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1-Minute Survey | Virtual University-Industry Visits

University-industry visits are an integral aspect of forging and maintaining productive research collaborations. The transition to remote work has reshaped the way these collaborations work. As a means for developing and maintaining relationships, some companies and universities have transitioned away from all visits being in person to some visits being virtual. UIDP is exploring this topic and developing a quick guide on coordinating impactful virtual U-I visits.

The survey was in the field for a week and received 30 responses, 80% from university and the rest from industry. Of those respondents, 77% are currently using a hybrid approach of both in-person and virtual meetings to conduct visits with potential collaborators. Download the full survey report.

When asked about the purpose of university-industry visits, the majority of respondents (69%) chose “all of the above” rather than select a single option from the choices below.

  • Assess research capabilities,
  • Align expectations
  • Establish trust,
  • Determine cultural synergies, and
  • Communicate research needs

How effective are virtual visits in accomplishing these goals? The vast majority (87%) said they were effective for communicating research needs and nearly as many (80%) said they were effective for aligning expectations.  A smaller majority (70%) said they were effective for assessing research capabilities.

However, only 30% said that virtual visits are effective at establishing trust and determining cultural synergies. These results indicate that while virtual visits are appropriate to accomplish some goals, the two critical goals of establishing trust and cultural synergies require the intimacy and serendipity of in-person interactions.

Most respondents (77%) said they currently rely on a hybrid approach (both in-person and virtual) to visits with potential collaborators hybrid interactions will be the norm for future collaborative visits. An even higher percentage (87%) said they anticipate that a hybrid approach will become the norm going forward; only 13% said they envision a fully in-person approach to future university-industry visits.

Survey fielded April 13-19, 2022 | n=30