academic vs SBs

From: Elaine Hunt (
Date: Fri Feb 26 1999 - 15:12:10 EET

Since Clemson purchased the second commercial academic installation of a RP
system back in 1989 I guess I should be used to such questions by now. So
is my 5 cents worth on this subject.

It takes about $40K to $150k per year to house a RP facility yearly at an
educational institution. These are global figures from a survey NOT my
calculations. It takes $55k to $800k to purchase a RP system with additional
cost for facility renovation, staff, supplies, students, etc. If the
system is
used for research then MORE funds are needed...... as you can see IT IS

Blending the roles expected of academia is difficult. So...some universities
do SB and that is all. Some do SB and research , some do only research. If a
university is taking $ purely for SB then they have left their academic
role of
education behind. If they do only research then they have neglected their
service role. If more industrial support was given to universities in terms
of mentoring faculty (yes they need real world help) hiring and mentoring
students, and joining and then BEING ACTIVE in a consortia then maybe the
necessity of doing SB work will cease. Joining a consortia is not enough you
must be active and vocal.

For years universities purchased expensive computing systems, sold CPU time,
started CS departments, produced gurus, and nobody complained about any of
these activities. But when RP came along and SBs sprang up seeking to make
millions, and came head to head with their local universities then problems

For one thing......Clemson does not pay my salary. If and when RP goes away at
Clemson I go away. I do RP work by the hour BUT when a company uses the
technology, they are given a complete update of local SB and places who
specialize in their particular needs. We encourage our LAIP members to
developments at SB since their RP activities are more advanced usually than
anywhere else.

If you consider an academic RP facility a monetary threat, I invite you to go
visit, see where you can assist them, join their programs if for no other
reason than to advise them, but most of all let them know of your concerns and
work to achieve a solution that aids the technology rather than let it fester
and kill any chances of growth.

We need academic RP programs to research and develop the next generation of
materials, processes, and most of all USERS.

I am going to a Prejudice Reduction Workshop today.....wonder if I should
include academia vs SB in the discussion?


Opinions, suggestions, and other controversial matter VOID where prohibited.
Elaine T. Hunt, Director
Clemson University Laboratory to Advance Industrial Prototyping
206 Fluor Daniel Bldg. Clemson, SC 29643-0925
864-656-0321 (voice) 864-656-4435 (fax)

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