At the event, case studies of City’s recent successes will be presented and visitors will be able to meet world leading City experts and support professionals in their respective fields.
On 25th May 2023, City hosts the corporate engagement event, ‘How Business Can Collaborate With City, University of London’.
Through talks, discussion and networking, the free event gives participants an opportunity to learn how business and industry can do business with the University’s School of Science and Technology (SST).
At the event, case studies of City’s recent successes will be presented and visitors will be able to meet world leading experts and support professionals in their respective fields.
Ahead of the occasion, the SST’s Associate Dean for Employability and Corporate Relations, Dr Chris Child, Head of Academic Enterprise, Ian Gibbs and the SST’s Head of Corporate Relations and Employability Unit (CREU), Mohson Khan, respond to questions from City News.
City News: How successful has the SST been in attracting partnerships with business and industry over the years?
Dr Chris Child: We have an industry advisory board which helps develop new programmes and advises on curriculum development. We also include company-based team projects and individual projects in all programmes, giving industry a chance to try out new ideas at low risk, while helping students to gain industry experience. We also partner with companies to create Last-Mile modules (e.g. Accenture), bridging the gap between industry and academia.
Ian Gibbs: SST has had incredible success in partnering and collaborating with industry. This has included a series of prestigious Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects (KTPs), exploitation of City-developed intellectual property, multiple successes in securing collaborative Innovate UK proposals with industry, and ongoing outreach to varying sector representatives. SST is committed to the application of its knowledge and technologies in commercial or organisational settings.
CN: Alongside events like the one held later this month, what more can we do to encourage academics to be more involved in these kinds of pairings?
CC: Industry partnership-funded projects, such as Innovate grants have far higher success rates than other forms of funding and can be a great way for academics to fund their research and improve their profile for promotion.
IG: Liaison and close collaboration with each of our specialist BDMs. BDMs now have an activity focus, offering academics direct support in each of the following areas: Consultancy (Clare Avery); Innovate UK Proposals (Danny Tyler); Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (Mike Drummond); Regional economic development and civic engagement (Caroline Sipos); Major cross-discipline knowledge exchange projects (Ian Gibbs); IP, Licensing and Spin-out formation (Powlami Ghosh, Ogunjimi Adebayo, Tia Khan) The Academic Enterprise team are here to support parties in developing existing relationships or helping to secure new collaborations and funding proposals
CN: What are the practical challenges of universities like ours getting involved in KTPs and similar collaborations?
CC: Frequently the biggest challenge is in finding a company to partner with. City is very well positioned in terms of company contacts and our location in London. The BDM team can help source companies to work with. We also have alumni networking events, and the Konfer platform is another great way to connect with business.
IG: The Academic Enterprise team exist to remove all barriers to staff undertaking academic enterprise. Our specialised team will support you in overcoming any obstacles to building successful enterprise portfolio’s alongside teaching and research commitments
CN: How can we encourage our students to take better advantage of schemes such as the ones offered by our Corporate Relations and Employability Unit (CREU)?
MK: From the start of term, students should fully engage with their assigned professional experience tutor, often students miss opportunities because they do not work with their professional experience expert. Each student who joins City is allocated a professional experience tutor from the CREU. Students should also fully engage with their course content, as under City employability strategy, professional experience opportunities are embedded within the course.
CN: What is the Konfer platform and how is City benefiting from being a part of it?
IG: The Konfer platform is an unrivalled source of opportunities to collaborate, and for engaging with commercial contacts. Within Konfer, each academic has the opportunity to present their expertise or partnership opportunities to a vast array of organisations already actively involved in university partnerships. The platform exists to support the generation of partnerships and seeding of future relationships between academia and industry. City is a leading participant in the system development, and is committed to maximising its use across all Schools within City.