Engagement Readiness Monitor: Developing a holistic approach towards measuring and integrating university-business engagement.
Higher Education Institutions have the potential to make more meaningful and tangible contributions to their cities, regions, and nations by calling upon the society, government and businesses to work together. Whether it is in developing the future talent to power our economies, supporting employees career development and life-long learning, offering important discoveries to the local community, or fuelling the societal and entrepreneurial development of a region to name a few. Yet, this potential remains partially unfulfilled by the key “knowledge creators” for the lack of a holistic overarching approach towards integrating engagement in research and educational missions of universities with the efforts being scattered across technology transfer and external engagement offices.
In order to better-align and synergise the approaches towards university-business engagement on the institutional level, we still lack depth and understanding of the means and factors that enable external engagement. Undoubtedly, measurement of university engagement occurs; however, it invariably focusses on quantitative outcome metrics such as patents, license, spin-out and research contracts, ignoring many valid forms of engagement and the mechanisms that need to be in place for it to occur. It is high time that we should stop focussing on the narrowly-defined existing quantitative indicators and ask ourselves the question “What is the real extent to which universities are ready to cooperate and how can we enhance their readiness for a more successful engagement?”
Erasmus+ funded project “Engagement Readiness Monitor” is on the mission to answer the aforementioned question advance the engagement between universities and businesses by developing tools to measure and scale their socially impactful cooperation. Led by University Industry Innovation Network, our international partnership comprising universities, businesses and intermediaries from The Netherlands, France, Finland, Czech Republic and Italy will investigate and enhance the factors which make Higher Education Institutions more likely to engage with companies by developing an Engagement Readiness Investigation Report, Engagement Readiness Self-Assessment Framework and Engagement Readiness Toolkit over the course of 2 years.