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University of Colorado Boulder Announces New Office of Industry Collaboration

The University of Colorado Boulder today announced the opening of an Office of Industry Collaboration and the naming of Caroline Himes as director.

University of Colorado

The University of Colorado Boulder today (Sept. 5) announced the opening of an Office of Industry Collaboration and the naming of Caroline Himes as director.

“It’s critical that we embrace a permanent state of change and innovation at CU-Boulder and over the last year we’ve launched a number of key initiatives to transform how we conduct business,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “This new office will help us to establish vital partnerships with businesses across the country and abroad, sharing the world-class expertise of our faculty and helping businesses generate new products, new technologies and new economic growth.”

Serving as an identified point of contact, the industry office will connect companies to the services, expertise and capabilities available at CU-Boulder. In addition, the office will support campus researchers who have made connections with industry partners and are ready to move forward with a contract or project.

“We know that many companies have had to cut resources for internal research and development labs and are looking to expand university partnerships,” said Provost Russell L. Moore. “The industry office will help researchers understand how to work with industry and help the business community understand the university.”

University of Colorado
Caroline Himes, director of the CU-Boulder Office of Industry Collaboration. Photo credit: Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado  

Moore added that an advisory committee of faculty and researchers who regularly work with industry has been formed to provide broad input as new services are developed.

“Our goal is to actively connect industry partners with interested campus researchers,” Himes said. “We will then work with the researchers and our industry partners to understand the project goals, develop an appropriate proposal, manage the contracting and begin implementation.”

Himes added that one of the services will be making specialized research facilities and equipment available to industry partners.

“One example of this is the 3 MV electrostatic accelerator at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics,” Himes said. “It is the largest dust accelerator in the world and can be made available for use by the lunar, space, and plasma physics communities.”

Forming funding relationships with corporations also is one of the goals of the office, and the Office of Industry Collaboration recently executed a master agreement between CU-Boulder and Pfizer. Under the agreement, funding for research projects and postdoctoral fellowships will be streamlined once areas of joint interest have been identified.

Himes served as the executive associate director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) for 16 years prior to being appointed director of the industry office. At LASP she was responsible for the business operations of the research institute, including coordinating lab activities and implementing administrative processes as required by new university or funding agency requirements. Before joining CU in 1997, Himes worked for over 20 years in business consulting and planning and was a controller for several startup companies, including CADIS Inc. in Boulder.

Himes has a master’s degree in agricultural economics and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, both from Ohio State University.