Introductory Webinar

Learn how UI Collab can help empower teams, refine strategies, and boost innovation ecosystems. 

UI Collab grew out of a consistent demand for services from the membership of UIDP, a global leader in defining and supporting best practices/strategies for university-industry partnerships.

At UI Collab, our select team of experts have deep experience from years of service at leading universities and companies, giving us a distinct competitive advantage. This webinar introduces some of the consultants as they discuss how to leverage UI Collab to empower teams, refine strategies, and boost innovation ecosystems.

Who Should Attend

Industry and university representatives interested in understanding how UI Collab can support U-I strategy, partnership management, contracting, and innovation ecosystem assessment and development.

Agenda Highlights

  • What UI Collab is;
  • What UI Collab does; and
  • How UI Collab powers U-I partnerships.


This is an informational webinar with an opportunity for Q&A with the speakers at the end. Attendee participation is welcomed and encouraged.

Meet the Speakers

Tony Boccanfuso

President & CEO

Anthony M. Boccanfuso  founded UI Collab out of a consistent demand for services from the membership of UIDP, a global leader in
defining and supporting best practices/strategies for university-industry partnerships which Tony has led since 2007.


UIDP is a solutions-oriented membership organization comprised of top-tier innovation companies and world-class research universities and supports mutually beneficial collaborations by developing and disseminating strategies for addressing common issues between the sectors—academic, corporate, and government. Its activities help members achieve meaningful impact on a broad array of collaboration matters, ranging from contracting to commercialization and workforce development.

After completing his doctorate in inorganic chemistry, Boccanfuso embarked on a career spanning more than 30 years with a focus on research and innovation. He managed a variety of administrative, programmatic, and strategy initiatives for academic, government, and private sector organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

More recently, Boccanfuso was part of a team selected to create and manage the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA,, an NSF-funded initiative with a mission to identify and develop new engineering research directions and catalyze high-impact research that benefits society.

Tony’s wife, Dr. Laura Boccanfuso, is a successful roboticist and entrepreneur who founded Van Robotics, an ed-tech company.  They have three children and reside in Columbia, SC.

Melissa Erekson


Melissa is a higher education strategist who brings nearly two decades of expertise as a changemaker in industry partnerships to her clients. She helps both public and private research-intensive institutions leverage data and alumni networks to develop strategic industry partnerships that defy the pull of academic siloes. She brings an emphasis on the industry audience to her work with higher education –
helping universities clearly communicate their distinctive advantage to industry partners.

Melissa most recently served as Assistant Vice President for Corporate Engagement at The Pennsylvania State University, where she launched their first-ever Corporate Engagement Center to bring together corporate relationships spanning industry sponsored research and corporate philanthropy. Melissa also spent fifteen years in corporate, foundation and research relations at Tulane University, where she grew
and sustained key corporate partnerships and developed expertise in areas of social impact including sustainability, health equity, community development, and public health.

Based in Pennsylvania, Melissa received an M.B.A. with a concentration in International Marketing from the FW Olin School of Business at Babson College, and a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish Studies from Tufts University, both magna cum laude.

Karl Koster

MIT (retired)

Karl is an experienced university executive who brings more than three decades of university-industry leadership experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to his clients. With expertise spanning the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America – Karl helps universities position themselves for industry engagement success, advising on internal challenges and objectives as well as the external landscape.

Karl most recently served as Director of Alliance Management in MIT’s Office of Strategic Alliances and
Technology Transfer. This new umbrella organization, which he helped define and implement, provided a streamlined interface for the university’s technology licensing and transfer, non-federal contracting, and corporate relations professionals to facilitate industry and other non-federal sponsored research engagements. Karl previously led MIT’s Office of Corporate Relations, including the Industrial Liaison
Program and the MIT Startup Exchange.

Based in Massachusetts, Karl received an M.S. with a concentration in the management of technological
innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a B.A. in Geology and Economics from Brown

Edward Krause

Ford Motor Company (retired)

Edward Krause is an R&D strategist and university partnership thought leader who brings three decades of industry experience to his clients. He has a firm belief in the need for quantitative valuation of university-industry partnerships. He assists clients in creating the path to delivering unimpeachable financial return on investment through win-win university-industry partnerships. His expertise covers the US, Europe, Australia, China and India, where he sees unique opportunities for companies to effectively engage with universities.

Ed most recently served as Global Manager, External Alliances, for Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford Motor Company. In 21 years of managing university collaborations at Ford, he oversaw more than 2000 projects with over 130 universities and negotiated numerous best-in-class master agreements. Prior to joining Ford Motor Company, Ed spent nine years with Pilot Industries managing the research and development, market development, and information technology departments.

Based in Michigan, Ed received an M.S. and B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the Executive Education Program of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Rob Lowe


Rob Lowe is an entrepreneurial leader and recognized expert in innovation practice. He brings a unique perspective to his clients, based on twenty-five years of success in every aspect of the university- industry innovation ecosystem – from bootstrapping to raising venture capital to selling businesses for industry-leading investor returns.

Rob has founded and served as CEO of two B2B software companies, both resulting in positive exits. His most recent company, Wellspring, is the leading software provider for universities, government agencies, and companies to manage their licensing, collaboration, and research programs. He also founded several incubators over his career, resulting in dozens of successful tech spin-outs.

Rob previously served as a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he built successful university-industry partnerships, as well as in the office of the President at the University of California. Based in Illinois, Rob has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Business and Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He also received a B.BA. in Finance, Computer Information Systems, and Economics from the University of Michigan.

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