Personal factors affect how well a collaboration works.
A common message from our government is that academia and industry need to "play" together more, so that New Zealand businesses benefit from research. Lorraine Skelton, a Senior Lecturer at our Auckland International Campus, has been researching these collaborations to help improve understanding of what works and why.
From her investigation of existing academia/industry collaborations, Lorraine has developed a framework of 16 factors that influence how individuals work together. These include many personal factors such as career choice and personality which influence how we work with others. It helps to have a similar mindset and to like each other. Generally speaking she has observed that industry tend to come to academia for help only if and when they need verification of their product before going to market, to add academic weight to their product.
Time is also another important factor, with many so-called innovations just being minor improvements - real innovation is time-consuming and risky, so effective collaborations can be critical to success. It can take time for each party to prove their usefulness to the other and this often depends on developing the relationship before successful collaboration can happen.
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Image credit: HopeMedia Stock Photography, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC 2.0