The pandemic has affected many areas of our lives. It is unlikely that at least one sphere remained unaffected by restrictions and new challenges. The government, the private sector, and volunteer groups should feel connected.
Collaboration between different spheres of life has never been as crucial as today. As we focus on recovery, we will need help or help those most affected during the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.
Surprisingly, there are many paths for mutually beneficial coexistence between universities and local businesses.
They can provide leadership and motivation to keep different groups talking, learning from each other, and working together towards a common goal.
Forbes writes that the business community understands the workforce needs of universities and benefits most from graduates who are willing to contribute immediately. Business involvement is vital at every stage.
That is why the purpose of this article will be to understand how universities can support business and what business can give in return.
Access to laboratories and equipment
Any business looking for new equipment to support research and development can start their search at a local university. Many universities now have high-quality equipment that companies can use for a modest fee and sometimes even free.
According to Statista, in fiscal 2018, the University of Tokyo conducted about 1.8 thousand joint research projects with commercial enterprises, the highest number among universities in Japan. The university also held a leading position in collaborative research with companies with funding exceeding JPY 10 million.
Thanks to grants from various companies and the government, universities can get good equipment to help your business. And you only need to ask your local university what facilities and equipment they have to offer companies, and you may be surprised at what you find.
Additional funding and support
The focus is on productivity at the national level and striving to fill the knowledge gap and support innovation. The government encourages cooperation between business and higher education to achieve this goal. This idea is that companies and universities can find new solutions to problems by working together. It could mean developing a new commercially viable technology based on the latest scientific discoveries or finding better business models using academic knowledge.
Collaboration between business and university can sometimes open the way for government funding.
Companies are not always aware of the funding they can access through these programs. Contact your local university, and they can advise you on options.
Universities understand the business better than ever before
It is a fact that scientists are increasingly looking at how their research can help solve real-world problems. They often require businesses, charities, or public sector organizations. Many universities now also offer a range of services specifically for business.
New space for your business
A growing number of universities have premises that businesses can rent – often at very competitive prices. Your local university will be able to advise you if you are eligible for a place at one of these centers. There are criteria to be met, but generally, you do not need previous university participation.
A large number of young talents
Universities have a wealth of knowledge and talent, from world-class academic researchers to students. Many scientists need to work with industry partners to support their research, so working together can often be a win-win for both parties. These partnerships often produce genuinely innovative results.
Universities as an element of influence on society
Universities are major employers and cultural centers. The contact points between universities and their local regions are more significant in number and breadth – and perhaps also in importance – than any other organization. It means they have a stock of local understanding and needs and coordinate local development opportunities and initiatives.
Universities have enormous resources to help local communities.
Several universities have opened their institutions to the NHS to help expedite the training of recruits. Many of them offer volunteer services. Students interact with custom software companies in these programs and create IT and service digitization assistance or provide group project opportunities to work on fundamental, business-friendly ideas. Universities will be recognized as playing a genuine regional role only when communities see and feel the results of such initiatives. It means commitment over the long term and accountability for results, together with other local government and business partners.