I wrote up a quick proposal to a VP at my old company proposing an idea that is relevant to the group he leads, however, it’s too early to result in a product in the next few years. But it should be able to result in a few patents and maybe some good animal studies. I had a call with him after he had a few weeks to look at it and he’s totally on board.
It’s enough to fund one of my students for two years of salary/fringe, experiments, and development. The student that will be working on this has an NSFGRF though so I’m going to hire a lab-tech. The only caveat, is that I can get my names on the patents, but my old company will own all of the IP. The only way University of Phindustry agreed to that was to charge a massive amount of overhead. I remember going through this same exercise when I would fund academic research, but being on the receiving side is no fun.
I brought the VP by to see the lab and show him the equipment, talk ideas, and introduce him to the students. Now, whenever I had to meet someone important I dressed semi-professionally. My students came in shorts. One had a sleeveless shirt. I jokeingly gave them crap about it, and now I’m thinking that I’m not in the casual mindset of an academic yet because a lot of people are telling me it’s no big deal.