1 - Fostering collaboration between Universities and Business

1.4 - Promoting personal and sectorial interaction


The interviews conducted within the framework of the REUNE PROJECT reveal that non-specific events may be useful in terms of making informal contacts, but rarely lead to concrete collaborations.

The most effective results come from the development of sectorial activities with clear thematic objectives and the involvement of the whole value chain of an industry. This type of event is aimed at bringing together clients, suppliers, entrepreneurs, potential investors and representatives from the academic world so as to encourage effective interaction between them. These events also help research groups to identify the technology needs of the market, whilst promoting their skills and technological expertise, meeting future partners, and gathering information about financing opportunities in the private sector. Likewise, entrepreneurs can benefit from a physical framework which allows them to engage with researchers or other investors who may be interested in a project.

The main objective is to link all potential partners with the academic world, thereby reinforcing the idea that personal contacts are vital to more efficient results. One of the keys to the success of this recommendation would be the monitoring of the evolution of open collaboration so as to evaluate the degree of cooperation.


CIEL and business clusters in Nord-Pas de Calais (France)

 This recommendation can be illustrated by two examples, both in the French region of Nord-Pas de Calais. The CIEL Innovation Center, established in 2004, organises personal and sectorial meetings to review and strengthen the links between the different personnel in charge of Innovation Systems. It uses two formats to fulfil its role of monitoring the process and establishing contacts in a highly personalised manner: sectorial conferences and seminars on cutting-edge technology.

The other example is the Nutrition, Health and Longevity business cluster which focuses part of its activity on the development of sectorial meetings between Companies and laboratories, some of which are held on a bilateral basis.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

The promotion of personal interactions can be implemented by companies either individually or collectively. It is also important for Companies to convey the significance of this form of interaction to both Universities and Public Administrations.

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  1. Nord-Pas de Calais: Interview with Mr. Dupire, Director of the NSL Business Cluster:http://www.pole-nsl.org/
  2. Interviews with the Chamber of Commerce of Karslruhe&Cyberforum.
  3. Benchmarking Industry Science relationship (OECD).
  4. Evaluation of the Austrian Industrial Research Promotion Fund (FFF) and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
  5. Partnership for research and innovation between industry and universities, a guide to better practice. Collaboration by: CBI, AURIL, DTI, EPSRC, HEFCE, CVCP.
  6. http://www.cyberforum.de/ - Cyber Forum. Hightech Unternehmer Netzwerk.
  7. http://www.eurongi.org - EuroNGI, network of Excellence.
  8. http://www.karlsruhe.ihk.de/produktmarken/startseite/index.jsp- Industrie- und Handelskammer Karlsruhe.