The benefits of research collaboration in practice
There are many different views on the benefits of collaboration between different societal sectors. In fact, there are very loud and vociferous views that collaboration across sectors is just a political view on the benefits research and that there are few practical benefits in reality. Interestingly, these views are sometimes shared by representatives from both industry and academia. It is thus clear that the connections between academia and industry are not as strong yet as legislators would like them to be.
Recently, Science|Business reports that different stakeholders met in a conference organized by the Baltic Science Network, to present their views on the benefits of cross-sectorial collaboration in the Baltic region and to ensure that the region continues to benefit from EU financial support.
The Baltic Region is a European Macro-region, where member states have established close collaboration to improve research-based outputs and also improve competitiveness in the region. During this meeting The benefits of research collaboration in practice where discussed.
This meeting aimed to highlight high level achievements that have been reached in the Baltic Region, specially with regards to collaborative efforts. During the meeting, researcher exchange and mobility schemes across the Baltic region where highlighted as an excellent route to improve collaboration and research outcomes.
During the conference, presenters highlighted the benefits of research infrastructure and circulated the idea that this infrastructure could be used both by industry (in particular SME) and academia alike, to ensure that different actors have access to excellent facilities. However, there was a long discussion on how to secure access to research infrastructure in the long term specially if they are located in poorer regions across Europe.
Interestingly, the European Commission was also represented at the conference and highlighted the importance of achieving synergies between different funding schemes including funding from Horizon 2020 and from the EU regional funds. Here the European Commission reiterated that much more can be done to achieve more synergies and improve societal impact from public funding.
An important issue lacking from this discussion is however how to better engage industry in these efforts. This is a key area and it is certainly clear that there is much work to be done in this area and inform industry and SME that these efforts are actually ongoing.
Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We support organizations who are in the process of applying for project funding from public sources. If you would like to get in touch with us and discuss how we can support your efforts, please use the online contact form or send an email to
Ingemar.Pongratz (a) pongratzconsulting.com