A recently signed master alliance with Procter & Gamble signals a new era of research for Virginia Tech, according to officials at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.

A master alliance agreement allows Virginia Tech researchers to forge relationships and projects with Procter & Gamble quickly since the underlying contractual work is already completed. 

Under the agreement, Procter & Gamble works with Virginia Tech to develop improved analytics and engineering approaches for manufacturing. 

As the economy becomes increasingly global, corporations must meet the challenge of more complex customer expectations in addition to the heightened pressures of competition. 

Procter & Gamble's Connect + Develop open innovation program includes partnerships with a limited number of universities and companies to meet these needs. The master alliance agreement with Virginia Tech is an important component of this program. 

Spearheaded by Sallie Keller, director and a professor of statistics for the Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, National Capital Region, the universitywide agreement will allow for more collaboration on a broad scale across all Virginia Tech colleges and research institutes. 

"Virginia Tech has demonstrated leadership across many established technical areas of interest to Procter & Gamble," said Mike Miller, who helps lead business development at Procter & Gamble and supports Connect + Develop. "That in addition to Virginia Tech's expertise in emerging areas of research is what attracted us to forge this strategic partnership."

The partnership will provide Procter & Gamble managers with reliable and connected information and models to inform their decision-making processes, such as how to address risks associated with supply chains in a more global and complex economy. 

This partnership has stimulated several projects associated with social decision informatics — understanding the connections across processes, data, and human interactions. The current focus is on supply chain and engineering innovation. 

"P&G is a company with deep dedication to research and technology development," Keller said. "Leveraging this agreement allows us to seamlessly and sustainably expand the scope of our research in directions that are fruitful for both industry and the university."



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