Collaborative challenges

February 12, 2015

In suggesting that academe and industry need to work more closely together, Mark Samuels is revisiting one of the central aims of LINK – launched by the government in 1988 and running well into the 2000s (“‘Culture change’ or pharma coma”, News, 5 February). Several biotechnology programmes drew together the pharmaceutical and chemical industries with academic departments across the UK in a wide-ranging selection of projects often involving collaboration between many companies and several universities.

Although I agree with the thrust of Samuels’ thinking, I would suggest that he may have underestimated the amount of time and effort needed to make collaborative projects work, especially in leading-edge research areas. My experience in putting programmes and projects together is that risk of failure to launch, even at the last moment, coupled with the likelihood that much leading-edge research may go nowhere fast, may seriously inhibit those who might champion and participate in collaborative projects. I worked in a culture where attributing blame was not always a priority and where occasionally winging it was, if not openly encouraged, at least well tolerated: today’s climate seems to be rather different.

Peter Baker
Prestwood

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD Scholar in Medicine

University Of Queensland

Manager, Research Systems and Performance

Auckland University Of Technology

Lecturer in Aboriginal Allied Health

University Of South Australia

Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery

Western Sydney University

College General Manager, SHE

La Trobe University
See all jobs

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi