How Faculty Can Attract Industry Partnerships

Last week we briefly outlined five ways that startup activity can help a university’s TTO:

  1. Increase Public Benefit
  2. Create economic opportunity
  3. Recruit and maintain faculty
  4. Professional & financial gains for TTO & faculty
  5. Create new partnership & funding opportunities

Today we want to dive a little deeper on how your faculty and their research drive awareness and ultimately attract industry partners. Joy Goswami from University of Delaware spoke to us about how her office is helping educate faculty on the importance of translational research and dispelling myths about the process. In addition to helping faculty understand the process, it is important to let them know how crucial they are to their continued success.

When faculty engage in translational research they certainly help promote their universities and by default the public by working on solutions with commercial potential benefit. Furthermore, for those researchers who are interested in entrepreneurship, there are a few key mutual benefits.

For most scientists, validation is a part of everyday life. So when spin-off activity is successful, that validation brings two main benefits to the researcher. First, the satisfaction of engaging in challenging work. Second, the attention that the research draws, more specifically, that the validated research has the potential to help secure additional funding and resources to continue the work or begin other innovative projects. For the university and the TTO – the benefit is the same; the more they can prove the efficacy of their programs, the more funding they are likely to receive from both public and private sources.

From the university’s perspective, this type of success is also a way to spark conversation with partners to generate other types of research activity. Traditionally, ‘big’ business will shy away from what they consider a risky investment, like very early-stage research. However, when success stories from spin-off activity reach the bigger players, they see that the university and their researchers are capable of commercial activity and are more likely to engage in a partnership. This could mean sponsored research, collaborations, funding or licensing deals.

By encouraging entrepreneurial activity in any form, the rewards can be exponential in terms of the partnership potential and the resources this could bring to the university; financial or material. This type of activity is called the virtuous cycle because all parties involved contribute and all parties benefit.

To learn more, download our latest infographic!

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