Project Update CONNECTED Magazine

As part of the final output of the Engagement Readiness Monitor project, we are excited to announce the launch of a special issue of the UIIN magazine – Connect. It  is now out and available online, get reading here.

Universities’ role in society has come to the fore in recent years and it is becoming difficult to ignore the need for increased alignment of academic and business agendas. The complexities of current global challenges require effective communication and co-creation to determine holistic and prompt responses. In order for these unpredictable hurdles to best be mitigated, the academic strength of universities and the strategic foresight of industry must be combined to ensure lasting solutions.

Therefore, this special issue of the UIIN magazine is dedicated to such institutions being ready for university-business engagement and collaboration – both from the side of the university, and of the business partner. We examine what it means to be prepared to engage, the concept of readiness, and its related dimensions, as well as the role of the university in driving social change.

The tenets of this issue go hand in hand with the open-access tools and materials developed through the Engagement Readiness Monitor project, and work in tandem towards the project’s overall goal of increasing universities’ readiness to engage with business, and ultimately providing them with the means to become “engagement ready” and “engaged” universities.

It is important to mention that this issue took inspiration from the Engagement Readiness Monitor project, as well as the Erasmus+ Unite for Horizon Europe Horizon project (UNITE4H). These provided both useful and complementary insights for a broader view of engagement and collaboration. The articles presented here were carefully selected in order to showcase the intricacies of these processes and give the reader pause as to what can be implemented in their own institution. Though we capture only a fraction of global initiatives and models in this issue, we hope to persuade you to reach across the divide and engage with your external environment, to create lasting and meaningful impact from your new partnerships.

This issue consists of three sections; firstly, we look into the competencies required by universities and their staff, and what it means to be ready to engage. Then, we unpack how best to support engagement and overcome common barriers using experts’ insights from Sweden, Italy, Finland, and the Czech Republic. Lastly, bolstered by learnings from the UNITE4H project, we highlight potential support programmes for universities and business to take advantage of on their journey toward becoming a more engaged and collaborative institution.

We have drawn upon the knowledge of experts across Europe in the field of engagement and collaboration, gaining insights from both university and business stakeholders, in the hopes of inspiring the development of new relationships across disciplines, sectors and institutions. If you are interested in reading further about our work with the Engagement Readiness Monitor project, you can find out more about the project and outputs at our website here.

Happy reading!

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