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Process model for university‐industry research collaboration

Simon Philbin (Imperial College London, London, UK)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 3 October 2008



The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of university‐industry research collaboration through the development of a new process model.


A literature review was carried out on collaborative partnering and supporting factors namely social capital and the role of knowledge. Empirical research involved a series of 32 structured interviews with relevant stakeholders, with subsequent grouping and conceptualisation allowing common themes to be identified and a new process model to be proposed.


The study finds that there is a lack of integrative frameworks for the management of research collaborations. Through building on the suggested best practice described in the paper, application of the model to the management of an engineering research programme has allowed the benefits of this approach as well as some of the underlying issues to be explored in detail.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on university‐industry research collaborations and although it may be applicable to other forms of collaborations, e.g. industry‐to‐industry, there could be features that are particular to the area under investigation.

Practical implications

A model has been proposed, which is a logical methodology that can be utilised by practitioners from both academia and industry in order to improve the process of research collaboration and facilitate more effective transfer of knowledge.


The model builds on previous literature on alliance and collaboration management but crucially is based on an innovative new process‐based methodology, which provides practitioners with a “route map” of how to develop and manage research collaborations. The model uses a holistic approach to collaboration through capturing process, knowledge and social elements.



Philbin, S. (2008), "Process model for university‐industry research collaboration", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 488-521.



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