Industry Partnerships

Universities and industry have a long history of collaboration and there are many benefits in forming partnerships for universities and industry alike. For universities, these partnerships can provide financial support for their educational, research and service missions; broaden the experience of their students and faculty; identify significant, interesting and relevant problems; enhance regional economic development; and increase employment opportunities for students.

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Such partnerships, however, are not without risks. Conflicts of interest between university and industry researchers, suppression of information from fellow researchers and an ‘undermining of academic standards’ are real issues and must be managed appropriately. Partnerships can be successful if proactive steps are taken to recognize and mitigate the known risks. This paper provides a review of existing literature on university–industry partnerships and develops, from the university’s perspective, a set of generally agreed-upon benefits, risks and techniques to facilitate successful collaboration with industry.