Northeastern launches innovation center with Rogers Corporation

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion have announced plans to estab­lish the Rogers Inno­va­tion Center at Northeastern’s George J. Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity in Burlington, Mass. This part­ner­ship demon­strates the emer­gence of a new oppor­tu­nity for university-​​corporate col­lab­o­ra­tions aimed at accel­er­ating the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of basic research.

As a global tech­nology leader in advanced mate­rials and com­po­nents for con­sumer and power elec­tronics, trans­porta­tion, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, and defense sys­tems, Rogers’ exper­tise closely aligns with Northeastern’s focus on use-​​inspired research in health, secu­rity, and sustainability.

The part­ner­ship will allow North­eastern and Rogers to leverage their com­ple­men­tary research and devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives in  advanced mate­rials. Rogers is a world leader in devel­oping and man­u­fac­turing unique, high-​​performance mate­rials used in high-​​frequency printed cir­cuits, power elec­tronics, impact pro­tec­tion, and sealing appli­ca­tions. North­eastern brings to the part­ner­ship a broad range of mate­rials research exper­tise in areas as diverse as super strong carbon fibers and meta­ma­te­rials designed for invis­i­bility cloaking.

“We are incred­ibly excited about this unique part­ner­ship with Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion, one that can be a model for how uni­ver­si­ties and cor­po­ra­tions should interact in the future for the ben­efit of both par­ties,” said Melvin Bern­stein, senior vice provost for research and grad­uate edu­ca­tion at North­eastern. “The ben­e­fits of co-​​locating researchers from both enti­ties include iden­ti­fying research projects that both meet aca­d­emic stan­dards and market needs, helping to pre­pare a skilled work­force and suc­cess­fully addressing joint and sep­a­rate intel­lec­tual prop­erty issues. This part­ner­ship pro­vides a tem­plate for addressing the national need to better leverage the intel­lec­tual prowess and inno­v­a­tive uni­ver­sity envi­ron­ment to improve indus­trial competitiveness.”

Focused on the ear­liest stages of tech­nical and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment, the center will foster a col­lab­o­ra­tive envi­ron­ment for devel­oping new high-​​tech mate­rials solu­tions in close align­ment with market needs. Robust com­mu­ni­ca­tions infra­struc­ture is among the ini­tial appli­ca­tion areas tar­geted by the partnership.

Bob Daigle, chief tech­nology officer for Rogers, com­mented, “Our team looks for­ward to col­lab­o­rating with aca­d­emic researchers in the entre­pre­neurial envi­ron­ment being cre­ated at the Kostas Insti­tute. Together with North­eastern, we are excited to share capa­bil­i­ties and sci­en­tific knowl­edge to create new mate­rials solu­tions that will help power, pro­tect, and con­nect the world in new and better ways.”

To be com­pleted by year-​​end, the inno­va­tion center will be housed in 4,000 square feet of the 70,000-square-foot Kostas Insti­tute and will include lab­o­ra­to­ries, con­fer­ence rooms, and office space for both North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers and a core team of R&D, mar­keting, and new busi­ness devel­op­ment pro­fes­sionals from Rogers. The co-​​location of per­sonnel and the modern “open-​​office” struc­ture are intended to encourage corporate-​​academic col­lab­o­ra­tion, and inno­va­tion from basic research through com­mer­cial­iza­tion. The center will also pro­vide a unique oppor­tu­nity for North­eastern stu­dents to gain first-​​hand insight on the inner work­ings of industry.

In addi­tion to the research, devel­op­ment, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion activ­i­ties, Rogers has com­mitted to pro­viding sub­stan­tial, multi-​​year funding for North­eastern research pro­grams and grad­uate stu­dent education.