University-business collaboration (UBC) is a fascinating world to explore. It contains many ways of creating and sharing new knowledge between multiple players that engage through plurality of networks within a changing policy and economic context.
Drawing a complete view of what’s happening in this space can be a daunting task. Yet having the latest available information on how the different elements perform and evolve is important for identifying strengths to build on, and areas where things may need to be done differently. As Sir Tim Wilson pointed out in his review, formulation of effective policies to achieve world leadership in university‐business collaboration require knowledge of the entire landscape.
At the NCUB we provide a reference point where such knowledge is assembled and can be easily accessed. Our website and publications offer rich evidence and analysis on how collaborations happen and the surrounding contexts.
To complement this excting intelligence, State of the Relationship 2015 introduced the Collaboration Progress Monitor – a tool designed to enable a more holistic analysis of the collaboration landscape and its progress over time.
Many existing assessments of the collaboration activity rely on a single metric, which often deals with co-publication or commercialisation of research activities. Common measurements of university-business collaboration include looking at co-authorship (BIS commissioned report), R&D performed in HE (available through ONS, OECD), co-patents (HE-BCI), or business surveys (World Economic Forum).
However, a single metric captures only certain types of activity and limits our ability to fully understand the broad spectrum of university-business engagement and the shape of the collaboration landscape.
NCUB Monitor attempts to address this by bringing together existing points of comparison in one place, providing a tool to:
• Identify elements of collaboration where performance can be benchmarked and tracked over time
• Access the latest information on the strengths and weaknesses of the different aspects of collaboration
• Communicate findings to wider stakeholders to encourage discussion and identify issues for further investigation.
As university-industry collaboration is a constantly evolving field, so will the Collaboration Monitor be moving forward to refine its current measurements and include more indicators.
We are putting our Monitor on the web in order to keep you informed of the latest updates, and also, very importantly, to open up a channel for users to contribute. In this way we can work together to improve the breadth and depth of indicators captured in the tool, and to increase understanding of university-business collaboration in the UK.
Check out the Collaboration Monitor and email us to let us know your views.