(Dimension 5) Internal support mechanisms

This dimension refers to the existence of a variety of different support mechanisms available at an institution for external engagement. If you wish to learn more about the engagement readiness concept and its dimensions, you can download the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report.

On this page you will find a set of tools for improvement of an HEI’s engagement readiness in terms of internal support mechanisms. If you have already completed your self-assessment you might have been directed towards specific tools from the set. You can also browse through the tools without participating in the self-assessment, but we strongly recommend the online self-assessment tool for building a tailored roadmap to engagement readiness, as well as specific recommendations for relevant tools.

Click on each title to open the tool. Click on any other title to proceed with viewing another tool. If you doubt that some element doesn’t display right, please, reload the page.

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In this section you will find three examples of strategies and policies of the institution supporting engagement. The presented examples are based on the case studies of the University-Business Cooperation in Europe project and you can find the links to the full texts of the case studies below. 

While reading, think about which are the policies and strategies of your higher education institution that support engagement. Do such exist and what exactly is their function? How could you adapt the presented good practices to your HEI? 

Links to the full case studies: 

  1. Gdansk University of Technology: https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/pdf/cases/E_Case_Study_Gdansk.pdf 
  2. Management Center Innsbruck: https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/pdf/cases/W_Case_Study_MCI.pdf
  3. University of Twente: https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/pdf/cases/W_Case_Study_Twente.pdf

the state of ubc in Europe report cover

This report presents the findings of the project ‘The State of University-Business Cooperation in Europe’. The project has been conducted during 2016 and 2017 by a consortium led by the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre, Germany for the DG Education and Culture, European Commission.

The aim of the project was to get a more profound, comprehensive and up to date understanding of the state of University-Business Cooperation (UBC) in Europe, from the perspective of both the higher education institutions (HEIs) and the business sector. The report uses the structure of the UBC ecosystem framework that has been developed by the authors. Throughout the different sections, it outlines 14 different UBC activities (across education, research, valorisation and management), the factors that influence UBC, mechanisms that support UBC, and the individual/institutional/regional context around UBC.

The main components of the project were a series of expert interviews with 23 recognised UBC experts, 52 good practise case studies, a major policy and indicator review as well as a major quantitative survey of 17,410 stakeholders within both HEIs and business.

Link to webpage: https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/index/reports

Link to full file: https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/pdf/final_report2017.pdf

To read more about the UBC Ecosystem Framework specifically, see the publication: Galan-Muros, V.; Davey, T. (2017) The UBC Ecosystem: Putting together a comprehensive framework for university-business cooperation. Journal of Technology Transfer. DOI: 10.1007/s10961-017-9562-3.

Think about what have you read; how can you use what you learned to improve engagement readiness?

External engagement has long been a self-evident part of the work of Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs). Today, there are increased expectations for our external engagement. These increased expectations are noticed not least in gradual changes to the Higher Education Act over the years. External funding bodies are also setting increased demands that research is not only to be disseminated to, but also conducted in collaboration with, wider society. Internal policy documents such as Lund University’s Strategic Plan also express high ambitions for external engagement and that we are to help meet society’s challenges. These increased expectations trigger different reactions and sometimes raise questions about the role of research and education in society. External engagement is often seen as something that enriches and develops our activities, but may also be regarded as an extra burden and a threat to academic freedom. It is positive that external engagement is problematised and called into question – it helps us to focus on external engagement that actually creates added value. At the same time, external engagement is a part of our remit that we cannot cast aside, however we can choose how we want to work on it and relate to it.

External engagement within the Faculty of Social Sciences of Lund University has mostly been a decentralised activity mainly conducted by individual researchers and teaching staff members. This means that there is often no clear, shared idea of what we want to achieve through external engagement and no structured way of working on it. It is hoped that this pamphlet will provide some orientation for the external engagement task, but above all stimulate joint discussions about how we regard and develop our external engagement.

Link to the publication: https://www.sam.lu.se/en/internal/sites/sam.lu.se.en.internal/files/2021-01/external_engagement_pamphlet.pdf

Engagement with external organisations and enterprises is increasingly part of the higher education mission and the contribution of universities to local and regional economic and social development remains an important, but difficult to evidence, metric for Higher Education Institutions (HEI). This paper explores the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to support external engagement and to build business intelligence in one higher education institution in Ireland. Building on the findings of the Roadmap for Employment-Academic Partnership (REAP) project, through a structured process towards a professional case management approach to interactions this project focuses on the introduction of a CRM system in Cork Institute of Technology as a supporting and reporting mechanism which allows the collation of information on current and previous interactions with external organisations. When in place, the system will provide the HEI with a full overview of the current interactions at any point in time with an external organisation as well as providing valuable information to the strategic planning process. The work reported on in this paper and the work of the REAP project generally, was supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

Reference: Sheridan, I., Barry-Murphy, C. & Madden, H. (2013) Developing the External Engagement Process in Higher Education through Effective Change and Technology, Irish Business Journal, Vol 8 (1).

Link to the full article: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=reapaca

The Engagement Readiness Toolkit offers you quick tips for improving your organization’s engagement readiness level. If you don’t have the time to go through any other material, you can at least take this syntesized piece of advice with you through the day and reflect on it in your work. 

This one, as all suggested quick tips, is based on the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report, available for download on the Engagement Readiness Monitor website. 

Engagement Readiness quick tip: To bridge the University-Industry cultural gap, universities should adopt flexible and open to innovation administrative pilicies. Streamlining such policies includes minimising institutional bureaucracy and siloed communication between schools or departments and creating offices designated for engagement.

The Engagement Readiness Toolkit offers you quick tips for improving your organization’s engagement readiness level. If you don’t have the time to go through any other material, you can at least take this syntesized piece of advice with you through the day and reflect on it in your work. 

This one, as all suggested quick tips, is based on the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report, available for download on the Engagement Readiness Monitor website. 

Engagement readiness quick tip: The availability of the following resources can facilitate and streamline engagement: Esistance of a Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO), Technology Transfer Office (TTO), or Partnership Office, Communication Networks, and Financial Resources. However, engagement readiness is also possible without the following organizational resources if an HEI has an ecosystem approach and a culture of collaboration.

The Engagement Readiness Toolkit offers you quick tips for improving your organization’s engagement readiness level. If you don’t have the time to go through any other material, you can at least take this syntesized piece of advice with you through the day and reflect on it in your work. 

This one, as all suggested quick tips, is based on the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report, available for download on the Engagement Readiness Monitor website. 

Engagement readiness quic tip: There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution for successful HEI engagement in UBC. It is crucial to understand the specific context of your university; what are the policies, funding, human capital and other aspects that shape the environment in which it operates?

The literature on university–industry (U–I) links has revealed many barriers that impede U–I technology transfer. A growing number of intermediary organizations, such as Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), University Incubators (UIs), and Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) have been established to mitigate such barriers. While the activities and effects of such intermediaries are frequently studied, conceptual understandings of how these organizations facilitate technology transfer are lacking. Our case study of nine Italian intermediary organizations shows that different types of intermediary organizations address the same fundamental issue of bridging the different logics of academia and industry in different ways. Based on a proximity approach, we develop a theoretical framework explaining how intermediary organizations can reduce cognitive, geographical, organizational, and social distance in U–I collaborations. Intermediary organizations address different proximity dimensions depending on the prior experience of academic and industrial actors and the nature of the knowledge that is transferred. In particular, TTOs focus more on improving cognitive and organizational dimensions, whereas UIs and CRCs attempt to reduce social and geographical distance.

Reference: Villani, E., Rasmussen, E., & Grimaldi, R. (2017). How intermediary organizations facilitate university–industry technology transfer: A proximity approach. Technological forecasting and social change, 114, 86-102.

Link to the full article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162516301111

Think about what have you read; how can you use what you learned to improve engagement readiness?

Unite! is the alliance of the seven technological universities created to boost the Research and Innovation dimension and to contribute to the European Universities Initiatives proposed by European Commission and financed by the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes.

By joining European Universities Initiatives, universities get access to a network of higher education institutions and their already existing business networks. In this way they establish long-term linkages for cooperation in the field of education, research and valorization on European level.

Link to the webpage of the alliance: https://www.unite-university.eu/

The Noé Bretagne network brings together actors involved in the fields of research and innovation in Brittany. They facilitate the access of research units and companies to European funding. The network is piloted by the Brittany Region and co-hosted by BDI (Bretagne Développement Innovation) and the European Projects Platform (2PE). The 3 main objectives of the Noé Bretagne network:

  • Improve readability, visibility and support capacity, pool resources and share best practices, in the context of a new regional organization
  • Consolidate the regional observatory of European research & innovation projects as part of the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3)
  • Strengthen the positioning of Brittany in the European research and innovation area, in the context of the implementation of S3 and the development of Horizon Europe (research and innovation program for 2021-2027)

Universities can highly benefit from joining such networks through which they can participate in development of joint large-scale projects designed for European funding. Such networks provide expertise and structure in all aspects relevant for joint research and collaboration on larger projects, such protection of intellectual property rights, project management and similar.

Link to the network webpage (in French): https://www.europe.bzh/jcms/prod_448098/fr/reseau-noe-bretagne

While reading, think about what part of the presented practice you would be able to adapt and adopt in the context of your higher education institution.

In this model an agency expert works with the company all through the process of innovation from initiation to project completion. This expert is selected based on their experience and area of expertise. Such approach to supporting UBC was selected because inexperienced HEIs and SMEs do not know where to start. By working with an expert, organizations are mentored throughout the UBC project initiation, design and later implementation phases.

Universities can create similar programs that could support SMEs to cooperate with them. More information on how the programme is designed and implemented is given on the Agile Innovation webpage. On the Case studies page you can find examples how such approach was helpful to SMEs.

Link to the Agile Innovation webpage: https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/company/esetablish-sme-funding/agile-innovation.html

Link to the Case studies webpage: https://globalambition.ie/tag/rd/

While reading, think about what part of the presented practice you would be able to adapt and adopt in the context of your higher education institution.

The SATT Network brings together 13 Technology Transfer Acceleration Companies in France. Committed to economic dynamism thanks to the scientific innovations resulting from public research, SATTs provide companies with high-potential technological solutions to improve their competitiveness. With more than 650 startups created, the SATTs are the leading local players in the French government’s DeepTech Plan, operated by Bpifrance. They are connected on a daily basis to more than 150,000 researchers and offer privileged access to innovations from public laboratories. With their national network, they are the strategic partners of companies seeking growth through innovation.

Universities should consider joining or establishing similar networks in their countries, since through participation in them, universities can create structures of engagement within their universities and enable exchange of best practices, cooperate with other universities and businesses and provide access to technology transfer systems.

Link to the SATT website:  https://www.satt.fr/

AMVALOR is a subsidiary of Arts et Métiers that promotes its research partnership activities. It encourages collaborations between laboratories and businesses who are looking for technological solutions, research expertise and industrial transferable skills as well as training courses, in order to advance their innovative projects. AMVALOR strengthens the link between the scientific and development activities of Arts et Métiers, giving greater visibility to everything the Arts et Métiers network has to offer.

Through creation of such specialized programmes, by establishing cooperation between large network of laboratories, institutions and businesses, universities can largely benefit from valorization processes in order to increase the economic impact of innovative ideas originating from research studies.

Link to the AMVALOR webpage: https://artsetmetiers.fr/en/amvalor-economic-branch-arts-et-metiers

More information on Arts et Métiers’ engagement: https://artsetmetiers.fr/en/arts-et-metiers-grande-ecole-technology

While reading, think about what part of the presented practice you would be able to adapt and adopt in the context of your higher education institution.

Spanning Boundaries Agents report cover

This research report titled What Are Spanning Boundaries Agents and Why Are They so Important to the Future of the Knowledge Society is a first attempt by the Spanning Boundaries project to identify, define, and characterize the Spanning Boundaries Agents’ (1) qualities, (2) skills, (3) knowledge, (4) roles, (5) activities and responsibilities and to identify (6) barriers and drivers in the UBC context. Thus, the report articulates a comprehensive picture of the Spanning Boundaries agent. 

This report is based on an extensive literature review on the University-Business Collaboration (UBC) context, a large qualitative study consisting in 60+ interviews with Spanning Boundaries champions and experts, and a large quantitative survey for individuals working in the intersection between academia and industry. 

The Spanning Boundaries Synthesis Report will provide you with insights on personality traits needed to be an effective Spanning Boundaries Agent, the importance of having a certain skillset, knowledge, and expertise in order to break down collaboration barriers, the different roles and activities present within the UBC context and, lastly, the most common barriers and success factors that have an impact on Spanning Boundaries activities. 

Link to the full report: https://www.spanning-boundaries.eu/resources/ 

Think about what have you read; how can you use what you learned to improve engagement readiness?

Spanning Boundaries Agents Profile Book cover.

The Spanning Boundaries Agents Profile Book identifies individuals who are excelling at breaking down the organizational barriers, both internal and external, that hinder engagement for collaborative innovation. The book contains 30+ examples of University-Business Collaboration (UBC) champions who, from within their institutions, work to span boundaries between academia and industry. In the book, these Spanning Boundaries Agents share their opinion on the importance of specific knowledge in UBC, as well as the barriers and success factors to make collaboration happen. 

This book intends to serve as inspiration and encouragement for anyone willing to span boundaries between academia and industry and to provide insights on how to work effectively towards breaking down the existing barriers. Furthermore, the extensive list of profiles, drivers and hindering factors contained in the book can be used to obtain a deeper understanding of the level of UBC activities within your organization, as well as to get awareness about the resources that you already have at your disposal. We hope the example of these professionals, who are lighthouses of the Spanning Boundaries philosophy, can impact your future UBC actions and we encourage you to get in touch with them if you see any opportunities for collaboration between institutions. 

Link to the book: https://www.spanning-boundaries.eu/resources/ 

Think about what have you read; how can you use what you learned to improve engagement readiness?

In this section you will find four case studies about the existence of structures dedicated to engagement from different parts of Europe. The case studies are based on the University-Business Cooperation in Europe project and you can find the links to the full texts of the case studies below. 

While reading, think about what kind of structures would your HEI benefit from in terms of engagement. Do they exist or do they need to be established or strengthened in future? 

Link to the full case studies:

  1. Ghent Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/pdf/cases/W_Case_Study_Ghent.pdf
  2. Tiimiakatemia (Team Academy): https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/pdf/cases/N_Team_Academy.pdf

In addition to offices and personnel dedicated to engagement, the structures of an HEI supporting external engagement could also take the form of, for example, networks, initiatives, and education models. The presented examples are based on the case studies of the University-Business Cooperation in Europe project. 

While reading, think about how your higher education institution could support external engagement through its students. 

The Engagement Readiness Toolkit offers you quick tips for improving your organization’s engagement readiness level. If you don’t have the time to go through any other material, you can at least take this syntesized piece of advice with you through the day and reflect on it in your work. 

This one, as all suggested quick tips, is based on the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report, available for download on the Engagement Readiness Monitor website. 

Engagement readiness quick tip: Even though a "culture of collaboration" within an HEI begins at the top level, it must be present on all levels and in all aspects of an HEI's overall mission and functioning. To support this, the university leadership should put in place administrative and operational policies and structures necessary to foster and facilitate engagement.
Photo of Jan Axelsson.

A crucial part of being engagement ready as an organization is being able to capture engagement and collaboration results and to measure the impact. As a part of the expert interviews conducted for the purposes of the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report University Industry Innovation Network interviewed Jan Axelsson, Director of Collaboration at Linköping University, who shared the way his organization monitors engagement. 

Linköping University uses a simple system which measures key performance indicators (KPIs) on an institutional level, including three overall KPIs that measure engagement: 

  • Ability to attract external funding – this is the overall measure of the activity. 
  • Mobility between academia and social stakeholders – for example how many external stakeholders are employed at Linköping University and how many academic staff are employed externally. 
  • Ability of students to find employment after their studies – this indicates how relevant the education at Linköping University is to society and industry. 

In addition, impact case studies are reviewed by national agencies that analyse the impact of engagement activities. The different departments, education programs and research environments at the University are required to provide impact case studies on a regular basis, to allow for a more qualitative analysis of the engagement activities compared to the more quantitative nature of the KPIs. A number of impact case studies have been published on the University’s website. 

In what way engagement activities are being monitored in your HEI? 

Link to the full interview blog: https://engagementready.eu/2021/10/06/voices-from-experts-jan-axelsson/  

Link to the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report: https://engagementready.eu/engagement-readiness-investigation-report/  

Link to the collaboration section of Linköping University’s website: https://liu.se/en/collaboration  

With the advent of the customer-centered era, the improvement of corporate innovation performance is increasingly dependent on demand data obtained through customer engagement. However, in real life, the distribution of customers is scattered, and it is particularly difficult to attract customers. Nowadays, the booming development of Internet provides new ideas for solving this problem. A large number of enterprises have begun to use information technology to effectively attract customer to participate and make full use of customer demand data. In this context, Virtual Customer Engagement (VCE) are emerging from time to time. In essence, VCE is a virtual community of innovation in a broad definition. It is an Internet platform established by enterprises to facilitate customers’ participation in product innovation activities and to share product knowledge, experience and innovative ideas. Through Virtual Customer Engagement (VCE), corporations can attract customers to participate in innovation, make full use of customer big data, and create customer-centered organizations, but the operating mechanism of VCE has not received enough attention from the academy. 

This study divides the VCE platform into three sub-platforms based on VCE functions: (1) The sub-platform of information display, is a platform for enterprises to display various information such as products and prices to customers, including product introduction and FAQ. It’s without the interaction between the business and the customer, so there is no feedback process. (2) The sub-platform of demand collection, is a platform to facilitate customer to give feedback, including online survey, customization, message board, email functions, etc. The feedback process is one-way from customer to the corporation. (3) The sub-platform of deep interaction, is the platform for customer-enterprise interaction or customer-customer interaction, including online community, online customer service, customer design and product virtual experience. It is deep two-way interaction. Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response model, the operating mechanism of each sub-platform is analyzed. Specifically, the developments of the IT environment and the market environment constitute the operating mechanism of the VCE. The interaction between the enterprises and the customers causes the operating motives of the VCE, and the attraction behavior from enterprises and participation behavior from customers make up the running process of the VCE. 

Moreover, by using content analysis, this paper examines the operating mechanism of VCE platforms in the website of China’s top 500 enterprises. The study finds that: (1) 67.51% of enterprises use the information display sub-platform, of which 95.99% contain product introduction, 39.03% contain the FAQ. This shows that most companies have built an information display sub-platform. But product introduction and FAQ functions only enable customers to view information not interact with others. Customers only read those information passively. Since customers cannot provide suggestions and opinions, companies are unable to get user data, which makes customer knowledge management impossible. Meanwhile, construction of the two functions is only done by the IT department of the enterprise. (2) 42.77% of the enterprises use demand collection sub-platform. Through the content analysis, and based on the characteristics of online survey, customization, message board and e-mail, customer participation behavior is mainly represented by the one-way, not real-time feedback, and most data collected are programmatic knowledge. In this context, company’s support behavior is simple customer knowledge management, beneficial to improve marketing. Since customer knowledge management involves IT department and marketing department, it is necessary to cooperate with these two departments to effectively use customer data. (3) Only a small number of enterprises use the deep interaction sub-platform (12.55%), which implies that it is not easy to build this sub-platform. Through the analysis, it is found that online community, online customer service, virtual product experience and customer design reflect a two-way real-time communication between customers and enterprises. Customers can actively participate in product innovation and provide descriptive knowledge for enterprises in order to achieve deep participation. It is a complex customer knowledge management for enterprises to manage the descriptive knowledge. Therefore, the IT department, the marketing department and the R&D department need to work together, that is, IT needs to use information technology, marketing understand the customer needs, R&D use customer needs for product innovation. The empirical research supports the operational mechanism proposed by the theoretical model. However, it has also been found that most of China’s top 500 companies have not yet built the two sub-platforms of demand collection and deep interaction, which are not effective in attracting customer participation in actual. 

This research not only promotes the development of VCE theory and expands the customer participation theory, but also helps to guide enterprises to improve the construction of VCE platform, to shape customer-oriented organization from the perspective of information technology, and to improve innovation performance. 

(1)Specifically, this study firstly divides VCE into three sub-platforms, and analyzes the characteristics and operating mechanisms of each platform. Theoretically, it expands VCE theory, promotes the research development of VCE operation mechanism, and provides a theoretical basis for studying antecedents and outcomes of VCE in the future. Secondly, this study has carried out classification on customer participation from the perspective of VCE operation, thus perfecting and expanding the customer participation theory. Previous studies have shown that customers are the source of enterprise innovation. This study believes that customer participation is largely influenced by corporate support behavior, that is, different stages of corporate support behavior correspond to different stages of customer engagement behavior, which can be divided into no-feedback phase, one-way feedback phase and two-way interaction phase. Based on this, this paper analyzes the characteristics and effects of customer participation in different stages. 

(2)Practically, only a few enterprises provide demand collection and deep interaction sub-platforms, indicating that the implementation of VCE strategy in China’s top 500 enterprises is just at the beginning, and the development speed does not catch up with the growth rate of Internet users, so it is difficult to meet the growing customer demands. They need to improve their abilities of combining innovation resources and stimulating innovation vitality of enterprises. This research guides enterprises to master the rules of VCE operation, explore VCE suitable for itself, and shape customer-oriented organizations from the perspective of information technology.

Link to the full case study: http://journal26.magtechjournal.com/Jwk3_kygl/EN/abstract/abstract11807.shtml

Plug in labs offer permanent access to research and innovation in Hauts-de-France. They function as a tool through which skills, expertise and technologies of laboratories and technological platforms in all areas of research, within a single portal can be discovered. The tool is used by 130 research laboratories, 7 competitiveness clusters, 14 innovation parks, 10 000 researchers, 10 research organizations and 7 universities.

The following video presents how Plig in labs functions as a tool. The video is 58:22 minutes long and is in French, but a translation to English is available through the YouTube caption settinngs.

If the video doesn’t display right, you can also watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsG-jo5FWQc

Link to the Plug in labs website: https://www.pluginlabs-hautsdefrance.fr/en

Lilagora is an exchange and networking forum of the University of Lille on the university level between students, professors, alumni, industry partners for socio-economic issues, funding, and student careers.

For students, alumni or secondary school students the platform provides the following:

  • Seize professional opportunities
  • Find out which sectors and professions are recruiting and find relevant courses
  • Get tips and advice to optimise applications
  • Find former students from courses (Faculties, Teaching and Research Units, Ecoles and Institutes)
  • Learn about events organised by university partners
  • Mentor a secondary school student
  • Find a mentor for educational or professional project

For corporate partners the platform enables:

  • Access to a personalised dashboard
  • Target the right students and alumni to successfully communicate job, internship, and work-study offers
  • Access student and alumni profiles
  • Become a student mentor or sponsor and support them on their educational journey or as they start up their business
  • Learn about the fields of expertise at the University of Lille in education and research
  • Set up a sponsorship project with the university
  • Allow your employees to acquire new professional skills
  • Find the right contact for any specific requests you have
  • Communicate about your events as a university partner
  • Support the University

For the university staff, the platform enables them to:

  • Interact with students, alumni or other staff
  • Communicate job offers (temporary student employment, etc.) and consult current vacancies
  • Stay up-to-date on news and events, and share information with all the members of network about own professional events (graduation, jobs forum, corporate conferences, open days, seminars, etc.)
  • Mentor a student in the following areas: business creation, adjustment to the labour market, etc.
  • Make the most of partnerships with the corporate world, NGOs, etc.
  • Find former students if they are registered with the network

Link to Lilagora’s website: http://www.lilagora.fr/

The support mechanisms that are used by governments, businesses, and universities to support and drive UBC can be grouped into four categories: strategic, structural, operational and policy intervention mechanisms. Read more on the topic (p. 22-23) and find out the identified support mechanisms for UBC (p. 24-26) from the report below.

”Towards Coalition Excellence: Report on University-SME Collaboration in Europe. Horizon Europe Engagement Programme Framework”, link to the report: https://unite4horizon.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Unite4H_Synthesis-Report-FINAL_formatted.pdf

Think about what have you read; how can you use what you learned to improve engagement readiness?

Regional development focus of each region in Europe has been developed. Within their territories, countries have developed their regional development focus. Oftentimes, EU funding is prioritized based on these policies.

Use the following webpage to learn more about European regional policies in your country.

Link to the EU Regional Policies webpage: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.cfm

Deeptech Tour is an event which provides an opportunity for researchers to measure the social impact of their research and ideas on how to improve it. It also provides employment opportunities for PhD students.

Link to the webpage of Deep Tech Tour 2022 (in French): https://newsroom.univ-lille.fr/actualite/deeptech-tour-2022

The study investigates the mechanisms employed for analyzing and engaging stakeholders through the planning and implementation phases of the mobility management project Sustainable Travel in Umeå Region (Sweden). In alignment with researchers’ epistemological and ontological assumptions, an abductive approach and the case study strategy were selected. The qualitative data collected through conducting interviews with the five project team members and through examining project’s documentation were analyzed using the pattern matching technique and leading to the findings presented in detail in Chapter 4 and discussed in Chapter 5. The core finding of the study is a model of the use of mechanisms through the planning and implementation phases of a MM project. The planning phase of the project coincides with the stakeholders’ analysis process, thus identifying, classifying, characterizing and a very complex process of designing the engagement strategy for citizens, which includes also deciding and starting to implement the strategy for organizations. The correspondent analysis and engagement mechanisms, developed by the project stakeholders’ scholars for each of these stages, are mostly unwittingly used by the project team. Once the engagement strategy for citizens is decided, the implementation phase is initiated. The implementation phase is characterized by a blend between MM mechanisms and classic stakeholders’ engagement mechanisms, which are constantly reassessed through project’s lifecycle. In addition, the main challenges emerged in the process of stakeholders’ engagement in this project are discussed, concluding that the lack of alignment between some of the regulations coming from the national and supranational level and the project’s aim, combined with communication issues and the unwillingness of the targeted organization to interfere in the personal lives of their employees, are the elements that most endanger the success of the stakeholders’ engagement process and implicitly of the MM project.

Link to the full case study: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:492348/FULLTEXT02.pdf

A map of the world with a pin on Huddersfield, UK.

This case study explores the experience of the University-Business collaboration of Canalside Studios, the University of Huddersfield’s in-house games research and development studio. The case highlights the need for further resources to enhance engagement in the university-business ecosystem.  

The University of Huddersfield provides seed funding for collaborative ventures between academic and industry partners to initiate small-scale projects that have the potential for growth. Individuals and companies seeking help and advice to develop business products frequently approach the University with business ideas but matching the needs and expectations of both University and business can be difficult.  

Collaborations with partners who value the research and educational values of the University are likely to result in mutually agreed success and are more valued by academics as these lead to publication of the product and the dissemination of the learning. Collaborations with partners with purely business-oriented goals or who are not perceived to understand academic values are more likely to falter; academics can see these relationships as “time theft”. Seed funding for this type of project is valuable and tempting but can attract interest from individuals and organisations who are looking for a way of off-setting costs rather than seeking a genuine University-Business partnership, with benefits for all. Universities can and should adopt filtering techniques with potential business collaborators, to match expectations and ensure higher chances of project success for all stakeholders and a better focus on relationships with potential for long-term partnership and mutual success. 

Link to the full case study: https://core.ac.uk/download/20495299.pdf  

MERITS is an innovation thinkspace hub created to support digital and technology innovation in the Mid-East region of Ireland (Kildare, Meath and Wicklow). Their building is spread over 1200sqm and equipped with latest tools and technologies to provide their members with necessary resources for development. Beside academics and researchers, the hub brings together businesses and chambers of commerce and generates direct university-business linkages.

MERITS implements specialized programs for specific types of engagement. For example, through its GENESIS Incubation Programme, founders of digital, technology or internationally traded services companies can address fundamental business questions within eight-weeks during which they will discover, validate and test the potential of their ideas through guided modules, one-on-one mentor session and peer-to-peer group meetings.

 Link to MERITS’ website: https://www.merits.ie/

This chapter introduces a recently emerged psychological concept – work engagement – and seeks to apply this notion to the management of human resources in organizations. Our point of departure is that in order to prosper and survive in today’s continuously changing environment, rather than merely “healthy” employees, organizations need engaged employees. What we exactly mean by work engagement and how this term is used throughout the literature is explained next. Because we strongly feel that recommendations for using HRM strategies to increase levels of employee engagement should be based on sound empirical research, we present an overview thereof. More specifically, we focus on the relationship of work engagement with related concepts and on the antecedents and consequences of work engagement. The assessment of work engagement is addressed in a separate section. In addition, we discuss how employees’ work engagement may be optimized by using HRM strategies. The chapter closes with some conclusions about work engagement research and about the usefulness of work engagement in the context of HRM. Our aim is to demonstrate the viability of the concept of work engagement for human resources practices in organizations.  

Link to the full case study: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511490064.018

What are the resources available for external engagement in a higher education institution – or particularly in your HEI? While pondering this question you can read about three separate practices existing in Britain, Denmark and Poland. 

The presented examples are based on the case studies of the University-Business Cooperation in Europe project and you can find the links to the full texts below. 

This blog post is part of a series exploring the factors within key themes that contribute to university readiness for engagement, as identified by the Engagement Readiness Investigation Report.  

While HEI’s strategic orientation towards deep engagement with industry and society is crucial, without adequate organisational resources, successful engagement cannot take hold. This article explores three key organisational resources, whixh include the existence of: 

  • a Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO), Technology Transfer Office (TTO), or a Partnership Office,  
  • Communication Networks 
  • Financial Resources 

Read the whole article to find out more about the mentioned key organizational resources and think about the questions: 

  • Does your HEI count on these resources and to what extent? 
  • How are these resources utilized to facilitate engagement? 
  • What needs to be improved for better engagement results? 
Underwater bubbles.
photo by Sime Basioli on Unsplash