Tackling Society’s Challenges Through Trusted Partnerships
Our latest issue of the University Industry Innovation Magazine | Strategic Partnerships with Industry showcases global initiatives and models that highlight the importance and power of universities, businesses, government and society working together. Among the contributors we find two universities who actively drive innovation through partnerships to tackle society’s most pressing challenges: EPFL and Coventry University.
In the article ‘Solving society’s most pressing problems through the power of partnership’ Aurélie Schick, Head of Communications at the Vice Presidency for Innovation at EPFL, shares how EPFL became a pioneer in transferring academic knowledge and research into industry by developing an ecosystem of partnerships.
Central to developing these partnerships is EPFL’s Corporate Relations team, which acts as a bridge between academic research and industry to ensure research breakthroughs make their way out of the labs to make a real impact on people’s lives. The article highlights four main ingredients to establishing these successful long-term relationships: “creating trust, alignment with the partners’ business strategies and objectives, well managed relationships, and a little dose of serendipity!”.
Paul Fairburn, Director of Innovation Ecosystem at Coventry University, reflects similar ‘ingredients’ for success in his article ‘Weathering the Storm: Why Trusted, Long-Term Strategic Partnerships are Crucial to the Future Success of Universities and Business’. He emphasises that “for partnerships to be genuinely strategic from the outset, developing a shared vision, mission and a jointly agreed strategy are essential”. Only then trust can be built, which is indispensable to building long-term mutually beneficial relationships.
According to Fairburn “time must be taken to carefully build trust and establish relationship”, which requires constant dialogue and consideration of inevitable differences in organisational culture. Such trusted partnerships are crucial for universities to “innovate, adapt and diversify income sources” and enable Coventry University to “weather the current storm and prepare for future economic challenges”.
To read more about the partnerships and strategies of EPFL and Coventry University, as well as other universities and businesses around the world, you can access the full articles in the latest issue of the University Industry Innovation Magazine.