Successful industry-university partnerships require close collaboration. Only then can they get the full benefits of spouses with complementary perspectives and knowledge bases functioning together.
Australia has long been seen as failing to fully capitalise on its own ground-breaking research. A consultation paper on university research commercialisation is your latest federal government attempt to improve the impact of research. Its focus is on creating incentives for industry-university cooperation to interpret and commercialise research.
To enhance collaborations academics will need to enable professionals to be fully engaged.
In our study, a variety of projects were indicated by apparently healthy relationships. Relations between practitioners and academics were harmonious. Yet practitioners engaged on a really narrow range of facets only.
The Best Way to get the Maximum from research when universities
We identified a variety of empowering practices for professors to embrace. Practitioners can then become equal partners in research endeavors. Decision-making becomes open, contested and effective.
Practitioners saw their function as merely facilitating and encouraging academics. They weren’t fully engaged. These projects were denied the full benefits of professionals’ expertise complementing instructional experience.
A corresponding practitioner emphatically acknowledged that point.
Any government strategy resulting from such consultations may raise the amount of these collaborations. Yet our study indicates several of these jobs are unlikely to achieve their full potential unless professors and their research partners working in industry strengthen their collaborative connections.
Therefore, seemingly harmonious collaborations were finally compromised.
The consultation paper describes societal, cultural and financial barriers to industry-university ventures. In announcing the University Research Commercialisation Scheme, federal Education Minister Alan Tudge called for”brand new ideas on how we can increase collaboration between universities and business and set our study at the core of our economic recovery”.
Our newly published evaluation of the Australian Research Council Linkage scheme discovered these successful relationships don’t happen organically. The academic side must work to ensure industry professionals fully contribute their experience.