Tips for Developing Partnerships

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Published Date:15-07-2017
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The leadership forum to help Europe innovate MAKING INDUSTRY-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS WORK Lessons from successful collaborationsI OVERVIEW KEY LESSONS When companies and universiti es work in tandem to push the fron tiers of knowledge, they become a powerful engine for innova tion and economic growth. Silicon Valley is a drama tic example. For over five decades, a dense web of rich and long-running collabora tions in the region have given rise to new technologies at a breakneck pace, and transformed industries while modernising the role of the university. F or an elite group of world-class research have some visionary companies and their universities, this kind of strategic academic partners successfully overcome collabora tion is top priority. The bene fits their inherent di er ff ences to forge a higher have long been obvious to these ins titu tions: level of strategic partnership? These are substan tial streams of external funding, the key ques tions addressed in this report. enhanced opportuniti es for professors Its findings are based on the views and and graduates to work on groundbreaking experience of senior industry executi ves research, vital inputs to keep teaching and and university offi cials engaged in managing learning on the cutti ng edge of a discipline, successful partnerships. and the impact of delivering soluti ons for pressing global challenges. The most producti ve collabora ons ti are strategic and long-term, according to the If only it were so easy. For most universi ties practi tioners who contributed to this report. – even those with cutti ng-edge research – They are built around a shared research partnering with industry does not come vision and may con nue ti for a decade or naturally. Most European academics are beyond, establishing deep professional not engaged at all in collabora ons ti with e ti s, trust and shared bene fits that work industry and only few cooperate with to bridge the sharp cultural divide between business to a high degree, according to a academia and industry. “It is individuals May 2010 study of Ewuropean university- who understand both worlds – academia 1 business coopera on. ti And when European and business – that are the driving force universities form partnerships with behind successful partnerships,” says industry, too oft en the poten al ti for synergy Alan Begg, Senior Vice President, Group 2 is thwarted by failures of communica tion. Technology Development, SKF Group. What makes for a seamless rela onshi ti p Strategic partnerships designed to run for between university and industry? Why five to ten years deliver greater and oft en do so many partnerships produce unan c ti ipated bene fits to all par ties through disappoin ng ti results or fail? And how a virtuous circle of interacti ons. For the 6university, they provide a longer stream of business to drive innova on. ti The future secure funding that can bolster academic EU programmes on educa on ti (Erasmus for strength. They help modernise teaching and All) and research and innova tion (Horizon learning by fostering an exchange of ideas 2020) will ensure that such interacti ons are and developing people with the skills and fostered and fully exploited. competences needed as new innova tions transform markets and industries. The Commission already has launched a number of in itia tives to enhance closer Above all, long-term alliances build the and more e e ff c tive ties between the three vital human capital needed to make the corners of the knowledge triangle, including industry-university collabora ons ti work. the European Ins titute for Innova on ti and It is the human e ti s, understanding and Technology (EIT), the Knowledge Alliances trust on both sides of the partnership that pilot project and the University-Business count most. Over time, a well-managed Forum. partnership produces a growing number of professors and graduate students who But the cultural divide between universiti es can think and act across the cultural divide, and industry runs deep. It con n ti ues to act connect with the key research interests as a brake on e ecti ff ve collabora tion with of a company and work harmoniously to the business world, according to an October de fine big and common strategic goals. 2011 study on European University Business 3 That substrate of human talent not only Coopera tion undertaken by Technopolis. ensures the success of exis ting projects; it The experts who contributed to this study is key to developing future collabora tions. believe the cultural divide can be overcome, but it requires strong university leadership, One example: IBM’s new 90 million faculty who understand business, and nanotechnology center in Zurich illustrates incen v ti es and structures for academics to that virtuous circle. The Binnig and Rohrer bridge that gap. European universiti es could Nanotechnology Center is the cornerstone signi ficantly increase their a r tt acti veness of a new 10-year strategic partnership in to industry, these experts said, by making nanoscience between IBM and the Swiss industry partnerships a clear priority and Federal Ins titute of Technology (ETH Zurich) by developing a pool of academics who aimed at advancing energy and informa tion have worked in industry. technologies. Ties between the two par ties run deep; the investment caps many years This report was commissioned by the of collabora tion. ScienceBusiness Innova tion Board AISBL, a not-for-profi t scien tific associa on ti formed Crea ng ti more strategic industry-university to improve the climate for innova on ti in partnerships such as this would substan ally ti Europe. The Board strongly concurs with improve Europe’s climate for innova tion. the European Commission’s university The agenda for the modernisa tion of modernisa on ti agenda and the need to Europe’s higher-educa tion systems has make universi ties more responsive to made it a priority to strengthen the links demand in the marketplace and acti ve 4 between higher educa tion, research and parti cipants in their innova tion markets. 7Karolinska Institutet, the University of The aim of this report is to complement California, Audi, IBM, GE, and Aalto – and add more of a business perspective University. Interviews were conducted to – a growing body of academic studies on from 6 January through 3 February 2012. the state of European industry-university partnerships. It was designed to be The ScienceBusiness Innovation Board selective in nature, with a focus on the is grateful to all the interviewees for their insights and lessons learned from a handful contribution to this report. It is our hope of groundbreaking partnerships. Each case that this breadth of perspective will prove study was based on lengthy interviews with useful. senior executives and university managers who oversee these partnerships. Several KEY LESSONS FOR PARTNERSHIPS cases focus on US university partnership initiatives, reectin fl g the fact that American The industry-university partnerships educational institutions have spearheaded analysed for this report varied widely, but the evolution of large-scale industry- the executives and academics managing university collaborations. But Europe also them agreed on the core elements needed has many prominent, and productive, to make a partnership work well. Their strategic partnerships. key lessons and recommendations were the following: The cases included in this report vary widely in their aims, and each had a variety of 1. University leadership is vital impacts on the university partner. They have been grouped here under three key ■ University presidents need to make categories based on particular points of industry-university partnerships a interest to policymakers: strategic priority and communicate partnerships that increased funding the message regularly to the entire streams for universities academic community. partnerships that had a significant impact ■ Strategic partnerships need input on teaching and learning, and at the highest level from both the partnerships that prompted a rethinking of company and the university. Create a the role of the research university. joint steering group including senior academics and company executives. This report draws on the direct experience ■ Make the goals and benefits of of the Board’s members– on both sides of partnering clear to the entire faculty. the ‘market’: the universities supplying ■ Design incentives for university faculty talent and ideas, and the companies and provide resources to manage a demanding them. It also benefits from the cultural shift that does not undercut input of practitioners from companies and basic research but puts a clear priority universities identified by Board members on engaging with industry for mutual and others regarded as pioneering a new benefit and for the benefit of society. era of industry-university partnerships, including Siemens, Nokia, ETH Zurich, 82. Long-term strategic partnerships with ■ Senior executives and university built-in flexibility work best experts should map out together the key questions and research ■ The most fertile starting point for a challenges that are a high priority partnership is one that allows industry for both. Encourage sufficient high- to do something it can’t do itself, level exchange of information and executives said. The world’s leading brainstorming to enable common technology multinationals have areas of interest to emerge. dozens, if not hundreds, of strategic ■ Understand the three different types partnerships with universities. But of possible partnerships – strategic, increasingly, the trend is to narrow operational or transactional – and the focus on a handful of strategic select the type that fits your needs. partnerships that aim higher, receive ▫ Strategic partnerships run for significantly greater funding and last five to 10 years and need a longer. These partnerships increasingly broad, flexible agreement. The will drive richer benefits to fewer knowledge produced by the universities. collaboration is likely to influence ■ The growth of these alliances reflects the university’s future research the evolution of corporate R&D away and teaching and a company’s from basic research toward research strategy. that is much nearer to the company’s ▫ Operational partners have a immediate needs. As a result, a gap research project with a division has emerged in industry’s ability to or particular R&D lab and run peer into the future, and industry is for one to three years. They can increasingly turning to universities to be valuable for building ties that know what is going on at the frontiers lead to a strategic partnership. of research. ▫ Transactional partnerships are ■ Long-term strategic partnerships focus lesser interactions, such as an the university’s creativity and talent executive agreeing to teach on enabling future innovations that a course, which may lead to can be taken to market by industry doing more and bigger projects and deliver benefits to society within together in the future. These, five to 10 years. too, can ultimately give rise to a strategic partnership. 3. Start with a shared vision and develop ■ Strive for a partnership of equals with a strategy shared decision-making. Successful partnerships are based on a win-win ■ The first step to a healthy partnership situation for all the parties. is assessing the core academic strengths of the university and the core 4. Put the right people in charge – those research competence of the company who cross boundaries to identify promising opportunities for collaboration. People determine the success or failure 9of industry-university partnerships. To seeking to answer, universities should attract industry involvement, universities create advisory boards of executives from must have people capable of building and selected industry sectors where they are managing partnerships. Collaborations well positioned to develop partnerships. only work well when they are managed by people who cross boundaries easily and Once a potential industry partner is in who have a deep understanding of the two view, universities should engage with cultures they need to bridge. top management. Academics need a relationship with someone who is senior University programmes need to be enough at the company to allow strategic strongly orientated toward helping solve issues to emerge and to be addressed in the scienc fiti and technological challenges research. that companies care about. That means breaking down barriers inside the university When a partnership has been launched, and engaging faculty who have industry an executive board should be formed and experience. meet regularly to encourage strong two- way communications between academics Universities must become more open to and senior company officials. The chair giving people leading positions who bring should follow up regularly with members more than just a research pedigree. They to keep the dialogue flowing and encourage need multidisciplinary individuals who impromptu feedback on the project from are mentors and bridge-builders. Most both sides at any time. universities engaged in partnerships are “learning by doing,” and lack academics Develop two-way exchanges to build a with experience in industry or the proclivity substrate of academics who understand to network outside their area of expertise. industry. Universities should encourage professors to work in industry and invite 5. Kick-start the dialogue – encourage industry researchers to teach. cross-fertilisation of ideas 6. Don’t get hung up on intellectual There is no short cut to cultivating personal property (IP) ties that can lead to the most creative and promising collaborations. Universities Develop a broad overarching framework should create opportunities for academics agreement and work out details on a case- and company researchers and executives by-case basis. A framework agreement with shared interest to come together and saves time and avoids the acrimony that develop a dialogue. Informal exchanges often results from too narrow a focus on over lectures or seminars that bring both who owns what. Company executives tend sides together can spark conversations and to walk away from universities that have lead to new relationships. too inflexible an approach to IP, no maer tt how good the science. To understand the key scientific and technology questions companies are 10IP is important but it should not be viewed 8. Don’t get hung up on measuring the as the centrepiece of industry-university results of a strategic alliance relations. Instead of a narrow focus on IP as income source, universities should The most fruitful partnerships take time to be engaged in providing solutions for the bear fruit. Setting up artificial metrics to economy – the income stream will be measure them can undercut the alliance greater and benefits wider. and fail to capture the unanticipated benefits that accrue when a strategic The role of IP is overemphasised. The true relationship is built on trust, structured well value in R&D is often the tacit knowledge and managed by people who understand it produces. both worlds. Universities seeking to form partnerships Projects should have defined objectives, for with industry to modernise teaching and example, finding a class of materials that learning should not insist on protecting IP have certain properties. But companies that comes out of that research. The key and universities should avoid trying benefit to the university is the impact on to measure the value of an industry- teaching and learning from industry-based university partnership in metrics such as projects. papers published or patent applications filed. The quality and nature of scientific 7. Promote a multidisciplinary approach breakthroughs vary, and volume does not to research and learning automatically equate with value. Innovation increasingly depends on the Focus on quality instead of quantity of ability of university and industry experts output. Select projects from the outset to work together across a number of with a focus on excellent science through disciplines, such as technology, design and peer review of projects and funding. This engineering. Encourage multidisciplinary builds in quality control up front, attracts academic programmes and promote industry investment and ensures bee tt r the engagement of industry in such results. programmes. 9. Redefine the role of the research Setting up a multidisciplinary institute on university as a source of competence and campus in partnership with industry can problem-solving for society help break down traditional academic silos and drive a new multidisciplinary culture Bold, visionary partnerships between and curricula. industry and universities can accelerate innovation and help deliver solutions University officials seeking to develop to pressing social challenges. But to partnerships with industry risk losing harness that tandem, the mission of the projects if they are not willing to embrace research university needs to be redefined. a multidisciplinary approach to research. Collaborating with industry should be linked to a reden fi ition of the role of the research 11university for the 21st century. That role 2 Technopolis Group, University Business now extends beyond teaching and public Cooperati on, 15 Ins tuti ti onal Case Studies service research to tackling key social on the Links Between Higher Educati on challenges and helping drive economic Ins tituti ons and Business, October 2011. growth. 3 Ibid. Today’s universiti es largely embrace a model of higher educa tion developed over 4 ScienceBusiness Innovation Board. 100 years ago. A new vision should include “Time for university reform – with market producing the highly skilled workforce for principles.” 30 August 2011. a globally compe titive economy. The university in the 21st century should be viewed not just as a generator of ideas but as a source of knowledge and competence that can bene fit society. References: 1 Todd Davey et al., The State of European University-Business Cooperati on. Science- to-Business Marke ting Research Centre, Münster University of Applied Sciences, 2011. 12II PARTNERSHIPS THAT IMPACT TEACHING AND LEARNING The primary focus of most industry-university collabora tions is joint research, but many have an impact on teaching and learning that develops naturally out of the partnership. Professors join a project inside the company and researchers agree to lecture, crea ting a fruitf ul ongoing exchange that helps modernise curricula. But a growing skills gap and fierce compe tion ti for global talent have prompted some forward-looking companies to develop partnerships with universiti es spec ifically aimed at modernising teaching and learning. The partnership itself becomes a groundbreaking experiment in developing new skills for a next-genera tion workforce and a conduit for future recruitment of top talent. Two such partnerships are included here (ICT21S and Aalto’s IDBM programme). Another groundbreaking approach involves partnerships that establish a multi disciplinary research ins titute in which industry researchers and academics pursue soluti ons to complex, systems-level problems that require cross-disciplinary experti se. The crea on ti of high-profi le multi disciplinary ins tut ti es can help break down traditi onal academic silos by crea ting incen v ti es for new areas of research, seeding new courses of study and multi disciplinary degree programmes, while also driving innova tion (e.g. BP’s Energy Biosciences Ins titute at the University of California and Calit2). These and other cases highlight the increasing role industry can play to modernise curricula, improve the knowledge base and skills of future graduates and foster economic compe titiveness. with the University of Melbourne that set CASE 1 out to transform educa tion for the 21st MICROSOFT-CISCO-INTEL- century. Their goal was to have a game- UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE: changing impact by first iden f ti ying the A partnership to forge skills for the 21st higher-order skills that students need for century success in schools and in the workforce and then transforming the assessment and Key interview: Greg Butler, Senior Director teaching of these 21st-century skills. The Worldwide Educati on Strategy, Microsoft ; partnership, called ATC21S – Assessment and Visiti ng Research Associate, School of and Teaching of 21st Century Skills – Business Management, Open University, UK focuses on the cr itical skill sets for a global knowledge economy. In 2008 Microso ft, Cisco and Intel agreed to launch an industry-university partnership 13Microsoft, Cisco and Intel have all had 60 research institutions to successfully long-running individual programmes to develop a new set of tools (computer-based boost skills in the classroom, but none collaboration and problem-solving) to felt as if they were having enough impact. assess skills that will form the basis of new “Young people were not being equipped curricula. Cost of project 2.5-3 million with the skills needed to be successful (additional resources were contributed in employment. You only have to look at by the many academic and multilateral unemployment and mismatch of skills and organization partners). jobs,” says Greg Butler, Senior Director Worldwide Education Strategy at Microsoft. The assessment tools present complex, multi-step, cognitively challenging problems Moreover education has been slow to to be solved in real time by pairs of students respond and to take up the challenge who communicate via computers to arrive of the assessment and teaching of new at a solution. The computer-based program 21st century skills. “The partnership of then assesses how each of these students corporations and university set out to lead collaborate. the way to new forms of assessment that would drive new approaches to teaching “This remarkable initiative… has cracked the and curriculum. A radical shift in the code on how to set standards for, and assess three pillars of education was needed,” the acquisition of, 21st-century skills,” says says Patrick Griffin, the project’s executive Robin Horn, education sector manager for director. the World Bank, adding that “measuring skills such as critical thinking, problem- To tackle the task, the core partners formed solving, collaboration and teamwork, ICT an executive board to manage a three-year competencies, and information literacy, multi-stakeholder eo ff rt, involving some in a rigorous and pragmatic way, has 250 academics and multilateral institutions been totally out of reach until now…. It including the OECD and UNESCO. The is a harbinger of a wholly new approach partnership identified two discrete skill to standards and assessment for the 21st sets: collaborative problem-solving and century.” digital literacy. And the three-year research eort ff produced knowledge, tool sets and Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on common standards that transfer across education policy to the OECD and founder borders. of the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) study says: “ATC21S has played an essential pathfinder role to KEY INNOVATION move the assessment agenda forward. It fills a critical gap between existing This multi-stakeholder industry-university basic research on assessment design and partnership overcame general skepticism methodologies, on the one hand, and the that collaborative problem-solving skills implementation of large-scale assessments and digital literacy could be accurately that provide reliable data at reasonable measured. It managed a highly complex cost, on the other. Its latest venture, the global academic research eor ff t across 14piloting of tasks to assess collaborative party. “If you ignore the other party’s problem-solving skills, provides important agenda, the partnership won’t work,” says insights for OECD’s eo ff rts to broaden Butler. “I had to understand the agenda future PISA assessments to encompass of the academics at the University of interpersonal skill dimensions.” Melbourne. We call it brokering. Too often, it’s ‘let’s partner’ and six months later it all blows up because no one asked, ‘What are RESULTS your objectives?’ ” Five white papers defining the skills of the 3. Ensure equity in the partnership. “Rarely 21st century, peer-reviewed and published does everyone have equal power around in leading journals the table,” says Butler. “The attitude of ■ Assessment tools created for two industry could be, ‘We are funding, so you core skill sets: collaborative problem- do what we tell you.’ You need to negate solving and ICT literacy. that power imbalance. If we pulled the ■ Six countries (Australia, Costa Rica, power play it wouldn’t work. The academics Finland, the Netherlands, Singapore, won’t trust us. It would be contractual. If and the United States) piloted the we wanted to do a contract that’s easy. assessment skills in cognitive labs on You’d say, ‘I’ve got money and work and 5000 students. Fieldwork trials are can you do it?’ But you lose the diversity continuing. and innovation that the partnership ■ Results presented at the 2012 brings. If an equal partnership drives Education World Forum in London the innovation, you get more innovative ■ Singapore developing strategy to solutions and beer tt solutions. “You can’t deploy the assessment tools broadly be half-hearted in the partnership – we are The OECD PISA study will incorporate all in control and everyone is responsible. assessment of 21st century skills in 2015 The executive director came from the ■ Curricula recommendations to University of Melbourne, so in one way we support an improved workforce will report to the university. We have meetings be published in June 2012. where everyone has an equal say. We spent time to make sure everyone’s objectives are LESSONS clear. A partnership has to deliver mutual benefits. A guiding principle to partnering 1. Partnerships have a high cost in human should be the following: ‘Is everyone capital. Do them as a last resort – when getting mutual benefit out of this work. If you can’t accomplish the goal alone. “If so, you get beer r tt esults.’ ” Microsoft had chosen to do this work alone, it would have had minimal impact. There 4. In some cases where the goals are was tremendous value in the partnership,” broad and social in nature, success may says Microsoft’s Butler. depend on dropping claims to intellectual property. 2. Build partnerships on a set of principles. The golden rule is understanding each “All the output from ATC21S is in the other. Spend time on the agenda of each 15public domain. This was critical in References: building a partnership with researchers and governments,” says Butler. “If we ATC21S website: had said, ‘You do the work and we will Statement on ATC21S by Robin Horn, copyright it,’ I am sure we would not have been successful. World Bank: “Most of the cross-boundary transactions how-can-school-compete-with-social- we do at Microsoft are done by contract. media The same is true with universities. The purpose of a contract is to shift risk. Most CASE 2 of risk ends up lying with a person who receives the contract – it says you are liable AALTO UNIVERSITY FORMS if you don’t adhere to the contract. But PARTNERSHIPS WITH INDUSTRY with complex problems we have today – in TO TRANSFORM TEACHING AND education, environment, global warming LEARNING – we will never solve those problems Key interview: Mikko Koria, professor of if we continue to only try to shift risk. international design business management, We have to build mechanisms to share Aalto University accountability. Because problems by nature cross boundaries. You can’t write a contract In 1995 the then rector of the University to solve environment problems today.” of Art and Design Helsinki, Yrjö Sotamaa, proposed a graduate programme blending 5. Partnerships need to be flexible: The design, technology and business courses ATC21S partners aimed at concluding across three universities to create a new their work within three years – in June field of multidisciplinary study. The goal 2012, but they are now considering was to develop students with an innovative extending the work plan to engage with mindset through collaborative, cross- ministry officials in governments around disciplinary problem-solving. the world on how to deploy the results. “We think this partnership might evolve The programme, International Design into a number of masterclasses for Business Management (IDBM), was set government leaders, helping them build up as a full-year minor study offered jointly policy and implementation plans,” says by the Helsinki School of Economics, the Butler. “We never thought about that University of Art and Design, as well as at beginning. We realised only recently the Helsinki University of Technology, the risk if we published the results of to complement majors in engineering, the work and ministries didn’t take it on design or business – or other subjects. The board. Partnerships can’t be rigid. You need programme is balanced equitably between flexibility and the ability to evolve.” business, engineering and design learning. The IDBM challenged the notion that a university’s role is to pass on existing 16airport asked a team to figure out how knowledge, and that absolute answers to tailor the design of the airport’s new exist. “The real world doesn’t work like terminal and services to appeal to its Asian that. Sometimes, you don’t even know the passengers. The team included a Japanese question, says IDBM professor Mikko Koria. interior architectural student, a Chinese “Our answer was to work with industry. We business student, a Finnish architectural want to bring the real, confusing world into student and a British business student. the teaching of the master’s programmes. The students travelled together to all the You cannot simulate something like that major Asian airports to research cutting- because it is not open-ended enough. You edge design and services that cater to Asian cannot simulate the messiness of the real passengers. Out of some 30 proposals made world. You have to involve real companies.” by the team, Helsinki airport implemented over 20 in the new terminal. IDBM is now part of the offering at Aalto University, which was formed by the merger of the same three universities in 2010 INNOVATION to promote multidisciplinary learning – another initiative proposed by Sotamaa. At the time of its introduction in 1995, th Now in its 17 year, the IDBM has become the IDBM’s engagement with industry a strong plaorm tf for ongoing collaboration in using cross-disciplinary teams was a with Finnish industry that oer ff s compeve groundbreaking approach to transforming advantage to companies while creating a teaching and learning. Through project- real-world learning experience for students. based learning that takes place inside Multidisciplinary teams tackle industry companies, it developed the missing problems and produce innovative solutions skills and experience vital for workers over the course of a one-year programme. in a networked, global economy while In return, each company agrees to pay the strengthening ties substantially between school roughly €20,000 per project. the universities and industry. The IDBM projects involve teams of “Society’s problems do not exist in silos. multicultural and multidisciplinary students Pollution, for example, is a systemic who drive their own learning experience. problem involving scientific, economic Companies offer students real-world, open- and environmental issues,” says Koria. ended problems to solve that the company “The IDBM is an effort to create cannot address itself. The teams seek to individuals who can think outside their offer new perspectives and ideas that cross- own profession because we recognise that fertilise with what the company already breakthrough innovations are often done knows, says Koria. in interdisciplinary teams.” Work projects range widely from fathoming RESULTS new applications for mobile radar or waste-water technologies to assessing ■ The programme has significantly the innovative potential of Vietnamese enhanced Aalto University’s ties companies. In one project, the Helsinki with industry, training 703 students 17 titiin 168 company projects with 114 before approaching industry. partner companies and establishing 2. Develop win-win partnerships. a direct recruitment plaorm tf for IDBM Companies have to have a real commitment students. to make these kinds of projects work, so ■ Seven to ten per cent of the IDBM the proposal has to be a win-win situation. projects lead to the development “What we offer is essentially to help of a real-world service or product companies think, says Koria. “One of key innovation, creating major value for problems is companies don’t have the time the industry partner. to sit back and reflect. We offer new ideas. ■ The university is closer to market They can take them up and implement. developments because its students are We help them to improve their business engaged with cutting-edge business through these inputs (we don’t run their models, including service design. business). Because we offer them value, Many entrepreneurs emerge from the they are willing to open up their doors IDBM context.Aalto is now considering – and create a training ground inside the replicating the real-life case studies in organisation for our students. other courses. “It takes a lot of work to convince companies ■ IDBM helped pioneer multidisciplinary they get benefits from working with learning at all three universities where students. I spend 20 to 30 per cent of my it was initially offered, and was a time setting up projects with companies. convincing example with a 12-year This has to be allowed for – and you need track record at the time of the Aalto to define from the beginning this is also University merger proposal in 2007. intended as teaching programmes.” ■ The IDBM programme has helped evolve university governance through 3. Don’t seek to protect IP. “ Many its different incentives and structures. universities want to own any intellectual “It doesn’t fit into the traditional lines property developed by students who work of command at Aalto,” says Koria. for companies,” says Koria. “This IDBM IDBM management reports directly partnership is not research for companies. to the vice rector of teaching. Our objective is to create a situation for real-life learning. We throw away the prot fi Lessons for building multidisciplinary motive. It’s not in our interest. Who would programmes that engage industry want to collaborate if the university owned the IP?” 1. Create a strategy. To attract industry involvement, university programmes 4. Communicate the benefits of a new must be strongly orientated to industry. generation of innovative thinker. That means commitment from the top Multidisciplinary teamwork is a vital and leadership to breaking down barriers inside sought-aer ft skill in the labour market. the university and within the company. It Programmes like the IDBM create a window requires faculty with industry experience. If on future recruits that could sharply reduce the partnership involves other universities, internal training costs. “Companies may they should forge a common understanding save two to three years of training when 18the balance of resources must be used for people come in with these capabilities,” teaching. Normally its 50-50. And we have Koria says. “That’s a tangible benefit for a real mission to engage with industry and the company. society at large, creating tangible benefits through our interaction.” 5. Develop a pool of academics with deep understanding of industry and business (IDBM director Markku Salimäki has 20 experience. When it comes to managing years of industry experience, an MSc in industry collaboration, you have to rethink technology and a PhD in economics. Koria the type of people running programmes in has an MSc in architecture, an MBA in academia, advises Koria. “Most university design management and PhD in economics.) teachers have no idea what the business world is about. You have to break down 6. Develop student communities to academic silos. Normal academics don’t overcome silo thinking. For multidisciplinary have much incentive to do this. They are and cross-cultural projects, it’s vital to judged by publications and it’s difficult to create a community among students so publish while managing programmes like they learn to understand and appreciate this. dier ff ences in how others think. “We spend a lot of time doing this – it’s intensive in “The key issue is having people who cross the first year,” says Koria. “After that they boundaries – you need multidisciplinary have a community of practice together. individuals who are mentors. The university During the r fi st year they learn how people has to be open to giving people leading think differently in other professions. We positions who normally wouldn’t be don’t want to erase those differences. chosen. You need bridge-builders. That’s They are key to innovation. That’s why the the bottom line. This kind of collaboration programme requires people at a graduate doesn’t happen by itself. People make level with strong professional background. If this kind of change happen. If all the key everyone is a generalist, no one contributes people running the IDBM today would to new ideas. We’re interested in benefiting leave, it would fall apart. You have to be from the differences.” constantly on the lookout for people and create incentives for them to grow.” References: This kind of programme most suits colleges IDBM website: of applied arts and technical universities Karjalainen, T-M; Koria, M & Salimäki, M where publication in academic journals is (eds.) (2011) IDBM Papers vol.1. Helsinki; not priority number 1. But any university IDBM Programme, Aalto University. ISBN can do it if it creates the right incentives. 978-952-92-8642-3 “We dedicate 70 per cent of our resources to teaching and 30 per cent to research. And the research done must be directly useful for the teaching programmes,” says Koria. “We take away the academic liberty of researching almost anything and say 19at UC Berkeley, the deputy director is a CASE 3 professor of plant and crop sciences at THE ENERGY BIOSCIENCES University of Illinois, and associate director INSTITUTE (EBI): Paul A. Willems is technology vice president of energy biosciences at BP. “Rather than Key interview: Paul A. Willems, EBI having a single leader, it’s a triumvirate,” Associate Director, Vice President for Energy says Willems. “We have a lot of input on Biosciences, BP a strategic level, but not on day-to-day implementation. The management team The EBI is a ground-breaking strategic creates the annual work plan and budget. research partnership created in 2007 to The governance board approves the tackle the application of modern biology strategy and budget, but does not have a to energy problems. The main focus now is line-item veto. There’s no mechanism for on developing sustainable next-generation the university or BP to say, ‘We don’t like biofuels and reducing the impact of fossil project number 17 – take it out.’ Everything fuels on global warming. BP supports the we do is through influencing and being institute with a 10-year, 500 million grant. part of the scientific process as opposed Its partners are the University of California, to formal authority.” Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois RESULTS at Urbana-Champaign. The institute hosts 60 research groups including 129 faculty ■ The creation of the EBI has had a major members and over 300 postdoctoral impact on teaching and learning at researchers and graduate students. BP’s partner universities, increasing the multidisciplinary studies focus at INNOVATION UC Berkeley and University of Illinois. Energy biosciences was not its own BP’s desire to bring multiple disciplines discipline in 2007 when the institute to bear on the challenge of creating was launched. As talented faculty sustainable biofuels through the EBI forged publish papers and win grants based a new academic el fi d – energy biosciences – on their work at the EBI, BP’s university integrating biology, chemistry, engineering, partners are starting to develop a environment, agriculture and economics. formal energy biosciences curriculum, The institute combines a long-term research which is an independent endeavour vision with a mission to drive step-change by the universities – something BP innovations that will pave the way for encourages but does not directly sustainable fuels. It covers the entire value sponsor, Willems notes. chain, from crop selection and sustainable ■ The EBI has enabled young and farming all the way to conversion of established faculty from various crops to fuels. The EBI is governed by a disciplines to become recognised three-person directorate including two leaders in a new cross-disciplinary academics and a senior manager from BP. field and to start winning federal The Institute director is a professor in the grants for which they might not department of plant and microbial biology 20have been competitive before EBI. 3. Build in progress reports to monitor the “For the university, this then brings direction and relevance of the research. more research dollars and more One major worry for both sides was recognition for faculty,” Willems the fact that academics had to report says. One example: Madhu Khanna, on ongoing progress to continue their a professor of agricultural economics funding every year – a review process at the University of Illinois, started which multi-year federal grants typically do applying her expertise to the field of not require. This could have been seen as lignocellulosic biofuels. She has since bureaucratic; but in fact, the review process won additional related DOE grants and helped accelerate the innovation process. been called to testify in Congress on Pathways that did not look promising often the subject. triggered new ideas. “It’s more a mae tt r of redirection and allowing research to evolve in a new direction in a real-time basis,” LESSONS says Willems. “No one wants to work on a dead-end project just because you wrote 1. Commit to a long-term partnership. the proposal two years ago and you still “A 10-year partnership is very important have one year to go. Typically, this kind of because it puts everyone in a serious frame flexibility to change course is not there in of mind about the collaboration,” says other partnerships.” Willems. “Company managers tend to do one- or two-year partnerships, and it ends 4. To attract industry, universities must up getting five per cent of their aen tt tion. embrace multidisciplinary research That’s like a hobby. You have occasional BP took proposals from teams of interactions, but you don’t follow the universities around the world to ensure collaboration closely.” they covered all the capabilities needed for the new institute. On the final cut, all five 2. Create time, space and freedom to contenders had world-class science, but achieve your partnership’s goals. The the UC Berkeley consortium was the most creation of a new discipline and a separate enthusiastic about taking a multidisciplinary EBI building allowed people to opt into it – approach. “That was a big differentiator,” that was a key feature. “We didn’t have to says Willems. show up somewhere on campus and make a department do things dier ff ently. We had 5. Ensure company scientists and a new space and new people who were self- researchers engage with the Institute on selecting for doing multidisciplinary work. a daily basis. No one was forced to be in an EBI mode BP has several company scientists embedded of working. This helped create a positive in the EBI and some 50 researchers and atmosphere. The students still have deep managers that connect with the institute departmental exposure through professors, regularly. The EBI directors hold a formal but everyone’s lab in EBI was next to people quarterly research committee meeting doing all kinds of other things. You might be with BP business leadership to highlight working on a biology aspect of a problem what happened in the previous quarter while your neighbour is working on a and what’s coming up. chemistry aspect.” 216. Design a clear IP framework as part default/files/recommendations-reports/ of the master agreement. “A master tf_uip_report-final1.pdf) agreement should apply to everything that flows out of the partnership. Otherwise you CASE 4 lose a lot of time to sorting out the same issues over and over. Also, if you want to AUDI AG – BUILDING A bring in a partner institution – you just UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE TO FUEL point to the agreement and say, ‘take it or INNOVATION leave it.’ A framework agreement where Key interview: Peter Tropschuh, Head you define non-exclusive and exclusivity of Scientific Relations and Corporate allows freedom for everyone. Some IP is Responsibility, AUDI AG owned by university. Some is owned by BP and some by the co-inventors. Within its In 2004, Audi proposed a deep and field BP has non-exclusive right for having strategic collaboration with the Technical funded the research – that’s the default. University of Munich (TUM), through the For additional licensing fees, it can have establishment of a research institute near exclusive rights.” Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt that would support over 100 PhD students working 7. Universities are not well-suited for on technology and innovation issues vital doing research that business immediately to Audi’s competitiveness. The company needs. “The strength of universities is had recently set a goal of becoming the blue-sky discovery and proof-of-concept world’s number 1 luxury auto brand, and where it’s an early stage of innovation and was seeking new ways to enhance the there’s a lot of work to be done to bring company’s ability to innovate. a product to market. Universities can do exploratory research which companies The institute brings professors and students cannot realistically do. When you need the close to Audi’s researchers, streams unbounded mindset and capability that a innovative new ideas into the company and university offers, it’s the right choice. If you is a vital pool of future talent. Audi invested are too close to the marketplace, working in the infrastructure. The university created with universities can be an unreliable the possibility for faculty to work closely business proposition.” with Audi. The local government provided a site. References: The institute is managed by a strategic EBI website: http://www. steering committee which meets twice a year to define areas of research interest, review progress, address problems and Christopher Kutz et al., Report by the UC discuss goals. Representatives of Audi’s Berkeley Academic Senate Task Force executive board are on the steering on University-Industry Partnerships: committee, including people with Principles and Guidelines for Large- technology, production and human Scale Collaborations, July 2010 (http:// resources expertise. Two thirds of the 22ideas for projects come from Audi and ■ Highly successful recruitment channel. one third from the university. Each project Eighty per cent of candidates stay with has to have the potential to improve the the company following three years of company’s products or processes. work on their PhD. ■ Successful replication. Audi has transplanted the university institute INNOVATION concept to China by including Tongji University and to Hungary with the The Ingolstadt Institute of TU Munich Budapest University of Technology and established a large-scale strategic the University of Györ. relationship between university researchers and Audi, designed for major impact on teaching and learning as well LESSONS as the company’s competitiveness. It extends beyond transactional research 1. Define a clear strategy and listen. projects to create a large competence Universities should listen to industry and centre focused on getting cutting-edge ask, what does it really need? technologies to Audi’s doorstep. Top faculty and 80 PhD students from TU 2. Meet and talk regularly. “We talk about Munich and 50 from other universities the good things and the bad things. The tackle research topics selected for their important thing is having this personal relevance to global competitiveness in the contact – seeing each other across the automotive sector: production systems, table. That’s one of the secrets to why quality control, engineering, software, the projects are running so well,” says man-machine interface technologies, Tropschuh. “Cooperations live through lightweight construction, new materials people. We want the chance to meet.” and aerodynamics. RESULTS ■ A steady flow of technology process innovations built into Audi cars and production lines. Current models incorporate advances in lightweight construction, suspension technologies electronics, man-machine interface software. Innovative management solutions adopted. ■ Improved competitive edge. ■ Strongly enhanced exchange of knowledge. A total of 130 PhD candidates are now working on technical research topics at the Ingolstadt Institute. 23III PARTNERSHIPS THAT DEVELOP NEW FUNDING STREAMS FOR UNIVERSITIES Most industry-university partnerships generate income for the academic ins tituti ons involved, but some have done this on a much grander scale and in a nearly self-sustaining fashion. Each case described in this chapter evolved from a special set of interests, goals and strengths among the partners. The lessons highlight the commitment required on both sides to create and manage ambiti ous large-scale partnerships that provide signifi cant new funding streams to the university. group has invested a total of £83 million, CASE 5 and its portf olio of 78 companies has raised IMPERIAL INNOVATIONS – TAKING investment of over £300 million. A TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OFFICE Imperial Innova ons ti has a technology PUBLIC pipeline agreement with Imperial College London that extends un til 2020, under Key interview: Susan Searle, CEO, Imperial which it con nue ti s to act as the technology Innovati ons transfer offi ce for the university and has a right to IP emerging from research. Investors What is now Imperial Innova tions Group hence are wagering on the future of new PLC began in 1986 as the technology technologies developed by the university, transfer offi ce for Imperial College London and on Imperial Innova tion’s ability to and became a wholly owned subsidiary commercialise them. The group invests of the university in 1997. In 2006, it was in technology spin-outs in healthcare, registered on the Alterna tive Investment energy, engineering and the environment, Market of the London Stock Exchange and provides scien s ti t-entrepreneurs with and raised £26 million in an initi al public investment as well as opera tional exper tise off ering – one of the first university TTOs and assistance recruiting high-calibre to make the transiti on to listed company. management teams. Imperial College’s grand experiment In January 2011, Imperial Innova tions raised in handling technology transfer from an additi onal £140 million (before issue a privately listed company so far has costs), enabling it to accelerate investment produced a sizeable war chest for the acti vity, increase the size of its investments university. Since 2005, Imperial Innova tions and broaden its investment remit to include has raised approximately £206 million companies supported by its collabora tions (before issue costs) from investors. In the with Cambridge Enterprise, Oxford Spin-out five years following the IPO in 2006, the Equity Management and UCL Business. 24

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