A critical element for the success of an organization like CAPER is a well-connected and collaborative environment with our Industry Partners. CAPER offers a productive and stimulating collaboration between universities, industry and government to conduct research to solve actual challenges and issues facing the electric energy industry. It also strives to educate the next generation of power and energy engineers who will stand ready to fill the many job openings created by a large number of retirements expected over the next decade. Industry members benefit by having access to highly recognized regional researchers, access to large well-established Educational Centers focused on various aspects of the energy industry, access to a forum for the interchange of ideas and collaboration on critical industry issues and access to students from multiple universities both as they work on research projects and as they prepare for careers in the industry.
Our Industry Partners are represented by an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) that provides liaison among Industry, Academia and Government. The IAB works with the universities to identify research topics of interest, review proposals and recommend projects, determine educational opportunities for students and works with the Center Director and Center Steering Committee to address CAPER business and policy matters.
Various companies and government organizations join CAPER by paying an annual membership fees that supports the basis of CAPER’s research program. Industry members and university researchers collaborate to identify important research needs and creative new ideas. After a solicitation is circulated, research teams, typically from two universities, develop proposals with industry project advisors. The proposals are reviewed by the IAB and Site Directors. The reviews are then provided to the Center Director who works with the Center Steering Committee to develop a recommended set of proposals. Proposal presentations are made by the researchers at the fall IAB meeting and industry members vote on the recommendation.
Industry members can provide supplemental funds to projects to increase the scope of a project or fund a project that was not selected under CAPER base funding.
All these activities help to structure CAPER’s research program collaboratively with the industry. In addition CAPER Industry Members participate in a range of continuing education opportunities and help build and sustain quality university power engineering programs critically needed as a part of the industry’s strive to modernize the grid.
The IAB hold two business and educational meetings a year plus a Research Planning Workshop to prepare for the annual Research Solicitation Process.
Membership in the IAB is open to all industry partners by contacting the Center Director.