Focus Areas

The depth and breadth of Penn State’s research can be overwhelming. Below are a few areas of interest that are highly sought after by our corporate partners. Ask our team how we can help facilitate partnerships where there are strong matches between your goals and the University’s research.
Artificial Intelligence

Penn State connects thousands of researchers from different disciplines who are advancing the frontiers of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science to tackle pressing issues facing society today. Penn State is an ideal place for organizations that want to collaborate alongside some of the world’s most renowned researchers in the field.

Energy University

Penn State is a cutting-edge leader among universities in driving the world’s conversation about the future of energy. We are tackling the world’s energy challenges, improving national energy security and independence, and further strengthening Pennsylvania’s status as a national leader in energy production and innovation.

Materials Research

Penn State ranks number 1 in the country in research expenditures in Materials Science and number 2 in Materials Engineering according to the latest National Science Foundation rankings of Higher Education Research and Development. The Materials Research Institute at Penn State is a catalyst for multidisciplinary education and innovations in materials. The ultimate goal is the creation of new knowledge and the transfer of materials technology to industry and government.

interdisciplinary research institutes driving innovation

Learn how you can engage with Penn State’s world-class resources to solve your most pressing challenges.

  • Research faculty and staff expertise
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Opportunities to invest and make an impact

Learn how you can engage with Penn State’s top-tier talent to build a competitive workforce.

  • Recruiting Events
  • Engaging Students
  • Student Projects
Additional Resources at Penn State

There are so many ways to engage with Penn State! Our team is here to match strategic goals of our corporate partners with those of the University to create lasting holistic relationships.
Entrepreneurship and Tech Transfer

Invent Penn State is a $30 million initiative that redefined the University’s land grant mission to include entrepreneurship and innovation programs, tools, and resources that accelerate the movement of great ideas to the marketplace. This coordinated effort spans the University’s 24 campuses, all academic colleges, including the College of Medicine and Penn State Law, and our numerous institutes and centers. Our industry partners can contribute to and benefit from a burgeoning entrepreneurship ecosystem at Penn State.

Workforce Development

From entry-level to executives, Penn State can be your partner in training your workforce and keeping you competitive in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. Ask our team about:

Penn State Alumni Association

Put the power of Penn State to work for your company! Penn State’s alumni are unparalleled in devotion and loyalty to their alma mater and bringing them together is a unique opportunity for team building within your organization. Their dedication makes the Penn State Alumni Association the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world. Ask us how you can make the most of your Penn Staters’ enthusiasm.

  • Create networking opportunities with your Penn State Alumni
  • Recruit top-tier talent with the help of your Penn State Alumni
  • Energize your employees around your engagement with Penn State

Below are some commonly asked questions. Please feel free to contact us with further questions any time.
  • What sets Penn State apart from other research institutions?

    In December 2019, a research team led by Steve Brint of the University of California, Riverside published an article in The Journal of Higher Education that evaluated the effectiveness of interdisciplinary research and cluster hiring at 20 universities; the study revealed that despite recruiting top experts in the field, more often than not, the waves of success were just not happening after the hires were made. The study noted that “There are exceptions to this rule. One university in our sample stood out.” That exception was Penn State. Our deliberate approach to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration has created a unique and robust research eco-system.

  • How do I begin a research collaboration with Penn State?

    The Corporate Engagement Center is equipped to guide you through establishing and nurturing a sound relationship with Penn State researchers. We can identify appropriate researchers based on your specific needs, arrange introductory meetings or conference calls, and interface with other administrative offices. Our team can connect you with the experts at Penn State to employ a Non-Disclosure Agreement, where appropriate, to handle the disclosure and receipt of confidential/proprietary information between your company representatives and University researchers. We can also connect you with the right experts to help you select, very early in the process, the appropriate contract mechanism to achieve your goals within the necessary timeframe.


  • Are sample research agreements available for company review?

    A partial list of agreement templates is available for review. Each agreement is specific for the work effort being performed and deliverables being requested, whether it is a single project or long-term alliance in which multiple project orders can be issued under an umbrella master-type arrangement. In addition, a Non-Disclosure Agreement template is also available for review to handle the protection of confidential information.

  • How can I increase my company’s brand recognition and visibility through research?

    Your company has the opportunity to make an impression on students, faculty, staff, and alumni through sponsorship programs. Contact the Corporate Engagement Center to learn more about:

    • Creating a fellowship, professorship, or scholarship
    • Giving an in-kind gift (like equipment) that benefits research and education programs
    • Assisting a student organization or competition team
    • Engaging with student programming, such as Undergrad Fellowship Programs or the Accelerate to Industry program for graduate students