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Maximizing University-Business Interactions – UK Report

Universities play a major role in supporting innovation and competitiveness in the UK. In addition to delivering outstanding research and teaching, universities widely interact with all stakeholders in the economy. There is a growing pool of evidence which demonstrates the positive contribution they make to the UK’s economic and social development. However, it seems that we still do not fully understand how to make the most out of successful university–business interactions.

In response to this gap in the economy, this report discusses how to unlock and stimulate different forms of collaborations between universities and businesses, by drawing on a survey of 200 businesses, and in-depth interviews with 14 companies.


  • Adopting communication, collaboration and negotiation-related management practices is a key to successful collaborations
  • University–business interactions should be supported by institutional infrastructure
  • Businesses should aim for a portfolio of interactions with universities, built around research, education, placements, and other services
  • New models should be adopted to share resources between universities and businesses
  • Encourage university–business placements
  • Intellectual property protection strategies should be open and flexible
  • Academics and users are catalysts for university–business interactions, but Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) strengthen institutional links