Discovery Themes: An Investment in Excellence

In 2012, Ohio State committed $500 million over 10 years to promote a novel partnership model based on multidisciplinary collaboration. The intent is to maximize mutual value in research, education, recruitment, outreach and engagement, and responsible stewardship of human and natural resources. This new model termed the "Discovery Themes" initiative, supports the growth of seven program areas that address global problems through partnerships with the public and private sectors. The initiative incentivizes cross-disciplinary collaborations across the university to remove research silos and provide superlative teams of researchers, best positioned to provide solutions to our partners. The Discovery Themes initiative represents a fundamental change in culture at Ohio State and a significant shift in the traditional university-private sector relationship.

The program areas, led by ILO Executive Directors with industry experience include:

Another area, still in development, will engage students and interdisciplinary groups of faculty in signature scholarship across the humanities and the arts.


UIDP logoThe University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) is an organization that offers industry and universities an opportunity to connect and collaborate. They provide forums for members to collectively discuss strategies about issues both segments experience. The Ohio State University is a university member of UIDP and Dan Kramer, the ILO Director, is the OSU UIDP representative.

The UIDP has several publications that industry and academia may find useful when contemplating a partnership.

Guiding Principles for University-Industry Endeavors
This publication recognizes that the missions and objectives of the university and industry are different. With these guiding principles as a starting point, strategies and processes can be put forward to develop collaborations in which the parties' disparate missions, objectives, and constraints can be simultaneously addressed to achieve a more beneficial outcome.

Understanding and Developing the Pathways for Beneficial University-Industry Engagement: Partnership Engagement
This document describes The Partnership Continuum-a new way of thinking about the myriad ways in which academia, industry, and government can interact for mutual benefit, often in ways which contribute to national growth.

A Guide for Successful Institutional-Industrial Collaborations: Researcher Guidebook
The guidebook is divided into two parts: Institutional Researcher and Industrial Researcher and together create a strategic tool to promote greater understanding of the issues that face both parties in order to facilitate more effective collaborations for mutual benefit.

Comparing Internal Structure Guide
This guide was developed to enhance the understanding of the various roles and responsibilities within universities. University and industry partners need to have a baseline knowledge of how their organizations operate in order to execute efficient and effective collaborations.

Please note that these UIDP publications are copyright protected by UIDP and cannot be circulated outside of The Ohio State University.