Implementation of an organisational model to stimulate interaction between academia and industry
Paper in proceedings, 2015
For most universities, especially in technical and medical disciplines, there has been a clear ambition to conduct applied research with a focus on utilisation. Research collaboration between industry and universities promotes improvement and innovation in industry and helps to ensure industrial relevance in academic research. In this paper an organisational model to strengthen interaction between academia and industry is presented along with the results so far. One of the aims of the model is to further stimulate utilisation within the Department of Applied Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology, which is also in line with one of the University's four main objectives.
The various components in the model were developed during a series of workshops run over a period of six months. One of the focal points of these workshops was to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) common to the Department. In the initial task of registering the KPIs, it became obvious that not all of them were appli-cable within every research division at the Department because of the differences in the work being pursued in research and education. The KPIs vary in relevance and have been modified several times. Today the KPIs are stable and for some of them trends have been identified.
By deploying the organisational model we are now able to track, measure and display our utilisation efforts to improve them further and to create new incentives. Overall, the model has made a valuable contribution to everyday life at the Department and its partners. The mindset of the researchers has slowly changed in favour of utilisation as a key area, putting it on a par with research and education. However, one problem that still exists is to objectively measure and be credited for utilisation in conjunction with promotion to higher academic positions.
Experience to date shows that the organisational model is a candidate model for university-wide implementa-tion. This will lead to more initiatives for, and greater attention to, utilisation and impact in proposals and in the dialogue with industry.