in a broad range of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary fields.
A copy of the agreement is available at http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/univmdmou.htm.