The two sides of the coin: joint project leader interaction in university-industry collaboration projects
Journal article, 2021
This article focuses on how academic and industrial leaders view central aspects of the initiation, collaboration process, and the outcomes in government-funded R&D projects. In much previous work on university-industry collaborations (UICs), universities or researchers and/or firms have been studied without any direct reference to the other party, thus neglecting the fact that the motivations, perceptions, and actions involved in UICs are two-sided at least. In contrast, this study builds on interviews with academic-industry project leader pairs to identify how both sides perceive the initiation, interaction, conditions, and outcomes of the collaborative project. While there is unexpected overlap in both parties’ perceptions of goals and utilities of the collaboration, there is also a clear tendency for academics to stress the less tangible or distant factors (e.g., ‘a culture’, ‘priorities’, or general university support), while industry actors emphasize more tangible operative factors (e.g., collaborative networks, timing issues, having project owners and conflict resolution procedures). This might illustrate different cultural or professional mores as well as different notions of what types of efficiencies to seek collaborative R&D in general.