Industrial Membership Program

Download Informational Brochure | Contact: Peter Keeling

Membership Overview

  • CISTAR is one of the flagship Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) currently funded by the National Science Foundation. ERCs bring together industry, academia, and government to cultivate engineering discovery and education in research areas critical to our nation’s strength. ERC’s infrastructure that integrates four pillars: research, workforce development, innovation ecosystem, and inclusion, with industry partners being paramount to center success.
  • CISTAR will work with key industry and innovation partners to develop novel engineered systems that catalytically convert methane and C2+ alkanes derived from shale gas and oil to more valuable compounds for use as fuels, chemical intermediates, and other products while maintaining long-term membership relationships. 
  • CISTAR’s Industrial Membership Program leverages NSF funding with an industry membership fee that enables strategic advice from industry; however significant and strategic industrial support is still needed to accelerate R&D progress and technology transfer to industry.  

Membership Details:

Gold Membership Annual Fees

Large Entities (500 or more employees) USD $60,000
Medium Entities (10 or more employees, but less than 500) USD $30,000
Small Entities (less than 10 employees) USD $10,000

Silver Membership Annual Fees

Large Entities (500 or more employees) USD $30,000
Medium Entities (10 or more employees, but less than 500) USD $15,000
Small Entities (less than 10 employees) USD $5,000

Gold Membership Benefits (Includes Silver Benefits):

  • Intellectual Property (IP): Access to CISTAR novel catalytic and separation breakthroughs and innovations in chemical reactor designs with right to recommend IP filings. (Gold Members only)
  • Licensing: Priority notification of IP filings. Exclusive rights to review claims. First option to negotiate a commercial use license. Final rights as “most favored licensee.” (Gold Members only)

Silver Membership Benefits

  • Confidential Information: Right to request confidential information (requires NDA) on CISTAR research, technology, and inventions for internal research and evaluation purposes. 
  • Advisory Board: Exclusive seat on the CISTAR Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) and invitation to attend biennial meetings and interact with CISTAR leadership team, as well as NSF representatives. Gold Members get an additional seat in IP Oversight Board (IPOB).
  • Research Sponsorship: Sponsor individual research programs outside the CISTAR Core, in areas related but not overlapping with the research funded by NSF, university cost-share, and industry membership fees. Submit joint proposals to other federal sponsors. 
  • Research Findings: Exclusive access to CISTAR research findings, insider knowledge, and industry trends for R&D technology transfer, policy, and environmental aspects through biennial meetings, webinars, and quarterly newsletters. 
  • Networking: Access to CISTAR experts in catalysis, separations, reactor design, and engineering economic analysis; professional interactions with a wide range of academia and industry leaders, and companies from the entire alkane transformation value chain. 
  • Recruiting: Preferential access to talented, diverse, and highly-trained undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. 
  • Promoting: High visibility branding with all CISTAR university partners, NSF, and other affiliated professional organizations. 
  • Education: Contribute to the education programs and workforce development of new generations of engineers through internships, seminars, speakers, and mentorship. 

Technology Readiness

  • Research
    (TRL 1-4) CISTAR will conduct basic science on how to develop catalysts capable of converting alkanes as well as separation knowhow that leads to the potential for integration and development.
  • Development
    (TRL 4-6) CISTAR & INDUSTRY will collaborate to develop what is learned through research, leading to insights into how to build an integrated pilot system that might be fully derisked leading to a design-build concept that might be implemented at pre-commercial scale.
  • Implementation
    (TRL 6-9) INDUSTRY is expected to construct and engineer modular systems at semi-works scale that leads to full implementation of the system at commercial scale.


For more information or to join, please contact Peter Keeling at

To download a brochure summarizing the information on this page, please click here