Why does AURI charge fees for its technical services?

To meet resource needs as AURI faces increasing industry demand and demand for its services, which it can no longer adequately meet with current funding sources.

Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor recommended AURI implement a project fee or fee for service model with its clients.  The recommendation aligns AURI with its statute language, which requires AURI to seek funds from other sources, including fee for service revenues.

Will AURI provide any services at no cost?

AURI will consult with clients at no cost to determine project scope and mission fit.  AURI will also respond to basic questions from businesses and individuals without a fee until a project application and scope of work is formalized.  Also, AURI will continue to provide industry information to clients via public initiatives, downloadable research reports on its website, and via technical and innovation workshops conducted through its Innovative Networking Programs (a small event registration fee may apply).

What are the cost rate categories?

Entities or individuals with no sales or budgeted revenue to $250,000 are billed a project fee up front at 20 percent cost share rate of anticipated project costs. Companies with sales or entities with budgeted revenue from $250,000 to $5 million are billed a project fee up front at 33 percent of anticipated costs. Entities in the, $5 million to $100 million category are billed at 50 percent of anticipated costs billed upon deliverable as a fee for service. Companies exceeding $100 million in sales will be billed 100 percent of AURI’s full cost rate upon deliverable as a fee for service. All projects may be subject to a minimum project fee of $250.

How do I know what will be delivered for my project? What is a statement of work?

A statement of work is a document stating the project objectives and deliverables to be completed.  A client will be provided a statement of work and an invoice, which specifies the agreed upon deliverable(s), the full project cost and client’s share of the cost to have AURI provide services to meet the deliverable(s).

What if my project is deemed infeasible by me or AURI during the project period?

AURI/client projects are research projects with no guarantee of success.  If AURI determines the deliverables are not achievable during the lifespan of the project and stops the project, the client may initiate discussions to seek a pro-rated reimbursement.  If the client ends the project due to what they feel is an unattainable result, the client may initiate discussions to determine if a pro-rated refund would apply.  Any refund request must be initiated by the client and will be determined on a project by project basis.

What recourse exists if AURI does not meet its commitment to the client in a timely manner or does not perform the work adequately?

AURI is a non-profit corporation providing discounted rates to businesses to help advance their ideas.  If a client is not satisfied, with the project outcomes, AURI may refer the company to another entity to meet their needs.  AURI will be clear upfront on expectations of project challenges and timing before beginning a project with a client so that a well-informed decision can be made.  Regular discussions between clients and AURI are important during the course of a project to ensure timeliness and deliverable expectations are understood and being met by both AURI and the client.

What will a client be billed for?

AURI will consider all of the resources required to meet each client’s unique needs and deliverable(s) to estimate each project’s cost.  This could include several variables, but would mainly include the AURI staff time and resources dedicated to the project.  Each client will be billed for their portion of the total project costs according to the tiered framework based on the company’s estimated gross or budgeted revenue which will range from 20 percent of project cost to 100 percent.

Will AURI adjust costs during the project?

No, all project costs are quoted to the client at the beginning of the project based upon the agreed upon scope of work. The costs will not be changed.

What forms of payment will AURI accept?

AURI accepts and prefers payments via major credit cards on its PayPal account, but is open to discussing the use of purchase orders and business checks.

How long is the wait to complete laboratory work?

Wait times are dependent upon current workloads and resources available.  AURI will be upfront on timing and expectations before a project begins to ensure it can meet the client’s timing needs.

If I want to use AURI for multiple projects, can I enter into a retainer model for technical assistance?

Yes, AURI is open to discussing an ongoing technical services agreement through a defined retainer type model that provides regular monthly payments for agreed upon ongoing technical services.

What services and skill sets does AURI possess?

A project development employee will thoroughly discuss AURI capabilities and services with each client to determine if AURI services are a fit.  Additionally, descriptions of AURI’s capabilities are listed on its website – www.auri.org

Does this change affect how I apply for AURI services?

No, you will still have discussions with project staff prior to filling out an AURI application to confirm project fit with AURI’s mission and to ensure AURI can provide the desired services. A noticeable change will be the requirement for a client to provide payment for the percentage of the quoted project cost.