"Consulting with professional engineers forms a large part of my research. When I'm trying to validate my research I want to test it on a real-life project, and with professionals working in practice." — Dr Paul Shepherd
Engagement methods: consulting with industry
Benefits of the consulting with industry for public engagement, with case studies, research and blogs from researchers who've used this method.
Consulting with industry involves working with partners to utilise their knowledge of industrial practices as part of research. This can often provide a way of testing research outputs in real-life situations.
The Public Engagement Unit has worked alongside researchers from across the University and Research & Innovation Services to explore the opportunities presented of engaging with industry as well as the benefits and challenges in this work. The emphasis on engagement has involved investigating individuals' experiences working with, rather than for, industry partners.
Dr Richard Fairchild (School of Management) and Dr Kate Woodthorpe (Department of Social & Policy Sciences) both have experience of university-industry research collaborations. In their case studies, they reflect on these experiences. What went well? What challenges did they face? What would they do differently and what tips would they give to those embarking on industry collaborations?
Through our Engage Grants, we funded researchers to run projects that engage with industry. Read the case studies and other resources that have been produced for each of the projects:
Behaviours4Collaboration - A half-day stakeholder engagement event aimed at getting feedback from members of the construction sector on a tool for collaborative working.
Costing research for industry - An interactive workshop to secure industrial buy-in for new engineering-related research.
Creating NRG - A day-long event to build potential for research collaborations with industry partners for a new Research Group at the University.
The Introductory Guide to Research / Industry Collaborations should be of use to those researchers new to such engagement. However, we hope that those with more experience of industry collaborations will still find some of the insights in the guide of interest.
Amongst other things, the guide includes:
- benefits of engaging with industry
- challenges of engaging with industry
- top tips for industry engagement
The Mutual Benefits of Engaging with Industry - a blog by Dr Catherine Johnson (University of Nottingham)
Making University-Industry Partnerships Work - a report commissioned by the Science | Business Innovation Board
Tartari, V., Salter, A. & D'Este, P. (2012) Crossing the Rubicon: Exploring the factors that shape academics' perceptions of the barriers to working with industry, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36, pp 655 - 677