Establishing successful university-industry COVID-19 collaborations

Our latest webinar was part of our COVID-19 ‘Open Call for Research’ series which aims to provide R&D teams, academics and university TTOs with unique insights into how COVID-19 has changed approaches to collaboration and commercialisation. We invited a panel of university technology transfer professionals to discuss their experiences working with industry during the pandemic, with a particular focus on how they approached research collaboration and established agreements around COVID-19 related research and technology. The full webinar recording of the discussion around university-industry COVID-19 collaborations can be found here.


IN-PART Webinar - university-industry COVID-19 collaborations Image 1


While our COVID-19 Open Call for Research is now closed to submissions, our final webinar in this series is on Tuesday 6th July with three professionals from research commercialisation, industry and academia. We’ll soon be launching another open call for research, watch out for the announcement!

Following an in-depth discussion around university-industry COVID-19 collaborations with our host Stephen Muddimer, we opened up the floor for questions from our attendees. The first of our audience’s questions lead to some particularly interesting points, which we have summarised below.

Did universities find they had more interest in COVID-19 technologies from companies they had existing relationships with or from companies that they had not worked with before?

Due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic, our panellists initially looked at ways to support academic researchers who had the potential to make adaptations to their existing technologies to meet the need for rapid solutions. Companies also took this approach, focussing on quickly producing and manufacturing products such as vaccines and PPE which could be based on existing research or products in their portfolio as well as adapting their quality control protocols and supply chains.

Our panellists said that they initially worked with companies they had established relationships with through previous or ongoing collaborative projects enabling them to progress faster with collaborative research and development than if they worked with a company they were unfamiliar with. Universities also worked with consortia which were established during the pandemic, which encouraged broader collaboration to achieve a common objective.

As the pandemic continued, more companies and university research teams changed their research focus to COVID-19 innovations. Our panellists found that they were receiving more interest in their universities technologies from companies they hadn’t worked with before.

Our panellists also found that despite their predictions of a fall of available research funding from companies, funding availability actually increased particularly from local industry. An example of this was presented by Andrew Bailey who was in contact with university research groups working on TB and HIV therapeutics which received more funding from industry for this project, in order to establish if the technique could also be used to treat COVID-19 infections as well as providing additional funding for the projects’ original purposes.

Access the full recording of the webinar:


Written by Fran Wilkinson. Edited by Ruth Kirk.

Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2021: ‘Establishing successful university-industry COVID-19 collaborations

About IN-PART:

We believe brilliant connections can solve real-world problems. We match research pioneers from academia with decision-makers in industry sectors striving for a greater positive impact.

Our goal is to enable connections from around the world to match academic research with industry on a level playing field. Through our intelligent, matchmaking platform we showcase leading university innovations and connect academics with an international community of decision-makers in industry, creating meaningful dialogue and partnership.


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 success 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 emails.

IN-PART Blog - university-industry COVID-19 collaborations - Header image

Header Image: John Towner/Unsplash License

Sign-up to stay updated

Join our mailing list for updates on our latest developments, campaigns and opportunities.