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EUA takes forward work on university-business research collaborations with new online tool and publications

13 November 2014

EUA has launched a new online self-assessment tool for university-business research partnerships which is designed to help universities, companies and other external partners, to assess, reflect upon and take forward their collaborative research.

The new “U-B Tool” is one of the main outcomes of EUA’s EUIMA Collaborative Research project,* which has aimed to contribute to the development of monitoring tools and indicators for the assessment of university-based collaborative research. In parallel, EUA has published three publications relating to the outcomes of the project which provide the background for the development of the tool and additional information for stakeholders on collaborative research and knowledge transfer. 

New “U-B Tool” focuses on collaborative research partnerships

EUA’s new self-assessment tool for collaborative research focuses primarily on the process, objectives and quality of the collaboration. It uses qualitative indicators with relative scales to take account of perceptions, together with more traditional indicators to quantify measurable outputs such as the number of patents, publications, and staff involved in the collaborative projects, etc. Users are invited to respond to a series of questions organised around four main areas: strategic approaches; structural factors; facilitating aspects; and goals, outcomes and benefits. The tool has been developed from contributions provided by both university and industry leaders with experience in collaborative research.

Users are also able to compare their initial expectations at the outset of the partnership with progress achieved, or assess the progress between two dates. For this reason, they are asked, for each indicator, to provide views on the goals and expectations at the outset of the collaboration and the results accomplished so far. Once the different questions have been answered, users receive a personalised, confidential report outlining the results of their self-assessment in a series of graphs and tables. The tool can be accessed here: http://ubtool.eua.be 

Three new publications on university-business collaborative research and knowledge transfer

To accompany the launch of the new online tool, EUA has published three publications which provide the background to the development of the indicators used in the tool and additional information for universities, companies, policy makers and other stakeholders in collaborative research and knowledge transfer.

The main report “University-Business Collaborative Research: Goals, Outcomes and New Assessment Tools”, authored by Lidia Borrell-Damian, Rita Morais and John H. Smith, is a comprehensive analysis of the contexts and conditions for sustaining long-term collaborative research including regional innovation strategies, university and business strategies, and the dynamics of the research collaborations and their outcomes.

In addition, EUA has also published two project papers. One, entitled “Reflections on Research Assessment of Collaborative Research between Universities and External Partners”, has been authored by David Livesey, Lidia Borrell-Damian and John H. Smith and presents a discussion on the value of collaborative research and its importance for society.

The second project paper, authored by Stephen Trueman, Lidia Borrell-Damian and John H. Smith, focuses on “The Evolution of University-Based Knowledge Transfer Structures” and presents a discussion on the structure of regional knowledge exchange “eco-systems” as enablers of effective knowledge transfer.

All reports can be downloaded from the EUIMA Collaborative Research project website.

Both the tool and the publications were presented at a recent event in Brussels held at the Mission of Norway to the European Union.

* The EUIMA project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme.

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
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Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96