Tuesday 10th May 2016, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
The National Centre’s State of the Relationship Report launch is establishing itself as an important event in the KE calendar. The early evening reception in London was well attended with a good spread of representation from both member Universities and Businesses.
This year’s document is the third such report. It starts with a Collaboration Progress Monitor which overviews the data on current University Business Interactions. It presents an overall picture for the UK by pulling key KE data from a variety of sources as well as profiling performance in each of the home nations. The report then moves on to present a range of case studies; the hard copies containing 46 with the online version containing an additional 10 case studies. What is clear and indeed was celebrated at the event was the diverse range of case studies showcasing Business University interactions from across the UK. Today’s Knowledge Exchange mix encompasses a wide range of activities including Enterprise, Graduate Talent, Product Development, Technology Transfer and R&D.
The case studies provide additional colour to the underlying data, which shows that overall University Business collaborations are thriving and continue to provide real value for both parties. However the point was made by Dr. Rosa Fernandez, director of research at the NCUB that Universities risk not realising the full potential of partnerships if they were focused on volume rather than value. The same point was picked up by the THE in their coverage of the event (which can be accessed here).
The event provided the opportunity to look at some of the digital platforms, which the National Centre has been developing. Konfer, the new Business University brokerage tool has entered the alpha testing phase and delegates were encouraged by David Docherty NCUB’s CEO to give at go and feedback their experiences so that the tool can be improved. Also in the pipeline is BrandU a digital platform to enable the brokerage of placements and internships between companies and students. BrandU is still at an initial stage with the NCUB current talking to Universities around the country about their requirement and how the system would work in practice. Feedback has been very positive and when implemented BrandU could provide a nationwide solution to a well-recognised gap in current provision. Additionally NCUB are work on series of digital collaboration guides for sectors called ‘Work With’ and these will cover Engineering, Food and the Creative Industries.
David Docherty’s blog entry on the State of Relationship Report 2016 can be accessed here.
AURIL Council Member / Bangor University