Rutgers accepts invitation to join the prestigious Committee on Institutional Cooperation

Rutgers has accepted an invitation to join the prestigious Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the nation’s premier higher education consortium of top-tier research institutions. The following is commentary from Kenneth J. Breslauer, Linus C. Pauling Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Dean and Vice President, Life and Health Sciences. Currently Dr. Breslauer also provides oversight and leadership for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
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On a myriad of levels, Rutgers University has much to contribute and much to benefit from association with the CIC.  Rutgers possesses one of the nation’s largest and most diverse student bodies, embedded in the Northeast Corridor within the nation’s most ethnically diverse state, surrounded by and engaged with extensive big pharma and biotech industries, all fueled by the nation’s highest-density workforce of engineers and scientists.  These features complement and enrich the existing impressive landscape of the CIC, while providing enhanced opportunities for additional joint ventures.

In the research arena, Rutgers has a substantial portfolio of annual external funding in excess of $650 million, with a chemistry department ranked number one in terms of federal funding.  Rutgers houses unique national resources that enable worldwide research, such as the Macromolecular Structural Database (the world’s molecular library crucial for rational drug design), the Cell and DNA Repositories of seven NIH institutes (enabling genetic profiling of a broad spectrum of human disorders), the Northeast Structural Genomics Center, the National Transportation Center, a NCI-designated comprehensive  Cancer Center, and the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine, to name but a few. The essence of such national resources is collaborative, so participation in the CIC would enhance both Rutgers and CIC membership by presenting new avenues of programmatic engagement, including access to populations.

The research landscape at Rutgers also is decorated by a significant number of federally sponsored public-private partnerships, as exemplified by an Engineering Research Center focused on pharmaceutical and continuous manufacturing technologies (with pilot and production plants in Puerto Rico), a NSF-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Program in “Big Data,” including medical image analysis, a NIH-sponsored strategic alliance with Infinite Biologics, which, in collaboration with big pharma, stores and profiles human cell lines, and a Food Innovation Center that has commercialized over 45 products.  Such industry/university partnerships are enriched by broadening the base of public- and private-sector talent that participates in these joint ventures; a broadening that would be stimulated via membership in the CIC.

The Rutgers research portfolio further includes an impressive spectrum of patents, licensed technologies, and startup companies that collectively rank Rutgers near the top nationally in terms of AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers) statistics; an attribute that can only yield shared benefit going forward, both at the discovery front end and the technology transfer/commercialization back end.

The mere size and purchasing power of Rutgers further makes it a very good partner for enhancing group negotiating leverage (e.g. GPOs) when packaged with the existing impressive CIC base.  Likewise, the addition of Rutgers to the CIC provides access to uniquely diverse student and state-wide populations.  Such access is crucial for clinical trials, for evaluating /field testing educational programs focused on developing new pedagogy, and for improving the pipeline of underrepresented populations in the STEM disciplines.  The ODASIS program at Rutgers already is one of the nation’s leading feeder programs for underrepresented populations going on to medical/dental schools.

True to its motto of “Local Roots, Global Reach,” Rutgers has a significant portfolio of regional and international programs that embrace its research, educational, and service missions.  Many of these programs benefit from significant institutional strengths in the humanities and social sciences, including highly ranked department s of Philosophy, History, and English.  Major partnership/exchange programs exist with universities, governments, and private entities within Africa, South America, China, the Far East, Europe, Scandinavia, and throughout Asia. Collectively, these programs contribute to the breadth and depth of the international reach of Rutgers, and would further enhance the already impressive world-wide landscape of opportunities represented within the CIC.

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About the CIC: The CIC is the nation's premier higher education consortium of top-tier research institutions, including the Big Ten Conference members and the University of Chicago. Through collaboration CIC members save money, share assets and increase teaching, learning and research opportunities. Founded in 1958, CIC members engage in voluntary, sustained partnerships such as library collections and access collaborations; technology collaborations to build capacity at reduced costs; purchasing and licensing collaborations through economies of scale; leadership and development programs for faculty and staff; programs that allow students to take courses at other institutions; and study-abroad collaborations.  For more information, visithttp://www.cic.net.

About Rutgers University: Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is the only university in the United States that is a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a leading national public research university. Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning. Serving nearly 60,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers is one of only two New Jersey institutions represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. For more information, visit http://www.rutgers.edu.