- What exactly are you delivering….and how much does it cost me?
- What equipment do you have? How do I access it?
- What do I have to do to get my problem solved (what is the process)?
- Who controls/guides the projects and programs of CRN? Can I be involved?
- Does working with CRN jeopardize my IP? How do you deal with that?
1) What exactly are you delivering….and how much does it cost me?
It depends who you are and what you want to do with Composites Research Network (CRN) resources. If you are a Western Canadian company, and an SME, the core program materials – including Knowledge in Practice Documents (KPDs) – are free to you to use within your own company. If you are a non-Canadian global company, then there will be an affiliation subscription costed on an affordable sliding scale. We want everyone to benefit from CRN, but we are especially interested in giving our regional industry tools to compete in a global marketplace. Project work is different. Partner companies will cover their own direct in-kind contribution costs. CRN will cover the cost of research and engineering staff, access to equipment laboratories, technicians and integration of outcomes into KPDs.
2) What equipment do you have? How do I access it?
Equipment will be primarily for research-level work in support of CRN and to provide facilities to support project work. As the suite of facilities is established, companies may negotiate access to equipment on a case-by-case basis. This access will be provided (free or at nominal cost) as a secondary activity to research and project commitments.
3) What do I have to do to get my problem solved (what is the process)?
The process is still under consideration, but in general terms, CRN will use a combination of direct industry involvement (through its program selection committee), industry outreach (through online survey, e-mail/telephone communications), and strategic planning (through its network of international experts) to prioritize program-level and project-level activities. Direct discussion with CRN engineering staff is a good first step. Contact our Network Manager to find out more.
4) Who controls/guides the projects and programs of CRN? Can I be involved?
UBC is responsible for the operation, strategic planning and delivery of materials and outcomes to its principle funding agencies and supporters. A small management team deals with day-to-day activities, a prioritization committee and a management committee help guide new knowledge creation, and an international committee makes sure that the work of CRN remains globally relevant. The committees are currently in formation. In addition, at each node of the network, there will be a regional group organized through an academic centre of excellence, comprising industrial and other interested parties. Depending on the scope of your activities, you may be able to contribute on any one of these levels of the Network. Call us to discuss your interests.
5) Does working with CRN jeopardize my IP? How do you deal with that?
The basic core program and library of KPDs contain generic information that can be of benefit to industry, much as a standard is of generic benefit. No IP rests with the KPD’s content, but the document copyright remains with UBC. As it stands, you can use a KPD for internal training, learning, or process/product improvement, if it relates to your direct needs. If you want to work with us on an improvement, extension, or adaptation of a KPD (or create an entirely new KPD) then there is a standard NDA/IP agreement to sign with CRN. This says that your IP will be safe-guarded, but that you will also agree to share the new content (which contains generic information) with CRN and its network participants. In this way the library of KPD aligns with industry need, and CRN knowledge efficiently reaches the maximum number of recipients without repeating effort. CRN can work with you on “final customization of KPDs” when your IP is involved. But this work is client private, and will be charged at standard consulting rates.