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Where Are You on the Partnership Continuum?

When a UIDP working group started to work on defining university-industry (U-I) partnerships, it came to the realization that U-I partnerships mean many different things to many different people. In order to clarify discussions about partnerships, the working group classified U-I partnerships into many different categories, including student-oriented engagement, access to resources, involvement with researchers, involvement with centers of expertise and schools, and economic development. Each of these categories was also divided into three levels of engagement: transaction, collaboration, and alliance.

The details of the categories of U-I partnerships can be found in the UIDP publication, Partnership Continuum [members-only access]. The information in this publication helps universities and industry to better understand where their own partnerships fall on a continuum of partnership types. It is also a useful tool for pinpointing ways in which their partnerships could be enriched.

In conjunction with the Partnership Continuum, universities and industry can gain insights into their partnerships by reviewing 10 UIDP case studies, which are publicly available. These case studies illustrate partnerships from different points on the continuum. The case studies are built on interview questions based on the framework of the Partnership Continuum publication and illustrate the principles of successful partnerships.

UIDP members are encouraged to analyze their own partnerships based on the Partnership Continuum. Any member organization that would like to be featured in a case study should contact UIDP at