This article is published in the November 2022 issue.

Industry Report from CRA’s Conference at Snowbird

Report coverOne of the tracks during the July 2022 Computing Research Association’s (CRA) flagship conference at Snowbird, Utah was “ Computing in Industry,” which covered how research is conducted in industry and the partnership between industry and academia. This fall CRA-Industry (CRA-I) has been processing the discussions, slides, and notes from this track and our Inaugural CRA-I Meeting at Snowbird. We are pleased to release a report highlighting the common themes that emerged. It is clear that there is a much needed role for CRA-I in the community. The presentations and subsequent discussions showcased where the industry community is right now and what needs to be worked on with CRA-I’s help.

CRA-Industry Takeaways

  • CRA-I should become the natural convener of industries in the computing research community.
  • CRA-I should help form more connections between industry and academic researchers.
  • CRA-I should help broker the sharing of resources among various companies, academia, and government to increase communication and collaboration.
  • CRA-I should broaden the focus of CRA outreach efforts to be more inclusive of researchers who work in industry.

Industry-academic engagement in computing research is crucial. Since technical and societal challenges in the field are significant, “all hands on deck” are needed to create technology worthy of the trust society increasingly places in it. Thankfully, computer science is a field where industry wants to engage with academic research. Academia educates students (who predominantly go into industry) and conducts open and long-term research. Industry trains employees, makes things happen in practice, has scale/pace/scope, and does cutting-edge research. There are challenges to aligning incentives, to getting it right. The field should work harder to share best practices, and help new companies get it right. This could expand the scope of industry engagement to focus more on the non-IT companies that are rapidly transformed by tech. With CRA-I’s help, companies could be encouraged to become more open so research can benefit all.

See the full report here.