Facilitating Collaboration Between Individual Participants in a University-Industry Research and Development Project
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: Mattila, Pauliina; Makinen, Samuli; Laakso, Miko
Institution: 1: Swinburne University of Technology, Australia; 2: Aalto University, Finland
Section: Collaboration, communication and co-creation in design and development
Due to accelerated technology change and market globalization, university-industry collaborations have become increasingly important avenues through which organizations strive to gain competitive advantage. A recent research focus has concentrated on revealing collaboration success factors especially in knowledge creation context and exploring the role of design as a facilitator in the creation process. A Finnish university-industry research and development project was investigated to understand the grass-root level collaboration and the influence of a facilitator with design expertise. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted and participative observation was carried out in project related activities. In the case, participating organizations work mainly independently, and the leadership of the project was not used to full potential. Moreover, the role of design was not considered to bring considerable value. Followed by results, factors enhancing interaction between participants in the project are analysed and discussed. Finally, practical activities to support collaboration are suggested.