Industry Affiliate Programs

What is an Industry Affiliate Program?

An IAP is a University research program – organized, hosted, and directed by Berkeley faculty and/or staff – focused on a specific area of research of common interest with private industry, and funded by industry membership fees. A successful, properly structured IAP:

  •  furthers the university’s research mission
  •  facilitates private funding of public research
  • educates students and provides career opportunities
  • enhances feedback from industry to inform academic research
  • facilitates the translation and commercialization of university research results

An IAP is a research program where at least three companies join as Industry Members and receive the same benefits, including results and IP rights. Companies join an IAP by (i) signing a membership agreement, and (ii) paying the membership fees. Membership fees paid by Industry Members are used to fund the research carried out by Berkeley researchers within the IAP.

The IPIRA Industry Alliances Office does not handle gift-based industry affiliate programs. To inquire about gift-based industry affiliate programs, consult with University Development and Alumni Relations or the relevant college or department development officer.


In return for their membership fees, Industry Members receive certain benefits. The specific benefits vary from IAP to IAP and are established prior to the launch of the IAP. Typical benefits for Industry Members include:

  1. Early notice. Industry Members typically receive early notice of new research findings, publication abstracts, and resulting intellectual property in advance of the general public. Results are published in a timely manner thereafter in accordance with academic custom.
  2. Early access. Early access to research results means Industry Members become aware of research results before they are formally published. This is a typical benefit for Industry Members who have a chance to interact with the research team on a periodic basis, through reviews, poster sessions, and retreats.
  3. Easy entry and termination. IAP membership is open. Any company can join or leave (terminate their membership agreement) at any time.

IPIRA’s Industry Alliances Office manages Berkeley IAPs, working closely with IAP Executive Directors and companies to define the opportunity, set up the IAP, and launch and administer the IAP. IPIRA is part your team, and we are here to help you.

Membership Fees

Industry Affiliate Programs handled by IPIRA use contracts, offer intellectual property rights, and have membership fees. Industry Members receive invoices from UC Berkeley Controller's Office Contracts and Grants Accounting. Payments may be made to the Regents of the University of California at the address or wire information in the Industry Member's contract.

Indirect Costs for Industry Affiliate Program

Membership fees cover both direct and indirect costs. Learn about UC Berkeley policies for rates and distribution of overhead costs for Industry Consortia and Affiliate Membership Agreements

Indirect costs are expenses not directly associated with any one research project, but incurred for the benefit of all campus research and activities. These expenses, also known as facilities and administrative costs, include libraries, electricity, general administrative support, facility maintenance, and building and equipment depreciation, among other things. Learn more.

What is a Visiting Industrial Fellow?

A Visiting Industrial Fellow (“VIF”) is a company employee who is coming to UC Berkeley to conduct research with a UC Berkeley faculty member. The VIF is a subset of the Visiting Scholars designation, a privilege accorded to guests hosted in residence by a UC Berkeley campus unit for a specified time with the primary purpose of research or scholarship. VIFs follow the same processes and protocols as Visiting Scholars. Visit the Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Affairs (VSPA) website for detailed guidance. This formal affiliation allows for proper administration and oversight minimizing risk to the UC Berkeley brand, reputation, and research activity.

Contact the IPIRA Concierge

Ask about setting up or joining an Industry Affiliate Program