Collaborating with companies is not a new phenomenon in research. Many companies are based on scientific breakthroughs and even founded by researchers, or based on patents or licenses originated from research results. Companies need science-based solutions to develop their products and services. In fields like technology and medicine, companies are also interested in making use of the infrastructure provided by the scientific community and universities, such as state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories, or access to databases or testbeds. In some fields, collaboration and contacts with companies come naturally, and in some more work may be needed. Today, companies are looking for expertise and knowledge on how to develop their leadership or working culture, or how to be societally responsible in a more and more digitalized world. These are some of the questions where social sciences and humanities can play a major role.
But collaboration is not just about companies benefitting from research. Researchers get to test their ideas in practice, and pilot their solutions when collaborating with companies. There are many ways to collaborate with companies ranging from industry participation in advisory groups to industry funded internships, joint projects, customer-financed projects etc.
To collaborate with companies, you can utilize existing contacts, or create new ones. To do that, you can participate in different matchmaking events, be active in online services that are designed to bring together industry representatives and researchers, and make sure your online profile is up to date in different expert databases or social media so interested companies can find you. Universities also have services that can help you map out potential collaborators and create contacts. They are a good place to start if you are unsure who the right partners might be. In addition to matchmaking, University of Oulu's Innovation Centre also helps researchers to commercialize their results, offers training in IPR issues, helps in the development of business ideas, and offers expert services related to inventions, patenting, licencing etc.
Learn more about innovation related activities and services: University of Oulu's Innovation Centre