Are you ready to collaborate? Improving the quality of university-industry collaborations

Erik Bjurström, Morten Lund, Christian Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Through a longitudinal research project of 25 university–industry collaborations (UIC), this article studies the barriers and enablers that UIC partners face in the early phases of their partnerships and projects. These phases are crucial for the success of UICs and, given the growing focus on the connections between UICs and innovation outputs, a better understanding of how to improve collaborations is an important contribution. The article suggests two frames of reference from which to analyse the launch of UICs and applies these to the empirical context. The study indicates that researchers have problems in understanding the value of the UIC as seen from the perspective of their industry partners, but not vice versa. Also, the search process for partners is characterized by the use of informal connections. This means that the assessment of potential partners is often done in an unstructured manner or not performed at all. The findings suggest that aligning goals and creating a flexible setup requires better communication between the involved partners than was evident in the present sample. Finally, the article presents a number of views of respondents on a practical level of collaboration, which may well constitute fruitful avenues for furthering the successful collaboration between universities and industry. This latter contribution is valuable in the sense that collaboration in a Science Park setting can be enhanced through simple articulations, alignments and IT platforms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Behavioural Economics and Social Systems
Volume2
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)81-112
ISSN2652-2896
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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