Best Practices

Top tips for engaging academics with industry collaboration

Ruth Kirk

Ruth Kirk

Digital Content Officer – IN-PART

In our last webinar, we spoke with three technology transfer professionals working in universities of varying sizes from Europe and the US. From this, we’ve put together the top tips and key approaches shared by our panellists for engaging academics with industry collaboration.

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Get on top of record-keeping

By documenting every conversation that you have with an academic in a database or CRM, you can not only more easily manage follow-ups and check-ins, but it also generates a repository of on-campus expertise and interest for new queries from industry.

Be flexible with researchers around Covid-19

With some researchers working on the frontlines, some pivoting to focus on Covid-19 interventions, and others still working from home, be considerate of who might need a little more time to respond to your emails or who you can chase up on.

For social scientists, it’s all about the impact

Bring more of your social scientists and humanities researchers onboard by focusing on how you can help them to increase the impact and scale of their research, rather than on licensing.

Use market data to back up your decisions

Whether it’s to support or inform a technology disclosure, or to help map out the best route to commercialisation, using data in conversation with academics is hugely important and appeals to their need for evidence.

Compromise is key

Ultimately, technology transfer professionals and academics need to work together to successfully commercialise new research. Finding the middle ground by mapping potential business models and timelines for patenting and publications is the best place to start.

Take the market’s temperature as early as possible

Engaging academics with industry collaboration - IN-PART Blog - Figure 2The journey to commercialisation can be a long one, so understanding a technology’s position within the market can help you identify realistic goals to work towards with the academics behind the projects to drive it forward as quickly as possible.

Shout from the rooftops about the positives of research commercialisation 

Demonstrate to your researchers that it’s an avenue for getting new data, driving impact, and moving their project forward by accessing new sources of funding with less competition from their colleagues.

Early-career researchers are increasingly interested in industry collaboration

Younger researchers wish to see their work making a positive impact and have an active interest in entrepreneurship. Beginning a conversation earlier in their academic careers is vital for encouraging commercialisation in the next generation.

 

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About IN-PART:

To help get discoveries and breakthroughs out of the lab and onto the market, we’ve simplified the initial connection between academia and industry through two solutions:

IN-PART, a digital partnering platform for university-industry collaboration.

250+ universities and research institutes around the world currently showcase their research and innovation on IN-PART to find new collaboration partners in industry. R&D teams get free access to the platform (create an account here). There are no hidden costs and we don’t claim downstream fees.

Discover, a bespoke scouting service for open innovation.

Through Discover, corporate R&D teams can leverage our extended academic network, which reaches multiple teams across 1,200+ universities and research institutes worldwide. In response to a specific research requirement or challenge, Discover enables R&D teams to identify new opportunities for commercialisation or to solicit proposals for new research.

Interested in speaking with our Discover team? Request a demo |  TTO or academic? Sign-up for weekly Discover

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