the researcher cheat sheet by bnmbgtrtr52


									                            the researcher
                               cheat sheet
                        on how to partner with industry

  table of contents
about this cheat sheet              2
setting the scene                   2
your checklist                      4
finding a partner                   5
starting up                         5
who to contact?                     5
what to say?                        6
what to do?                         7
partner checklist                   8
crawl-walk-run-sprint               9
matching expectations               10
developing                          10
communicate and involve             10
strategies                          11
‘terminating’                       12
experience the process              12
                                                                                      and want to be. Unless you know where you are coming from and where
                                                                                      you want to go, it will be difficult to find the right partner for you.

    about this cheat sheet                                                            In particular, think about your overall objectives and why you would like
                                                                                      to develop a relationship with an external party. What are your strengths,
                                                                                      weaknesses and style of working and what support do you have internally,
                       “Coming together is a beginning,                               who will be involved in the project, …?
                         Keeping together is a process,
                          Working together is success”                                The following checklist provides you with a starting point. If you are going to
                                                                                      work in a team, it is worth discussing these questions with your colleagues as
                                     Henry Ford                                       they might have a different view on things.
    Being a researcher often means stretching yourself between a number of
    important tasks; conducting experiments, analysing data, reading, writing,
    attending conferences, supervising students, teaching and related tasks,                            “If you don't understand yourself
    administration and more. In addition, the commercialisation of research,                           you don't understand anybody else.”
    including industry linked projects, is now seen as yet another important part
    of a researcher’s role.                                                                                          Nikki Giovanni
    While specialised commercialisation support is available at most universities
    and research institutions, there is a crucial component of commercialisation
    in which the commercial office may not be able to help you … the personal
    interaction and relationship development with the external partner.

    In this cheat sheet we thus won’t touch on issues such as intellectual property
    management or the costing of a project with external partners. We also
    won’t talk about the reasons for working with external partners; the fact
    that you have picked up this cheat sheet means that you see at least some of
    the many benefits.

    Rather, we will focus here on the relationship management side: While every
    relationship is different and most certainly requires different handling, this
    booklet provides you with (1) some notes on what you need to consider in
    the process and (2) some recommendations on how you can make it work

    setting the scene
    No matter whether you have been contacted by a potential external partner
    or whether you are thinking about looking for a partner yourself, the first
    thing to do is to sit down and think about what kind of partner you are

2                                                                                                                                                                       3
         your checklist
     1. Objectives
                                   What is it you and your team would
                                   like to get out of a relationship? E.g.
                                                                                 Your Response
                                                                                                                      finding a partner
                                   funding for future research, seeing your                                           There are several ways of finding the right partner. One good way is to talk to
                                   research help the community, …                                                     your commercialisation office. They deal with external partners on a day to
     2. Currencies                 Think about currencies in terms of what                                            day basis and have established networks they can access to identify suitable
                                   you value, e.g. research funding, publi-
                                   cations and citations, quality of research                                         partners.
                                   students, collaboration opportunities, …
     3. Strengths                  What are the strengths you can offer                                               If you prefer to go about it yourself, look at the industry you are targeting.
                                   (and the weaknesses you might have)?                                               One of the best ways of finding a potential partner is going to business
                                   E.g. expertise/projects in a certain field,
                                   current relationships, …                                                           conferences, workshops or networking events. Here you can meet
     4. Organisational &           Focusing on your non-research skills,                                              people directly.
        Managerial Skills          what are you good at, what do you
                                   enjoy? E.g. leading a team of people,
                                   reporting, …                                                                       ‘People’ are the key to success; building relationships in the end depends a lot
      5. Flexibility               How flexible are you and to what                                                    on the chemistry and the connection between the people working together.
                                   degree does your environment allow
                                   you to be flexible in projects and related                                         If you are looking for a specific type of organisation, contact the relevant
                                                                                                                      industry association, many of which have reports and member databases
      6. Punctuality               How important is it for you to be “on
                                   time”, may it be for a meeting or in                                               detailing specific characteristics of individual businesses. In addition,
                                   relation to project deliverables? Would                                            databases such as Kompass allow you to search for specific businesses of
                                   others describe you as punctual?
                                                                                                                      your interest.
     7. Busyness                   How busy are you really? Think about
                                   your workload and how much time you
                                   can afford for a new project/relation-                                             Once you have identified some potential partner organisations, try to find out
                                   ship.                                                                              what they stand for. It is not enough that they deal in a certain industry, can
      8. Other Customs             Think about how you/your team work                                                 you relate to their values, mission and image? You are likely to find such
                                   and what is important for you/them.
                                   List things that come to your mind, e.g.                                           information on the organisation’s website. In addition, news catalogues such
                                   open discussions, informal chats, com-
                                   municating more by email/phone/ …                                                  as Factiva provide you with any relevant stories relating to the organisation;
      9. Familiarity with          To what extent do you have experience
                                                                                                                      and if you can talk to someone who has worked with them before, even
         Business Environ-         with the business environment, e.g.                                                better. Check with your commercialisation office to see whether they have
         ment / Customs            have you worked in industry before or
                                   have you been involved in relationships                                            experience with that organisation.
                                   with external partners?
     10. Understanding of          To what extent are you aware of the
         the Process               internal processes and requirements
                                   relating to relationships with external

                                                                                                                      starting up
                                   parties at your institution?*
     11. Understanding             To what extent are you familiar with
         of the Support            the support and services network your
         Network                   institution offers in relation to external
     12. Add your own:                                                                                                   who to contact?
                                                                                                                      The first question is: Who do I contact? This is easy if you know someone in
    * If you are not familiar with the internal requirements and support services, contact relevant sections of
                                                                                                                      the organisation. Talk to your original contact first to identify who you need
     your institution, e.g. your commercialisation arm or research office, to get institution-specific information.   to talk to. You or your commercialisation office may also have contacts who

4                                                                                                                                                                                                        5
    know people within the organisation … that’s another a great way to start.         Talk about the benefits rather than technological features

    Essentially, you need to get past the gatekeeper (the person controlling           Try to see potential benefits
    information flow within the organisation) to the decider and influencer.           of the technology for the
    That means you need to know who makes the decisions and who has a                  potential partner. It shows
    significant influence on the decision maker or the decision-making process.        that you can understand
                                                                                       where they are coming
    Contacts with the actual people who are going to be involved in the                from (very important!) and
    process are also extremely valuable.                                               that you have thought
                                                                                       about the value they
       what to say?                                                                    might gain from working
                                                                                       with you. In addition, by
    When first contacting potential partners, remember the following;                  talking about benefits you
                                                                                       won’t disclose confidential
    Your relevant strengths                                                            information on the specifics
                                                                                       of your idea or technology.
    Industry is often more interested in your ability to work with them than in
    your academic achievements. While your research strengths and specialisation       Engage an intermediary if you prefer to have expert help
    are certainly important, do not forget to talk about your experience in
    working with industry and/or your interest in working collaboratively with a       Most organisations or institutions have professionals supporting researchers
    non-academic partner.                                                              in linking with industry. These professionals are familiar with the industry or
                                                                                       government environment and can do the talking for you.
    Encourage an open, mutual discussion

    You want to find out more about the organisation and the individual people            what to do?
    you are dealing with. Rather than coming to a meeting with a set mindset
    of how this is going to work, get a feeling for their ideas and openly discuss     Based on the good understanding you have of yourself, your group and your
    options for working together.                                                      overall objectives, use your first meetings with the potential partner to try and
                                                                                       understand how the partner might fit to you.
    Use a confidentiality agreement
                                                                                       Try to look for:
    To allow for an open dialogue to occur, sign confidentiality agreements prior
    to discussions of specific features of your technology, research or idea. These      •	   Compatible objectives, allowing for mutual benefit
    very simple agreements ensure that all information exchanged remains                 •	   Compatible customs to ease the interaction process
    confidential and cannot be disclosed to third parties.                               •	   Complementary strengths or assets
    Talk about an opportunity                                                            •	   Trustworthiness and good connections between the people
                                                                                         •	   Ease of developing familiarity and understanding
    Talk about opportunities that might arise from your current and potential
    future research. Focusing solely on the technology you have developed or
    on one specific research idea is likely to be limiting at this point in time. If                          “Strength lies in difference,
    the potential partner does not see the obvious application of a particular
                                                                                                                   not in similarities.”
    technology straight away, s/he may not consider broader opportunities.                                             Stephen Covey

6                                                                                                                                                                          7
    While differences in strengths, backgrounds, ideas and capabilities are the       8. Other Customs – how
    reasons why industry and researchers should collaborate, you need to also be         you work on a day-to-
    similar enough to easily interact and work together.                                 day basis; e.g. how you
                                                                                         communicate, interact,
                                                                                         and what is important
    Complete a partner checklist. You might be able to answer some of the                to you
    questions purely based on the partner’s website and word of mouth. Other
                                                                                      9. Familiarity – the extent
    points you will have to discuss with them. Be open and explain that you              to which you know
    would like to get to know them from the beginning to make sure you can               the ‘other’ environment
                                                                                         (academia / industry)
    develop a positive working relationship (and maybe provide them with the
    industry version of this booklet).                                                10. Understanding of
                                                                                          the Process – what
    For explanations of the individual factors shown in the checklist, please refer       the relevant internal
                                                                                          processes are
    to the checklist you completed earlier.
                                                                                      11. Understanding of the
    When working with this checklist, try to identify differences and                     Support Network –
                                                                                          what kind of internal
    similarities. For example, you are likely to have different currencies … your         / external support you
    currencies might be research income and publications while their currencies           have access to
    are revenue and strategic competitive advantage. Understanding such
                                                                                      12. Add your own:
    differences will help you develop strategies on how best to work together to
    create value for everyone involved.

       partner checklist
    Factors                         Your earlier response   Their response
                                                                                      Even though a close and successful relationship might be the most
    1. Objectives - what you                                                          desirable state, it should be something you work towards. As with personal
       want to achieve
                                                                                      relationships, it takes time to get to know and understand each other, so start
    2. Currencies – what you                                                          with small projects and slowly work towards more involved, strategic and high
       value                                                                          value collaborations.
    3. Strengths - what you
       are good at                                                                    Consider various types of involvement with partners:

    4. Organisational &
                                                                                        •	 Student projects, placements or sponsorships
       Managerial Skills – what                                                            Consider academic time lines and recruitment processes.
       relevant skills you have
                                                                                        •	 Staff related involvement
    5. Flexibility – how flexible                                                          Opportunities include: the secondment of staff, the sponsorship of
       you are and can be
                                                                                           specific Chairs, collaboration with other disciplines; be creative.
    6. Punctuality – how
       important it is for you                                                          •	 Consulting, contract R&D or licensing
       to “be on time”                                                                     These types of engagement can range in relation to their scope and can
    7. Busyness – how much
                                                                                           thus be varied depending on the type and state of the partnership.
       time you can commit
                                                                                        •	 Grants
                                                                                           Grants can range from small internal to external competitive ones.

8                                                                                                                                                                       9
        matching expectations                                                            strategies
     We are satisfied if our expectations are met … we are delighted if our            Think about how you become part of a team and develop trust in others.
     expectations are exceeded. This is a basic marketing principal. However, the      While there are a lot of strategies you can apply, here are some ideas you can
     management of expectations is often forgotten or lacks in priority, despite       implement:
     its critical nature when dealing with partners.
                                                                                       Engage in a dialogue
     The better expectations are managed and matched the easier it is to make          Talking to each other and sharing relevant information is one of the best ways
     everyone happy and to grow a relationship.                                        to build understanding and a personal bond with the potential partner, both
                                                                                       of which are critical when
     Finding out what the partner’s expectations are and managing those                trying to establish trust.
     expectations requires open and continuous discussions. What to discuss? The
     partner checklist might provide a few ideas … here are a few more:                Be open and honest and
                                                                                       always try to engage in
       •	   Communication – how often, how and with whom?                              a real exchange of ideas
       •	   Level of involvement in the process - at different stages                  rather than a one-way
       •	   Level and frequency of reporting                                           reporting.
       •	   Punctuality and flexibility                                                However, in the early
       •	   Availability of certain staff, resources and time commitment               stages of the process
       •	   Milestones – for what and when?                                            don’t provide confidential
       •	   Responsibility – who and for what?                                         information about your
                                                                                       research (use a confi-
                                                                                       dentiality agreement or
                                                                                       get professional advice

                                                                                       regarding information dis-
                                                                                       closure if you are unsure).

                                                                                       Be consistent
        communicate and involve                                                        If someone says one thing and then provides conflicting information the next
                                                                                       time around it is difficult to determine what to believe; and difficult to trust.
     As with any other relationship, developing research-related relationships takes
     time and care. One important component besides the actual research and            Consistency in all actions and words is critical. This also means that you
     development work is familiarity, understanding, developing trust, and actually    should only ever promise what you think you can hold.
     becoming part of a team.
                                                                                       If you are working in a team, you need to establish good internal
     The question to ask is: Do we see ourselves as us and them or do we feel          communication mechanisms as they are important to ensuring a consistent
     part of the same team? Would I be happy to just pick up a phone and ring          approach and message to the partner.
     someone at the partner organisation to discuss challenges and strategies, as I
                                                                                       Be fair
     would with internal team members?
                                                                                       What is perceived as ‘fair’ is likely to differ between groups and individuals. In
     Informal meetings and events or combined attendance at conferences                general terms, sharing benefits, duties and risks in a manner that every
     or networking events can really help encourage bonds between people,              party agrees upon is the desired end state. Open discussion is again an
     which, in turn, ease the day-to-day interaction and collaboration.                important factor.

10                                                                                                                                                                          11
     Be a team player
     Being a team player means not trying to be in control all the time but
     providing everyone with their role in the project or relationships.

     It also means using the same game plan and thus having the same
     understanding of the strategies and rules of the relationship.

     Finally, be flexible and learn from and with your partner. Setting goals,
     achieving those goals and overcoming challenges together not only creates
     trust but makes a true relationship.

     The effort you spend on the development of relationships is really only worth
     it if you can see mutual benefit either now or sometime in the future. If
     benefits are not obvious to you and your partner after open discussions, tone
     back your level of interaction while keeping future collaborations a possibility.
     Maybe call it a ‘dormant’ phase rather than a termination of a relationship;
     you never know.

     experience the process
                   “If we are together nothing is impossible.
                          If we are divided all will fail.”
                                  Winston Churchill


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