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Some IT industry leaders have realized how valuable university relations can be for their own corporate strategy and long term growth. This is due in part to the changing landscape of IT education and research in higher education institution, which is moving from a fundamental to a more applied and hands-on focus. We present here the case of the NJIT e-Business Laboratory (NJIT eLab), and discuss the various benefits it can provide to industry partners. We then conclude with some lessons for both parties and the efforts ahead to build stronger industry-academia relations.