All research requires materials. Lots of materials are expensive. You go to Stanford. People will give you stuff because lots of important stuff has come out of Stanford (the internet, Google, Tiger Woods, etc.). After a series of attempts, I have come up with a formula for writing emails to solicit educational resources. So far, I have not had resounding success, but I have had one offer for an equipment loan (equipment costs $7800) and an offer of "we will give you one of our development platforms in 3 months when we secure class A funding" (equipment costs 10000 euros). This email came from the CEO of the company, so I am inclined to believe him. Anyway, we'll see how that works out but in the mean time, here's what I did:
Hello, my name is (insert your name). I am a graduate researcher with Stanford University. I am at the beginning stages of a project involving (field the company is in) for use in (a bunch of technical stuff to make you sound smart). Additionally, I expect my project to advance into (more technical stuff so they take you seriously), which will also involve a (the technology you want). So far, I have been disappointed with (some aspect of the equipment) offered by (a competitor of the company). Therefore, I was relieved and excited to read about the (something their product is good at) of your (the specific technology you want).
Although my project is currently not well funded, I am working on procuring hardware and development kits from (the scientific field) manufacturing companies such as yourself. I have had tentative offers for an equipment donation from (a direct competitor of the company) and an equipment loan from (another competitor). I have also been in contact with (list other competitors) about (the other competitor's systems). The offer I have received from (competitor(s)) were given with the stipulation that I wait for about 1 month (adjustable) for new funding to become available. However, if I receive a firm offer sooner, I would gladly develop on your platform.
While my project is not currently funded, I am pursuing grants and other means of departmental funding at Stanford. In the meantime, I am collecting quotes and asking for educational donations or loans on the premise that I am working with uniquely accomplished scientists at a world renowned university. Additionally, my project has been in design for over a year and I am committed to ultimately accomplishing academic and commercial success both for me and any business associates I acquire throughout the development process.
If you would, please send me any information that you can regarding the current state of your (the technology you want) platform. If you have any questions about my situation or my project, please ask and I will be happy to provide further clarification. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics
Stanford University Graduate Research
(any other distinguishing things you can think of)
It never hurts to throw the word "Stanford" in a couple more times here or there.