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Industry Engagement

Learn how to engage and cultivate industrial partners and manage industry/academia multidisciplinary activities within University-based membership Centers, Industrial Consortia and I/UCRCs.

2023 Meeting

March 13, 2023

Centennial Campus Liaison with the Industry and Partnership Office’s Assistance to Centers and Institutes


Keisha Demps
Interim Director

Keisha has accumulated nearly 15 years experience working with industry through business and workforce development.  Keisha leads the industry partnership office for NC State University. Her team develops partnerships locally and globally; providing real-world opportunities to faculty and students. The Partnerships office builds robust relationships with academia, industry and government. Together, these relationships lead to increased innovation, workforce development and economic impact to the State of North Carolina.  The Partnerships Office helps construct a long-term cross-disciplinary relationship that promotes the advancement of science and education and assures the success of our business partners and NC State.

Keisha has been a member of the Association of University Research Parks for 8 years and recently won the Rising Star award by peer institutions.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Arizona and was born in Los Angeles, California.  She made Raleigh her home in 2006 with her husband and 2 children (20) and (14).

Mark Schmidt
Associate Vice Chancellor

Mark serves as the associate vice chancellor where he oversees NC State’s strategy for engaging with corporate, government and nonprofit partners, including the 75 partnerships on Centennial Campus. He is also chair of the Conservation Technology Information Center. Previously, Mark held a 22-year career at John Deere, where he oversaw the company’s university partnerships strategy, as well as a diverse range of external public and private stakeholder relationships and partnerships. Mark earned Bachelor of Science degrees in landscape architecture and agronomy from Purdue University, a Master of Science in agronomy from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in crop science from the University of Illinois. Little known fact – he holds twelve patents relating to intelligent and autonomous vehicles and machine systems. 


Developing Industry Partnerships @ NC State

Presentation Recording

2022 Meeting

March 15, 2022

How to Build Successful Relationships with Industry and Foundations


Thomas Manshack

Associate Director
Corporate and Foundation Relations


Fundraising for Faculty

Presentation Recording

2021 Meeting

March 15, 2021

University Centers: Evaluation of Progress and Impact and Cooperative Research Center Self-Sustainability and Lessons Learned from the I/UCRC Program.


Lindsey C.McGowen, Ph.D
Research Scientist
Department of Psychology
NC State University
Sustainability of Cooperative Research Centers: Evidence from sustained I/UCRCs

Denis Gray, Ph.D
Alumni Distinguished Professor, Emeritus
Department of Psychology
NC State University
Principal, Transdisciplinary Evaluation LLC
University Centers: Evaluation of Progress and Impact


Sustainability of Cooperative Research Centers: Evidence from sustained I/UCRCs (Lindsey C. McGowen)

University Centers: Evaluation of Progress and Impact (Denis Gray)

Presentations Recording

2020 Meeting

Centers, Institutes, Consortia: Membership in a Nutshell

March 11, 2020


Larisa Slark, MBA, CRA

Centers and Institutes Specialist
Office of Research and Innovation

View Presentation

Kathleen Bradley-Lockhart, CRA

Executive Senior Fiscal Manager
Office of Contracts and Grants


2019 Meeting

Best Practices for Enhancing Industry Engagement and Membership in Centers, Industrial Consortia and I/UCRCs

March 13, 2019


Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi

Nonwovens Institute (NWI)

Industry Interactions: Developing Industry Collaborations

Dr. Beth Dickey

Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP)

Industry Interactions: The NSF I/UCRC Program


Lessons Learned from the NSF I/UCRC Program