The purpose of the program is to foster regular interactions and long-term relationships among the partners, prioritize cooperative research directions, and adapt the research activities and student training to address market needs.
Partner companies become members of the center through one or more university sites by designating a representative to serve on the center Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and contributing program funding. Each site's funding is pooled among its membership fees and investments from the National Science Foundation, resulting in reduced overhead costs at the site university.
The specific center of which the Notre Dame Wireless Institute is a partner site is the Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center (BWAC). In addition to the Notre Dame Wireless Institute, the other university partners are the University of Arizona (Lead), Auburn University, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia.