27 October 2014 | Report

University-Business Collaborative Research: Goals, Outcomes and New Assessment Tools

The EUIMA Collaborative Research Project Report

Lidia Borrell-Damian, Rita Morais and John H. Smith

The EUIMA Collaborative Research project used two complementary approaches to collect data on university-business cooperation – in-depth case studies through questionnaires and workshops. The project aimed at identifying main trends and cross-cutting issues in the long-term collaborative research projects/initiatives presented by universities and their external partners. This report shares good practices that have been learnt through their experience in developing university-business collaborations, and considers aspects that could be potentially applicable to a wider group of university-business collaborative research initiatives.


The project’s main conclusions highlight some of the most important aspects in developing successful university-business partnerships: fostering the strategic mission of universities; providing a closer connection between education, research and innovation; adapting to the evolving needs of the labour market; improving the quality of human resources and ensuring the existence of support structures to effectively promote the flow of knowledge transfer from the university to companies, regions and society at large. Finally, a key major outcome of the EUIMA project is the new Assessment Tool for University-Business Research Partnerships (U-B Tool), which offers a broader range of indicators to assess collaborative research partnerships, namely those focusing on the quality of the collaboration process. The use of these indicators, together with the more traditional quantitative indicators, allows for a more comprehensive view of the manifold outcomes and factors that come into play in university-business research collaborations.

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