The breadth of Penn State’s research expertise surpasses that of any other university in the country, according to the latest National Science Foundation rankings of Higher Education Research and Development. Penn State ranks in the top 10 in expenditures in 18 research fields–ranking first in materials science and second in mechanical engineering and materials engineering. Our seven interdisciplinary research institutes are part of a unique research ecosystem that optimizes an astounding depth and breadth of expertise and fosters collaboration and innovation.
Engage with Penn State Research

Finding the right research partner at an institution as large as Penn State can be daunting. Our professionals have decades of experience making win-win connections between industry and researchers. We know the language and the landscape and can help you find what you need to succeed.
Research Facilities

Instead of spending capital on new equipment, consider accessing our state-of-the-art facilities available to you through research collaborations. Your company can leverage Penn State facilities by:

  • Working directly with expert staff
  • Becoming a trained user
  • Accessing capabilities remotely
Penn State Expertise

The Penn State Research Database is your gateway to finding research output, collaboration partners, and facilities throughout all Penn State campuses. Search profiles and output by concept, researcher name, department name, and more. You can also view collaboration networks among our scholars and experts, both within and outside of Penn State.

Corporations on Campus

Companies like Lockheed Martin, Volvo, Morgan Advanced Materials, and others are realizing the benefits of leasing space on a Penn State campus. Penn State research parks are environments designed to accelerate innovations with the advantages of being close to students and researchers. Whether it’s a smaller flexible working space, or a brand-new 30,000 square foot research facility, Penn State has the means help you develop your own on-campus presence. Check out Innovation Park at University Park, Knowledge Park in Erie, and Penn State at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.

Innovation Gateway

Penn State has developed an internal tool called the “Innovation Gateway” to connect industry need directly to researcher capability. Researchers actively participate in requests from corporate partners.

  • Request for Proposal – Used when you have identified one or more specific challenges or technical needs, are looking for proposed solutions, and have a budget to fund a sponsored research project.
  • Request for Information – Used when you have an ongoing need for new technology and are seeking a faculty researcher with relevant expertise and an interest in collaboration.
  • Request to Partner – Used when you are looking for a Penn State partner in response to an open or planned federal grant.
Featured Story
3M and Penn State: Driven by Research
With the “common purpose-driven strategy to tackle problems, big and small, in pursuit of improving humankind” 3M and Penn State have committed to a lasting holistic partnership driven by research and recruiting.
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in research expenditures in FY20
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 ecosystem.

  • 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 are 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 Undergraduate Research and Fellowship Mentoring or the Accelerate to Industry program for graduate students