Communicating University Research Strengths to Industry Partners Quick Guide
Guidance on how university faculty and staff can proactively present research capabilities to prospective industry partners
A university’s success in communicating research strengths comes down to its ability to reach the intended audience. All too often, universities direct industry representatives to dense websites and print materials written for faculty or students. This causes corporate partners to get frustrated, thus increasing the time it takes to form a collaboration. At worst, universities can lose strategic opportunities without even engaging in a conversation with a prospective corporate partner.
This quick guide provides guidance on how university faculty and staff can effectively convey research capabilities to prospective industry partners during early-stage discussions.
Additional UIDP Resource
University Capabilities Statement Template
In conjunction with the Communicating University Research Strengths to Industry Partners Quick Guide, UIDP developed a University Capabilities Statement Template that offers guidance for how universities can create their own capability statements to promote research strengths into a concise tool for industry partners.
The template is customizable for universities or university units to upload their own logos and other content to create their own capabilities statement(s). Download the instructions and follow the template links.
Template Examples (click image to access Canva links):
- Information on research capabilities must be written expressly for an industry audience. Avoid dense pages, small text, acronyms, and academic jargon.
- Industry facing web pages must highlight a limited number of strengths and resources. Avoid exhaustive lists.
- Promptly respond to inquiries generated through a “call to action” that allows industry representatives to get additional information.
- Introductory print materials should be kept to one page and should include a link to information about the university’s industry engagement information on the internet.
- Present research strengths as a whole. Avoid presenting research strengths as a function of the university’s individual schools and colleges.
- Clearly state a succinct value proposition – tell the company why they should work with the university.
- Highlight two to four interdisciplinary research strengths.
- Include information on centers and institutes that support the highlighted areas.
- Feature 1-2 industry research success stories.
- Include a photo and quote from a corporate partner.
- Briefly describe common mechanisms for research partnerships with industry – general lab support, PhD projects, consortia, sponsored research projects, collaborative research projects, etc.
- Provide information on shared use facilities of particular interest to industry.
- Show a sample materials research agreement, sponsored research agreement, and facilities usage agreement.
- When sample agreements are not available, include text that indicates that the university has a technology transfer office that is able to advise on intellectual property.
- Include a link to an existing database of the university’s faculty research.
- Include a call to action, either a simple box to submit an inquiry or a telephone number to call for more information.
- Design the page/site for search engine optimization.
- Ensure that the page is linked to the university homepage, even at the bottom.
- Ask outside entities to link to the page, such as trade organizations, affiliated companies, economic development organizations, etc.
- Rely on links to existing websites that provide information for faculty and students.
- Provide an exhaustive list of every principal investigator at the university.
- Include a full list of centers and institutes.
- Present research strengths department-by-department.
- Assume that the website will be found by those that need it.
- Neglect to respond to industry inquiries within a 48-hour timeframe.
Related UIDP Resources
UIDP Avenues for Engagements A menu of ways that companies can invest in universities including the relative cost and expected outcomes. The menu includes events, awards and prizes, research sponsorship, and talent pipeline/employment related investments.
UIDP Communicating Research Quick Guide A practical tool for corporate and academic researchers to reference when communicating the outcomes of joint university-industry research projects.
UIDP Networking with a Purpose An overview of the types of collaborative discussions that can take place to identify research collaborations, who may be involved in those discussions, and the approaches that enable success.