1 - Fostering collaboration between Universities and Business

1.3 - Involving management staff in business relationships with Universities


The involvement of management staff, particularly those who are responsible for decision-making, is a positive aspect for the successful development of any projects which are to be undertaken in collaboration with Universities. This commitment encourages the strengthening and consolidation of long-lasting relationships. The personal involvement of senior management staff in the relationship with Universities, even if it only occurs during the initial phases or periodic evaluations, has been shown to play a crucial role in promoting research activities and encouraging ongoing collaborations which extend beyond one-off projects.



At IBM, the person responsible for the collaborative projects with Universities in each region is the vice-president. This means that these issues are addressed at a very senior level, thereby permitting the company to react quickly and efficiently to the specific needs of the project, avoiding misunderstandings and saving time in the decision-making process. In addition, Universities feel that they are maximising their benefits since they are given immediate solutions to their needs. Responsibilities of the senior vice-president of IBM in the UK include paying regular visits to the Universities with which the company works and liaising with campuses at least once a month.

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

MIT, meanwhile, encourages interaction with management personnel from companies which are interested in its services. The connection between the strategies of universities and companies helps clients to be more aware that what they are buying is not a service or a new product, but a source of knowledge and innovation.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

This recommendation can be implemented by a single company or by several, particularly if the collaboration with the University affects a specific sector in which companies work together.

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  1. Conversations held with Mr. Chisholm, MIT Legatum.
  2. Benchmarking industry science relationships (OECD).
  3. IBM responds to Lambert review on Business - University Collaboration.
  4. MIT Sloan Management Review, Randall Wright, Spring 2008.
  5. http://viewswire.eiu.com/- The Economist Intelligence Unit Views Wire.
  6. http://web.mit.edu/ - Massachusetts Institute of Technology.