Innovation intermediaries in university-industry collaboration: analysis of online platforms
The importance of intermediation in university-industry collaboration (UIC) has been widely acknowledged, however, the phenomenon of UIC online tools is not yet studied in detail. In this paper, we examine fifteen UIC online platforms, identify their functions and role that they play in UIC. By combining secondary data with interviews with platform developers and users, we identify five main archetypes of collaborative online platforms: education-focused, knowledge transfer platforms, crowdsourcing platforms, networking tools and platforms for innovation marketing. We also present a number of the benefits the platforms bring. These tools reduce the time and resources spent establishing and managing collaborations; they help to make networking more targeted; they help to reveal the value that university research has for business and increase the adoption of university education. Our findings suggest that whilst facing some challenges, the platforms analysed represent a scalable, rapidly growing and more importantly demand-led business opportunity.
This paper was presented at The XXVII ISPIM Innovation Conference – Blending Tomorrow’s Innovation Vintage, Porto, Portugal on 19-22 June 2016. The full conference proceedings are available to ISPIM members at www.ispim.org.
XXVII ISPIM Conference, Porto, Portugal