Visions behind ventures

July 31, 1998

AT THE heart of every successful joint venture between university and industry is a charismatic figure with vision, initiative and drive, a government-backed study has found.

The findings, published this week by the Department of Trade and Industry, are based on a survey of 89 institutions providing 250 case studies of successful university/industry partnerships.

In-depth interviews were conducted at 37 of these institutions which included the universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Ulster, Cambridge, the Royal College of Art and Nene College of Higher Education.

Alan Brickwood, author of the study, says it is widely believed that to collaborate successfully with industry, an academic must "substitute" industry's values for those of academia. Similarly there is a common belief that the exchange of benefits between universities and industry is a simple matter, with academics exchanging ideas or teaching for cash.

"Our work leads us to believe strongly that matters are not that simple," says Professor Brickwood, who is on secondment to the DTI's Innovation Unit from Brunel University.

"To succeed as a university-based entrepreneur you do not have to change your values, but you do have to change your behaviour," he says.

Many characteristics of successful partnerships were little different from conventional successful relationships between firms and their suppliers. But it is in creating this kind of "external" relationship that university academics find the greatest challenge as it demands significant changes in the way they work.

"The structure of the parent institution, and the relationship with the partnership, can help or hinder its success," says Professor Brickwood.

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

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns