This article is published in the August 2022 issue.

Inaugural CRA-Industry Meeting at Snowbird

IndustryCRA-Industry (CRA-I) held its inaugural meeting at the 2022 CRA Conference at Snowbird in which over 60 participants from academia, industry, and government attended. The goal of the meeting was to bring together computer researchers and introduce them to the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) newest committee and generate ideas of how CRA-I can expand and interact with the computer science (CS) research community.

There were four presentations from Erwin Gianchandani (National Science Foundation’s Assistant Director for Translation, Innovation, and Partnerships), Gregory D. Hager (Director of Applied Science for Amazon Physical Stores), Elizabeth Mynatt (Dean of Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University), and Fernando Pereira (Vice President and Engineering Fellow at Google). The keynotes helped set the stage for the breakout sessions which were geared towards CRA-I’s engagement within itself, CRA, and the community.

There was much discussion during the breakout session that CRA-I should focus on companies that are most interested in CS research. Some of these companies might not have a research group yet, but may be starting one soon. CRA-I could provide advice in the form of best practices on a range of things, such as joint appointments, IP policies that universities and industry can use, infrastructure, and publishing industry sponsored work.

There was also discussion that outstanding researchers in industry may want a role in universities that is more respected than a typical adjunct professor position. CRA-I could help set a standard by designating individuals as “CRA Teaching Fellows” or “Distinguished CRA-I Teaching Fellows.” Some industry researchers would be great teachers at universities, but would benefit from having their teaching efforts be given more visibility and prestige. CRA-I could establish this appropriate prestige and give those researchers a chance to interact with the next generation of computer scientists.

Finally, it was discussed that CRA-I could be the natural convener among industry for the various Requests for Informations (RFI) that regularly come out of the Federal Register. CRA-I could reach out to the right people at each company to get their response and put together a document from the industry research community. A document in which many companies agree upon would be very powerful and show a unique collaboration that otherwise would not have happened without CRA-I.

The CRA-I Steering Committee is preparing a larger white paper based on the industry events at the 2022 CRA Conference at Snowbird 2022. Please stay tuned. As always, let us know if you have more ideas about how CRA-I can impact and interact with the community. Contact us at