Learn the rules like a pro…
It used to be that the most innovative and successful companies – those that made the biggest impact on society- were those with the financial resources and internal drive to fuel research and development.
Under the old rules, internal research and development gave a competitive edge and created a natural barrier for competition. Only those corporations big enough to fund a Research and Development Department had the upper hand to success. They were able to manage and control the entire process by hiring the best minds and keeping everything in-house. In order to have even a chance at success, rivals had to muster up considerable resources to create their own R&D labs. But all the rules have changed!
…so that you can break them like an artist!
The new rules team the best with the best, from differing yet complementary fields, to create new, previously unattainable, possibilities. Fusing academia with business can lead to new innovative ideas and discoveries. Couple that with funding and it’s like taking the strengths of all the best players and empowering them with resources to reach unparalleled success.
Jeanne Liedtka, Strategy Professor of Darden University, gives an example that ties back to an American spin-off of golf, Best Ball. In Best Ball, each player plays his own golf ball throughout the round but on each hole, the low score – or ‘best ball’ – of the group serves as the team score. Playing best-ball enables mediocre players to score better than an exceptional player. Best-ball emphasises the best skills of each player and diminishes their weaknesses through collaboration.
Instead of focusing on the power of a few bright minds, open innovation connects many bright minds, from various fields of expertise to share information and creatively unite to develop new ideas. The essence of open innovation is in the name itself: Open. Open to different perspectives. Open to new people, new information, and new ideas. Open to learn from others in various fields. Open to new possibilities and unforged territories. The potential in collaborations far exceeds that of any one organisation, regardless of how big and bright that organisation may be.
Advantages for industries to partner with academics
From an industry’s point of view, there is a lot of expertise and knowledge available in the third level colleges, universities and institutes of technology. This is a great source for technology expertise, and yet each university is part of a global knowledge system, linked with other universities around the world. Partnering with academia allows businesses to tap into that resource and extract knowledge.
Advantages for academics to partner with businesses
There are a myriad of benefits for academics to partner with industry. In addition to the opportunity to see research morph into a reality, much of Europe’s biggest funding sources are backing collaborative research.
Finding the right partners
Collaborations between Industry and Academia can be a recipe for unparalleled success. But it is a little bit like a dance. The right partners matter. Representatives with different goals and ideas seek to unite to find common goals which benefit each party, financially, intellectually and otherwise.
IRDG is hosting a Collaborate to Innovate event in Cork on April 5th. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from Academia, Business and Finance. Learn more about the possibilities that lie in partnering Industry with Academia, network with key people and potentially find the partners you need to revolutionise the future.