Collaboration and innovation go hand-in-hand and when industry and academia join forces, great things can happen. Both start-ups and established businesses can benefit from working with a university – here are five reasons why:
1. Access to world-class research and expertise
Achieving commercial advantage over competitors is incredibly important for business development and can really accelerate growth, so having access to the latest studies and research from a university can be extremely beneficial. Teaming up with academia will not only give you access to cutting-edge studies, it will also put you in touch with some of the most distinguished researchers. Whether it’s a start-up looking to turn an idea into market success, or an established business seeking support with research and development, a university has the expertise to drive innovation.
2. Widen your talent pool
Businesses are constantly looking for fresh talent so teaming up with a leading university can help future-proof their workforce and fill skills gaps. Finding sufficiently skilled people can be a challenge but with thousands of bright minds eager to get into the workplace, universities can be a great place to find high-calibre candidates, from recent graduates with innovative ideas to PhD students coming up with the next big thing.
3. Outstanding facilities at your fingertips
Investing in equipment and facilities can be daunting for start-ups and small businesses, with the financial burden often a barrier for those who are yet to start their investment journey. However, working in partnership with a university can unlock access to world-class facilities and more importantly, those who have the experience and expertise to operate such equipment. With first-class laboratory space, high-tech IT and scientific research equipment, growing businesses can take advantage of outstanding facilities.
4. Two minds are better than one
Although Individual lightbulb moments are still crucial to innovation, ground-breaking ideas, inventions and new products are increasingly about collaboration. Most universities cultivate collaborative communities that share innovative ideas and best practice. This knowledge sharing, coupled with on-campus co-working and shared communal spaces, make universities the ideal environment to foster collaborative thinking.
5. Funding and investment support
Attracting investment and securing funding can take a start-up from concept to market but navigating the funding maze can be complex. Early stage businesses aren’t always aware of the investment opportunities available to them and when it comes to pitching for funding, some don’t have the confidence to stand up against tough questioning from investors, despite having a fantastic, unique business idea. Universities have teams that are dedicated to advising on funding opportunities and the best way to present a robust business case.
Why not investigate the options with your local University?