Macquarie researchers gained valuable insight from senior industry and government representatives at a special event last week on how to develop successful research partnerships with non-university organisations.
“Macquarie is home to an open, engaged and audacious research community that seeks to collaborate with industries, governments, communities and professions who share our desire for discovery,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sakkie Pretorius.
The event, ‘Partnering with external organisations – the partner’s point of view’ provided researchers with guidance on research collaborations from a partner’s perspective and clarity on how partners want researchers to engage with them.
“The potential impact of our research is immeasurably enhanced and enriched by partnering with external organisations,” said Professor Pretorius.
Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement), discussed examples of successful collaborations with corporate partners, and highlighted the depth and breadth of our connections with business and industry.
Five key learnings for researchers:
- Take the time to understand a partner’s needs rather than simply focus on your own objectives (and do your homework before you make contact!)
- Pick up the phone and talk to your potential partner – but first develop a succinct pitch, and listen to what they say in response. It’s often better to pitch small projects to develop trust, and then work towards larger opportunities
- Fast-track contract negotiations by establishing a clear position on any legal or IP arrangements as you firm up the project
- Develop mutually acceptable and agreed project milestones and adhere to them
- Maintain close communication throughout project development and delivery – of progress, delays and deviations during the project.
A new Guide to Conducting Research with External Organisations was also launched during the event, to assist researchers in identifying and building partnerships.
“The Guide provides answers to the questions that most often arise when navigating the research partnership process, from initial contact, agreement negotiations and the implementation of a project,” said Professor Pretorius.
Who to contact
If you think you have a research project, please contact the Research Partnerships office: Carly Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call ext. 4057.
If your project is a wide open idea, or you’re not sure, please contact the Corporate Engagement Office for ideas.
The Research Office and Office of Corporate Engagement may offer another session later this year. Contact email@example.com to register your interest. Interest will help determine when the next event is held.