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University/industry collaboration : achieving the best possible outcomes
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by David Druskovich, J Pang, Richard CleggRichard Clegg
Collaborative research projects involving a university and an industry can have valuable outcomes for both partners. There are, however, some perceived and some real difficulties involved in designing the project proposal and in achieving the desired outcomes. In many instances the collaborative projects evolve from informal discussions between university researchers and colleagues in industry. Unless the university has an office or a protocol for processing such requests, the negotiations may well falter at an early stage. Issues such as intellectual ownership and publication, the role of postgraduate students, timelines, project costing and confidentiality concerns need to be discussed and resolved. An appropriate contract, taking these issues into consideration, needs to be set up prior to commencing the research. The contract needs to clearly spell out the project outcomes and should endeavour to protect the interests of the university research team and the industry. The interests of the two parties may be significantly different and this should be considered and taken into account when developing the contract documentation. Resolving these differences will allow the researchers to work together to solve the research problem. In this paper, the authors analyse aspects of university/industry collaborative research by describing a number of case studies in corrosion science and materials selection/engineering that illustrate some of the above issues. They propose ways of addressing the issues so as to achieve the best possible outcomes for both the university and the industry.