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Report from 4th EUIMA - Collaborative Research Workshop, Politecnico di Torino, Italy (8-9 November 2011)

17 November 2011

The fourth workshop in the EUIMA - Collaborative Research project was hosted on 8 and 9 November 2011 by Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

The workshop was held in association with the CESAER network and focussed especially on research collaborations involving universities of technology. Through a varied representation of key actors, including top level CEOs of large companies and SMEs, the workshop offered an overview of the Italian innovation context and provided examples of research collaborations in sectors such as aerospace, ICT, automotive, medicine and new materials. The workshop brought together 40 participants, 30% of whom came from the industry sector.

The examples were presented in a “double act” format, that is, by an academic partner responsible for the initiative and his/her counterpart in the industry sector. This approach allowed participants to observe simultaneously the two main views on initiatives focusing on: collaborative research from an institutional perspective (with large companies, SMEs and a research institute), collaborative research oriented towards high tech products (large companies and SMEs) and collaborative research within the scope of a “programme” (group of research projects managed and undertaken following a common strategic approach). Discussions following the presentations also addressed the evolving role of knowledge transfer offices and the identification and refinement of research collaboration assessment tools.

This workshop demonstrated successfully the breadth of the collaborative portfolios and the depth of research collaborations between universities and companies. It also showed how these types of partnerships are evolving towards consolidating a “working together” spirit, rather than one of the parties acting as a mere service provider for the other, thus benefitting the core missions and interests of both partners.

The next workshop in the EUIMA - Collaborative Research project will be held at the Møller Center at the University of Cambridge in UK on 5-6 December 2011.

To view the programme and presentations of the workshop, click here.

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