Strategic Partnerships Manual

Foreword by Richard Williams
Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer
Developing and nurturing new relationships with people and organisations outside the University is a critical element of sustainable, fresh, relevant and
funded research programmes. Evidence suggests that, increasingly, corporate, public and not-for-profit organisations will seek to develop ‘more strategic’
relationships with universities. This presents an opportunity for new ways of working with large and small organisations.
It is my hope that this practical guide will be a useful stimulus for you in thinking through new approaches to developing a special relationship with an
external organisation. These relationships are characterised by trust, a long-term commitment, good planning and execution over a definite time horizon in
which all sides have understood the benefits.
I am grateful to the staff whose experiences are featured in this manual, selected from a wide range of active partnerships. Please consider the advice and
examples here, and whether there might be an opportunity to develop a similar approach in your own research areas. We look forward to seeing your ideas!
ISBN 0853162050
Designed by
Manual Contents
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
1.1 What is the
Manual? ........................... 4
2.1 Early days ...................... 7
3.1 Know yourself .............. 10
4.1 Our values ................... 32
2.2 Vision and planning ........ 8
3.2 Think big ..................... 14
2.3 The market and
the stakeholders ............. 8
3.3 Gain trust ..................... 19
4.2 Useful information
and examples .............. 33
1.2 Why have
partnerships? ................... 4
1.3 What does a good
partnership look
and feel like? .................... 5
2.4 The project cycle ............ 9
2.5 The strategic
partnership .................... 9
3.4 Build the team ............. 24
3.5 Make it
business-to-business .... 28
4.3 Useful contacts ............ 43
4.4 Top 10
recommended reads .... 44
3.6 How to skip stages ....... 31
1.4 How to use
the manual ..................... 6
Section 1
1.1 What is the
partnerships manual?
1.2 Why have partnerships?
1.3 What does a good partnership
look and feel like?
1.4 How to use the manual
1.1 What is the Partnerships Manual?
The manual is intended to help you find and grow long-term relationships with people in other organisations. These could be in the public sector (other
universities, funding sponsors, governments or charities) or the private sector (companies and industries). Where these relationships contribute to building
organisations’ long-term sustainability, we call them strategic partnerships.
The manual is aimed at research active academics, starting with those who want to be research active but aren’t, through to those having strategic
relationships with other organisations developed over as much as 10 years. It offers best practice advice on how to plan, think big, build trust and turn a
research project into a potential long-term strategic relationship that can develop and sustain our research activity.
1.2 Why have partnerships?
There is a clear trend towards working in partnership. Evidence shows that other organisations are thinking long-term, developing strategies that look 5-10
years into the future as Leeds has done with its strategy map. At the same time, the resources needed to achieve these visions are becoming harder to
attract as competitive forces play an ever-increasing role in our sector and the global economy.
Competitive pressures in industry are global. They force companies to innovate in a way that will make a sustainable, long-term difference to their bottom
line. In our own sector, the global distribution of intellectual capital has led to a clear trend in research funding away from traditional project cycles towards
longer-term funding with fewer, larger, cross-disciplinary awards.
Working in partnership is a proven way of reducing the risk and cost of achieving long-term sustainability. As the trends in both business and higher
education environments move increasingly towards working in partnership, organisations across a wide range of sectors will seek strategic alliances and
partnerships with universities as centres of creativity and innovation. This is a real opportunity for us.
1.3 What does a good partnership look and feel like?
Experience shows there is no single definition of a partnership, but there are many different kinds. Examples include:
Strategic business arrangements with clear deliverables, usually driven by academic research and/or expertise with significant market value
Less structured partnerships that are more business-to-business (B2B) and driven largely by organisational values and foresight
People can work in partnership with peers, funders, industry, charities and so on
Partnerships also have these sorts of characteristics:
Complete trust amongst partners. There may be formal agreements to protect partners when arrangements were set up, but they are no longer the
cement that holds the partnership together – trust is. Any barriers (either cultural or organisational) that exist between partners are minimised by trust
The partnership has a common vision that extends over 5 or more years and is clearly understood and supported by the partners
Strategic partnerships are managed by a dedicated professional team
There are regular meetings between partners that are well attended because people really want to attend
Working in partnership helps deliver exceptional results that could not be delivered in isolation
There is mutual benefit to partners in terms of human and organisational learning and development
Partnerships are an inclusive community – partners behave professionally and with integrity in everything they do
1.4 How to use the manual
Information gathered from people already working in partnership has shown five basic steps to building long-term strategic relationships. These are:
1. Know yourself.
This means you have a plan for your research and you’re starting to understand your position within your peer group – you know where you are.
2. Think big.
This means you have the foresight to see the opportunities and potential partners available to you and your research – you’re aiming for excellence and
you know what that looks like.
3. Gain trust.
This means you behave professionally and with integrity in your relationships with funders and collaborators, you’re proactive and responsive and you do
what you say you will.
4. Build the team.
This means you create the resources to manage your activities, allowing you to do what you do best – the research.
5. Make it business-to-business.
This means the relationship has become a strategic alliance – the senior executive teams in the organisations involved are helping to create a lasting
business-to-business arrangement.
The manual is designed primarily to help academic researchers develop long-term partnerships for sustainability of research. In doing so, it suggests that
any relationship or research funding programme (public or private sector) may have the potential to evolve into a long-term partnership.
The manual asks you to think about your current situation, and to try to identify it amongst a set of descriptions which cover everything from new lecturers
looking for their first funding to more established staff already involved with long-term partnerships. There are suggestions and advice on what you could do
to progress, and real examples of what others have done to succeed in partnership working.
At the end there is a section on recommended policy, outline principles behind three successful partnership agreements, a list of further reading and
contact details for further advice on working in partnership.
Section 2
2.1 Early days
2.2 Vision and planning
2.3 The market and the
2.4 The project cycle
2.5 The strategic partnership
Where are you now?
Can you recognise yourself or your current situation in one of these descriptions?
2.1 Early days
First research award or new direction
Perhaps you’re a new lecturer, a research fellow or a post–doctoral researcher?
Perhaps you’re looking for your first award – either a grant or a deal with industry?
Perhaps you’re still gathering your ideas together – you want to do research, but you don’t have a clear plan for where you want to go, or where you want to
be in, say, 5 years’ time?
Or perhaps you’re a more established researcher and you want to break into a new area or re–invigorate an existing one with new partnerships?
Go to section 3.1 – ‘Know yourself’ on page 10
2.2 Vision and planning
You know where you’re going – you have vision and a plan to achieve it
You know where you’re going – you’ve got a plan for your research that spans around 5 years and you know what you want to do.
Perhaps you’re looking for your first or second award, or perhaps you’re already working with someone else?
You’re beginning to build up a network of contacts both internal and external to the university.
You’re starting to understand where you fit into your peer group.
You’re starting to understand how your faculty and the university work and where they are going.
Go to section 3.2 – ‘Think big’ on page 14
2.3 The market and the stakeholders
You know your environment, the players and the opportunities and threats
– and you’ve found a partner or a funder
You’re working with a potential partner or funder.
You’ve won a research award that you’re well into delivering – either public or private (industrial) funding – or perhaps you’re working as part of a larger
cross-disciplinary team.
The research is going well and you’re pleased about the work you’re doing.
You have a good sense of your strengths and how the work you do fits into the global landscape for your research.
Perhaps you’re approaching the time when you need to think about further funding or applying for a larger award.
You know you need further funding for your research i.e. you need sustainability – you need to think about partnerships seriously.
Go to section 3.3 – ‘Gain trust’ on page 19
2.4 The project cycle
You’re in a project cycle or ‘preferred supplier’ relationship
You’re in a project cycle. Maybe you’ve had 2, 3 or 4 projects from similar sources or for similar themes – public or private funding.
You have quite a good relationship with your contacts in the other organisations. Perhaps you would consider yourself a preferred supplier,
or perhaps you would consider your relationship is a partnership?
Perhaps there is an agreement between you that’s written down?
You’re starting to think about what could happen 5 years from now.
You’re starting to trust each other – you’re all willing to work quite hard to overcome any barriers there might be between you.
Go to section 3.4 – ‘Build the team’ on page 24
2.5 The strategic partnership
You’re in a long-term strategic partnership that’s based on your research
Either partner could do business without the other if they had to, but it would be difficult.
You trust each other – any barriers that still exist between partners (either cultural or operational) don’t get in the way.
The partnership has dedicated management resources.
Your partnership is thinking 5–10 years ahead, and it’s planned on this timescale – it has a real vision that’s written down and you’re all working to deliver it.
It feels great – the meetings you have are productive and the potential is almost limitless.
Go to section 3.5 – ‘Make it business-to-business’ on page 28
Section 3
Know yourself
Think big
Gain trust
Build the team
Make it business
3.6 How to skip stages
3.1 Know yourself
This means you have a plan for your research, and you’re starting to understand your position
within your peer group – you know where you are now.
Before you begin anything, it’s a good idea to have a plan. Successful people will tell you that investing time up-front, thinking about and planning what
you do will increase your chances of success. Think of it as planning an experiment or piece of research, applying the same principles to managing your
business or career.
What to do
✔ Have a vision
Ask yourself: why are you here, now, doing what you’re doing?
What do you want to achieve – what is your vision for your research?
What would you like your research to be like in 5 years’ time?
What would your award portfolio look like?
How much income would you be enjoying?
Where will you be publishing?
How big will your team be?
Who would you like to be working with – international colleagues, companies, charities?
✔ Be realistic
Develop a realistic assessment of your current reality, your strengths, weaknesses and the challenges you face:
What are your strengths (for example: you personally, your research, your contacts, your location)?
What are your weaknesses? What are the things you are not so good at or the things that need to be developed (for example: visibility, reputation)?
Recognise that you probably can’t achieve your aims on your own. What must you do to create a team or the beginnings of a partnership?
What is it, exactly, that you have to offer a potential partner?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of other research groups in your national and international peer groups (who is ‘the competition’)?
Where are you now relative to them – where do you think you fit into this at the moment?
Why should a potential partner work with you and not them?
Use evidence and data to reach your decisions in the same way you would a research project.
✔ Have a plan
Identify your main priorities (what you want to achieve and by when) and the main barriers (what’s in your way).
Discuss them with colleagues – what can you learn from them?
Develop an action plan and stick to it.
Case Study 1
Helen Miller – National Pig Development Centre
The importance of planning for success
Helen Miller
Faculty of Biological Sciences
Research Interests
Nutrition of pigs and poultry with particular emphasis on health, feed intake and nutrient
partitioning for production.
[email protected]
Planning for success is all about awareness and vision: awareness of who you are and what you want to achieve, but even more importantly, awareness of
your environment or industry, its constraints, its needs and how you can contribute to these. When you have identified your niche you need to work out how
best to fill it.
This is where you need vision – an idea of where you want to be next year, in five years and in ten years time. Paint in the detail of your vision and you will
see who you need to work with, what you can make do with, how much capital you will require, the order in which targets must be achieved, etc. Be flexible
in how you achieve your goal, but not in the goal itself – and be ambitious! And if you are confident that the vision is right, keep going even when it is tough,
even when you cannot see the way forward – persistence will pay if you have thought it through properly to start with!
Case Study 2
Sam Lewis – Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
The importance of vision and understanding your environment
Sam Lewis
Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law
Research Interests
Race and criminal justice, youth crime and justice, criminological theory, prisoner resettlement
and probation policy and practice
[email protected]
Most researchers start out as small fish in a big pond. It is important to have a clear vision of what you want to become known for as your career progresses.
What are your key areas of interest? How do they map onto what research needs to be done in that area? Once you ‘know yourself’ you can think about
approaching people and organisations outside of the university. Which academics already work in the field, and are they willing to offer advice and guidance
or to collaborate on research? Which ‘gatekeepers’ hold the information required? In the criminal justice field the many ‘gatekeepers’ include the Home
Office, the prison and probation services, the police, youth offending teams and the Crown Prosecution Service.
The development of good links with such organisations is vital for sustained success, and since these organisations also commission research, further
opportunities exist for long-term partnerships. The Centre for Criminal Justice Studies is supported also by an Advisory Board with more than 20 members
drawn from key senior positions within criminal justice users and sponsors, which helps to sustain good relations with local and regional sponsors.
3.2 Think big
This means you have enough foresight to see the opportunities and potential partners available
to you and your research – you’re aiming for excellence and you know what that looks like.
Our strategy map recognises that we are in a global marketplace – world-class means just that: amongst the best in the world, not just the UK. Our aim is to
be excellent at this level, so we have to understand what that looks like and set our ambition accordingly. Opportunities for collaborations and partnerships,
and other organisations to work with or fund our work, go beyond national boundaries. You need to understand who they are and what you offer that would
make them want to work with you.
What to do
✔ Identify the key global stakeholders (the ‘players’ – funders both public and private, industry, governments, other universities etc)
Who are they and what is their strategy? What is on their agenda both immediately and in the long-term?
What are they looking for, what do they want (funders in particular)?
Who are your possible partners?
Think bigger still – what influences the global players (government policy, opinions in society, progress in technology, foresight about the economy
and business)?
What can you learn about the future and possible opportunities for your research from all this?
✔ Understand where you fit in
What does world-class excellence look like for you and your research? How would you describe it?
Do any of the players already look like this?
Do you? If not, how far off are you?
What do you have to offer from the point of view of any partner?
Again, try to use evidence where possible to inform your thinking and get your story straight – assumptions can be wrong.
You can get further advice on this from the marketing team in the Student Recruitment Office (contact details are at the back of the manual in section 4.3).
✔ Build a model for an ideal partner or set of partners
Given both your needs and your strengths, what would an ideal partner look like?
Which sector – public, private, charity or a combination?
How big? If it’s an industrial partner, is it an SME or a multinational?
Is location important? Partners can be internal as well as external
What sort of perception or set of values would they have? For example, is environmental friendliness important to the partnership?
What academic disciplines, experience and expertise do you need to make it work?
What sort of funding do you need?
Rank the possible partners according to desirability (strategic fit with your own plan) and accessibility (how likely they are to work with you).
✔ Increase your visibility
Think carefully about who you want to increase your visibility with – peers, funders, industry.
Internal and external networking is critical to develop contacts and relationships. Go to the right conferences and seminars, meet the players and talk
about how you can work together.
Consider help from the Alumini and Development Office to make use of our existing contacts. Contact details are at the back of the manual in section 4.3.
Consider holding an open day targeted at the group of players you’ve identified – invite them to our University and make it a showcase for your work and that
of your colleagues. This process will get you and your research noticed, develop your contacts and increase your credibility.
Keep a list of attendees and follow up with a call over the next couple of days – don’t leave it any longer
If this doesn’t bear fruit, follow up again a month later with a letter or email
Get some feedback on the day from your attendees – can you follow it up with a specialist seminar of real value to them?
The important message here is that things happen by the academic picking up the phone or similar and generating traction
Consider a short-term (a week or so) working visit from a potential partner. The International Office can advise on visa information and accommodation etc
for international visitors. Contact details are at the back of the manual in section 4.3.
Consider help and advice from your academic colleagues – those contributing to the case studies in this manual would be pleased to talk to you.
The Leeds brand as a research-intensive, Russell Group University is strong across sectors (public and private) – use it!
✔ Get to a win-win situation
Be prepared to compromise. Be prepared to demote your own agenda in favour of the new partnership/collaboration agenda to get to a win–win situation,
and be prepared to broaden your own research interests.
Try to describe the long-term returns. Evidence shows that partners receive more in the long-term than they give in the short term.
Never ask for money from an industrial contact you’re trying to develop. Try to explore what you have to offer and ways of working together.
Be prepared to do something for nothing (a ‘loss leader’). Take a calculated risk – it may lead to bigger things.
Don’t be afraid to do small projects to get started, but do consider the implications of FEC when working with smaller companies.
The Staff and Departmental Development Unit (SDDU) run many useful courses on negotiating and influencing skills, and developing commercial
awareness. These will help you understand (and show you understand) other organisations. Contact details are at the back of the manual in section 4.3.
✔ Get the deals right
Be explicit about:
the purpose of the relationship or collaboration
how the collaboration or partnership will benefit the partners in the medium to long-term
what each partner will commit
what is expected of each partner
what each partner will receive in the short term
Identify all the risks – ‘business’ risks as well as ‘technical’ risks that relate to the research. A good tip here is to follow the money – how is it split up, how is it
drawn down from the funder, what needs to be signed off?
Anticipate managing the contract and legal processes (especially in a larger collaboration or partnership) both here and in your partner’s organisation as
this can take time. If things appear to be dragging for no apparent reason, be prepared to involve others to get things moving (start with your faculty Dean).
Contact the Research Support Unit (RSU) for help and advice on research contracts – contact details are in section 4.3 at the back of the manual.
Start to work up a potential project plan. Most people find the following signposts useful in thinking about planning:
WHAT are we doing?
WHY are we doing it?
HOW are we going to do it?
WHO is responsible?
WHEN should it be done by?
Case Study 3
Susan Clamp – The Accenture European Health Innovation Centre
The importance of networks and visibility
Susan Clamp
Faculty of Medicine and Health
Research Interests
Evidence-based clinical information to improve decision making for clinicians and patients
through the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical decision support systems
[email protected]
The Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics (YCHI) was opened in 2004. The Centre brings together partners from the NHS, industry and academia;
one of its principal partnerships being with Accenture – a major supplier to the NHS National Programme for IT.
This government programme, delivered by NHS Connecting for Health, is currently investing £30billion in new and improved information systems over
8 years. Clearly change on this scale demands the kind of innovative thinking academics provide and Accenture have established their European
ealth Innovation Centre with YCHI, where the impact of new technologies can be explored prior to their introduction.
Through this experience we have learned that the creation of partnerships takes time and depends critically on personal credibility and visibility.
Our essential asset is the network of collaborators we have fostered who work at the ‘coalface’ within the NHS. This gives us access to the ‘live
environment’ – the real-world problems and solutions – that lend us foresight. It also gives us the visibility we need within this network to influence
the key decision makers.
Case Study 4
Walter Lewis – The Faraday Packaging Partnership
The importance of foresight and market awareness
Walter Lewis
Faraday Packaging Partnership
The Faraday Packaging Partnership is the largest innovation support network within the
packaging arena, managed by the University of Leeds and jointly funded by UK government
and industry.
[email protected]
Over the last 10 years, Faraday Partnerships have been a key initiative from the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), aimed at enhancing links
between industry and higher education in order to underpin long-term economic growth. The Faraday Packaging Partnership was one of four pilots which
launched the programme. Our activity is targeted at the packaging of retail products, and as such we work with international brand owners in consumer
products, packaging producers, materials suppliers and design agencies in addition to our academic colleagues. Our pro-active, market-led approach has
enabled us to establish a subscription-paying industrial membership of some of the biggest companies in the world. Within this membership, the Faraday
team have catalysed over £9.5M of R&D collaborations with academic researchers.
Key to success is a foresighting culture which rather than just asking company partners to articulate their needs, pro–actively seeks out insights into
contemporary social trends and takes these in debate back to industry and academe. In so doing, a rich and unique insight is developed into long-term
needs, which is used to drive opportunities for companies to work with academics in ways they could never find alone.
If you understand your market place sufficiently, you will be able to lead it.
3.3 Gain trust
This means you behave professionally and with integrity in your relationships with funders and
collaborators, you’re proactive and responsive and you do what you say you will. You expect your
partners to behave like this too.
Evidence shows that partnerships are cemented by trust. To gain further funding or progress from 2 or 3-year projects into larger, longer-term funding
arrangements you must build trust amongst potential partners and to do this, you must be a good partner yourself.
What to do
✔ Review the previous sections ‘Know yourself’ and ‘Think big’
Go back two steps and review ‘Know yourself’ and ‘Think big’. Does the plan still hold up? Who else could you be working with?
Take a look at our university’s values in Section 4.1. If you follow these while working in partnership you will not go far wrong.
✔ Build a community
Trust and the 1-team culture
Involve your whole internal team (research fellows, students etc) in the relationship – inclusivity builds trust. Try to organise student placements or
staff swaps in partner organisations, or send your students to important conferences
Consider other research-led teaching activities like joint supervision of students or graduate management training within your partner’s organisation
Let everyone in your team read through the next funding bid. Again, this builds inclusivity and the team spirit that is essential for sustainability
Recognise and reward the input of the wider academic team. For example, internal colleagues could share in any RAE-related financial benefits
Can you organise a visiting chair for a non–academic partner? This builds inclusivity and gives them something for their own personal development,
as well as status in their organisation
The same can be said for adding your non–academic partner to any publications as a co-author
Selfless leadership
Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes (internal and external collaborators) and evaluate how important the research is to the people in the team
– try to understand why everyone is there. Knowing this will help you create ownership of jobs within the team and ensure you deliver
For industrial collaborations, recognise the pace at which the private sector moves. You must fit into this, not the other way round – getting results
and reports in on time demonstrates your professionalism and integrity and builds trust
Remember your contact has a boss who will need to approve any further funding. Make this decision as easy as possible by doing something over
and above your contracted obligations e.g. an honest, clear and inclusive executive summary of progress against your plan
Go on a leadership course. You’ll learn how to be a better leader and you’ll meet other people in similar positions – contact SDDU using the
information in section 4.3
✔ Manage professionally
A good project plan will help you deliver when you say you will, and delivery will demonstrate your professionalism and integrity. A project plan contains the
following sort of information:
The objectives and activities undertaken by the partners
The roles and responsibilities of each partner
The background information required
Tasks and timescales – what each partner will do and when. Section 4.2 at the back of this manual contains an example of how tasks and timescales
can be communicated as a Gantt Chart
The risks to the project and the possibility of a longer term relationship
How progress in the project or partnership will be monitored and reported (and to whom)
SDDU run a good course on project planning and management. Contact details are at the back of the manual in section 4.3.
✔ Communicate Inclusively
Build a communications plan. Regular, honest communications build inclusivity, confidence and trust – partners who don’t communicate aren’t partners for
very long:
What information needs communicating around the partnership?
How often?
Who is responsible for communications?
What documentation is required?
How often do you need to meet? How will notes from the meeting be circulated?
Specify how you will communicate (email, video conference, phone)?
Be transparent. Don’t try to cover up when things are going wrong – report them to your partners so you can work out how to move forward together
Consider your external communications – other ways to increase your visibility other than networking and conferences:
Think carefully about who you want to communicate to and why (peers, funders, industry etc). Your communications strategy should depend
on your audience
Consider a web site or other promotional materials (brochures, leaflets etc)
You can get more help and advice on this from Media Services and the Press and Communications Office. Contact details are at the back of the manual in
section 4.3.
Try to expand your networking to cover other contacts within your partner organisation. There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of effort building up a
relationship with someone in a partner organisation over a number of years, only for them to move on, leaving you to start from scratch again. Unlike our
own sector, the private sector often places restrictions on the portability of people’s working relationships.
✔ Discuss a longer-term agreement
Discuss with your partner the possibility of a long-term agreement. Try to identify a common vision or set of values the partnership will work
towards delivering.
Most agreements between partners are bespoke but conform to the requirements of all the partners. Some potential partners may have standard agreements
they may wish to use. If we can use these it usually saves time – discuss it with the Research Support Unit (RSU – contact details are at the back of the
manual in section 4.3).
Section 4.2 contains information from three different, real agreements which might give you some ideas with which to approach your partner.
Case Study 5
Garik Markarian – The Ultra Electronics Alliance
The importance of customer focus and foresight
Garik Markarian
Faculty of Engineering
Research Interests
Communications systems architecture and performance and digital broadcasting
[email protected]
The success of any research cooperation depends on a mutual understanding of partners’ needs and creating a joint programme of work that will result
in mutually beneficial solutions. Our Centre for Industrial Cooperation in Wireless Technologies (Wireless CIC), sponsored by Yorkshire Forward, uses this
approach in all its dealings with potential industrial partners, including one of our key partners – ULTRA Electronics plc.
The Wireless CIC and ULTRA Electronics worked together to identify an emerging market in integrated aviation security and on-board video surveillance.
This, combined with ULTRA’s unique position as a supplier of solutions to Boeing and Airbus, and our unique experience in wireless broadband systems,
created the start of a partnership that has grown and expanded over time. Throughout this relationship, our visible commitment to delivering the goals of the
partnership (our ‘customer focus’) has been instrumental in securing the long-term arrangement we enjoy. Some of the outcomes from this partnership have
included a joint KTP project, support for an international symposium and many joint research proposals.
Case Study 6
Rob Knipe – Rock Deformation Research Ltd.
The importance of building trust
Rob Knipe
Faculty of Environment
Research Interests
The identification and quantification of deformation processes associated with tectonic events
[email protected]
Building and sustaining trust is a fundamental ‘must have’ for any successful collaboration. Firstly, you need to be trusted as an (or preferably the!) expert in
your area, and one with the vision and understanding of the problems facing your collaborator and their organisation. Secondly, you need to be trusted to be
able to provide solutions to their problems, which are not always the issues you may have considered initially. Thirdly, you need to be trusted to deliver what
is possible within time and to budget. Be the exception to the view that academics do not deliver on time and remember: do not attempt to solve everything
– the application of solutions in small steps works and helps to build continuous funding. Fourthly, remember that trust starts at an individual level. You
represent an opportunity for your contact to be a key innovator in their own organisation. If you can gain their trust as someone that can enhance their own
contribution to their organisation, you add to their career potential and create a win-win situation. Lastly, you will sustain trust if you ensure your partner
shares in the success of new results – initially within their organisation and later at appropriate conferences and in academic publications.
3.4 Build the team
This means you create the resources to manage your activities, allowing you to do what
you do best – the research.
If you’re at this stage, you probably have many grants and other opportunities on the go, many successive awards from the same or similar funders and
many longer-term relationships. You can’t manage all this yourself – you became an academic to do research, and both you and the university want you
to do that! A professional team can not only remove the administrative burden but the right team can create further opportunities and contacts for you
and your research.
What to do
✔ Review the previous sections ‘Know yourself’ and ‘Think big’
Go back and review your vision, plan and foresight – is it still right, is there a fit between this and your partner’s vision and values?
Do you feel comfortable discussing a long-term business arrangement with your partner that builds in dedicated management resources?
Look at the sample agreements in Section 4.2 to give you some ideas on approaches others have taken
Consider carefully the terms and conditions of your agreement and the management resources you will need to make it work
Talk it over with RSU, contact details are at the back of the manual
Why not? Ask yourself what would need to change to make a long-term agreement possible?
Is it time to consider other partners?
✔ Build in financial sustainability
Think about the management, clerical and publicity/marketing resources you need – review ‘Manage professionally’ and ‘Communicate inclusively’ in the
previous section.
Build a professional team
Build sustainability into funding applications at 20% of the total value for management and marketing. This amount might seem high, but at this
stage you’re probably better off spending money here than on more research you can’t manage
Professional managers cost money – consider at least 1FTE manager @ £40K. If part of this person’s duty is to generate more opportunities,
you could discuss making a portion of the benefits relate to their performance – talk to your local Human Resources officer or contact central HR
(contact details are at the back of the manual in section 4.3)
Consider a marketing and promotions budget of 10% of total costs
Consider clerical and administrative staff at £15–25K
Attend the SDDU Company Directors Programme which will provide you with further guidance on all the above. SDDU’s contact details appear at the
back in section 4.3
Other kinds of sustainability funding could come from yearly subscriptions paid by a number of partners to build a ‘club’ activity. The benefits of this to
partners (i.e. what the club offers and what they will get out of it) need to be thought through and demonstrated clearly, but could include:
access to equipment
access to collective and up–to–date scientific knowledge
first refusal on commercial developments
influence and involvement in creative developments that come from a world–class scientific network
Case Study 7
Tom McLeish – The Polymer IRC
The importance of trust and the 1-team culture
Tom McLeish
Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Research Interests
Molecular polymer rheology, the dynamics of phase separations in polymer fluids and self
assembled complex fluids
[email protected]
Reciprocal research relationships make us vulnerable. The rewards are great, but come only if we are prepared to share our time, knowledge and ideas with
our partners – and have enough foresight to recognise our own agendas in new, shared priorities. As this is true of all partners in collaboration, the desired
synergy is won only when a high degree of mutual trust has been built. Once created, trust needs to be nurtured, while it increasingly generates results. Our
experience with the Polymer IRC (a network of 4 universities and 20 industries) illustrates how trust starts with small beginnings. Members need only put
their toes in the river at first, giving little away (just a year’s small subscription and a half-day discussion perhaps) but this is where it is essential to provide
an early return, demonstrate that we can understand their viewpoint and priorities – and work with them as a team. Then comes the adventure of developing
personal relationships, making connections with other members of the network, building up the team and the reasons to trust. Finally comes such a degree
of symbiosis that it mutually modifies partners’ long-term goals, exchanging personnel and creating many-partner projects in the process.
Case Study 8
Simon Biggs – The Nexia (BNFL) Alliance
The importance of creating a professional team
Simon Biggs
Faculty of Engineering
Research Interests
Colloid and interface science and engineering
[email protected]
The University Research Alliance (URA) was established in April 2000 and provides a focal point for particle science and engineering research of relevance
to the UK’s nuclear industry. Funding from BNFL (and latterly Nexia Solutions) provides support for a core academic and administrative team that can
proactively network within the nuclear industry, building a significant knowledge base of current working practices and issues within the industry. This allows
the URA to interface efficiently with the industry and to provide informed comment and support on a wide range of technical challenges. A professional
management structure for the URA, led by the Academic Director and supported by the key post of Technology Manager, is viewed as critical by our
industrial colleagues. We can offer continuity in all communications and ensure that timescales for project delivery remain on schedule. Professional
standards of contract reporting, on time and to budget, are a key feature of the URA’s success; these are ensured by having a professional management
team leading the activity. As a measure of the URA’s success, since its inception, research funding in excess of £4.5M has been secured.
3.5 Make it business-to-business
This means that the relationship has become a strategic alliance – the senior executive teams in
the organisations involved are helping to create a lasting business-to-business arrangement.
This will help not only you and your research, but may help other academics and the university
as a whole.
If you have got this far (a strategic partnership with an agreed 5 year plan, cemented by trust amongst the partners that has, in all likelihood, built up over
several years) the chances are this manual won’t be able to help you much – although it’s always good practice to review your plans and market information.
And congratulations on achieving a sustainable research relationship!
However there may be some value in getting the executive teams of the partners together (VC’s and PVC’s; CEO’s and Chairpersons), perhaps over dinner,
to discuss developing the relationship further into a business-to-business relationship. This would be speculative and the outcomes might vary depending on
the discipline, but it could have a number of advantages:
Greater sustainability
Even longer-term
Increased funding
Development of other opportunities
What to do
✔ Think corporately
Look at the strategies and values of the organisations involved. Is there alignment at the very top of the partner organisations?
Sound out your contacts in your partner organisations. What would they think about taking the relationships to a corporate level?
If you want to take this further, in the first instance call the office of the Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer on extension 34060,
or email Gemma Pitt at [email protected]
Case Study 9
Calvin Taylor – International Creative Industries Research
Developing a business-to-business partnership
Calvin Taylor
Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communication
Research Interests
The contribution of culture and the creative industries to regeneration in local, regional and
national contexts
[email protected]
Research relationships, like any other kind of relationship, require a lot of hard work, copious amounts of goodwill and a desire to develop trust. At the heart
of all of that however, there needs to be a real business reason for making that investment of time, energy and effort. As academics, we need to be very clear
about what the relationship is about, what mutual benefits can be achieved and how those benefits support our core purpose and that of our partner. In my
experience, establishing the ground rules and having agreed expectations are critical, but we have to be prepared for relationships to evolve and for those
rules and expectations to be re-visited from time to time.
Relationships tend to start with one or two individuals who find an area of common interest and opportunity. Lots of relationships can flourish on that basis
but it does mean they are inherently vulnerable. That vulnerability cuts both ways: the University can lose a valuable partnership if a key academic leaves or
if a lone contact at the partner organisation leaves and there is no-one to pick up the relationship. We have to encourage a wider range of our colleagues to
get involved. Getting senior managers from the department or University to engage is very valuable and, similarly, networking with a wider range of people at
the partner organisation can also help to assure the relationship.
Case Study 10
Margaret Atack – The Opera North Partnership
Creating a business-to-business partnership
Margaret Atack
Faculty of Arts
Research Interests
The literature, film and culture of France in the twentieth century, particularly the Occupation
and Second World War in French fiction and film.
Contact our marketing director, Martin Holmes on [email protected]
The start point of this partnership was simply the realisation that two local organisations shared many of the same objectives and challenges! Informal
discussions quickly highlighted the potential opportunity, and the vision of a potential partnership was sketched out. Workshops played an important
role to ensure we maximised dialogue between the two partners, moving from broad agreement on strategic intent to develop a joint view of the benefits
and deliverables. The end result is that this vision for the collaboration between the University of Leeds and Opera North has evolved from a relatively
straightforward opportunity for sponsorship and closer working, to the creation of a partnership that will make a new and exciting contribution to the cultural
strength of the region. The outcomes will be new, jointly-created programmes balancing research, learning and teaching and performance activities that
could have only been produced within a partnership.
The benefits to be achieved from the partnership will only come through collaboration. The partnership will be academically led with support provided by
professional services as appropriate. There will be a clear governance structure and a management framework to ensure that progress is being reviewed
regularly, and the outputs will be managed within existing University frameworks i.e. through L&T, Research and EKT, with links between activities being coordinated within existing faculty processes.
3.6 How to skip stages
This means you accelerate the process, jumping more than one step at a time, saving a good few
years into the bargain.
If we believe the trends and influences described in Section 1, it will become more and more likely that market-led strategic alliances will become more
commonplace, and that other organisations (public and private sector) will seek to create partnerships with us or others for specific business reasons.
The act of forming strategic alliances in this way will bypass the ‘honeymoon’ period we have associated with developing strategic partnerships organically at
Leeds (and about 5-6 years according to most people’s experience) with a business-driven agreement and a clear plan that’s drawn up in partnership. There
is evidence that this is happening already: the NEXIA Alliance shown as a case study in Section 3.4 was the result of a tender process – NEXIA actually
tendered for long-term strategic partners! If you are not ready for this, you will miss opportunities. If you are ready for it, you can create opportunities that will
give you a competitive advantage.
What to do
✔ Plan for sustainability at an early stage and be aware of the opportunities:
Plan and identify the players as soon as possible – review ‘Know yourself’ and ‘Think big’. Identify the global players and opportunities for you and
your research.
Extensive networking is critical – it will give you access to people, information and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to do this at the highest level.
Think big and don’t be afraid to build costs for professional support into research applications much earlier. This early combination of vision and attention
to detail will lend you a professional reputation that compliments your academic reputation.
Discuss a long-term business agreement at an early stage if you think there is some strategic alignment – test it out and see what your potential
partners think.
4.1 Our values
4.2 Useful information
and examples
4.3 Useful contacts
4.4 Top 10
recommended reads
Section 4
4.1 Our values
Nowhere are these values more relevant than when trying to build relationships and partnerships with other people and organisations. It is worth reflecting
on what these few words mean to you, your research, your vision and your working relationships with others.
Academic excellence:
knowledge, academic freedom, critical independence, creativity, innovation, world–class performance
public service and citizenship; collegiality, teamwork and mutual respect
openness, transparency and honesty
diversity, equal opportunity and access
provision of effective and efficient customer–focused services in all aspects of our work (internally and externally)
4.2 Useful information and examples
This section contains the following information:
1. University of Leeds Policy on Exploitation of Research and Intellectual Property Rights on Page 34.
2. University of Leeds Policy on Research Contracts (The Lambert Collaborative Research Agreements) on Page 37.
3. The structure and principles behind three existing, different partnership agreements. Real examples could not been included here for reasons of
confidentiality. The agreements shown on Pages 39–41 are based on:
Sample Partnership Agreement 1 – Speeding up the process of approving research projects in the partner organisations
Sample Partnership Agreement 2 – How two partners will work together to attract and tender for further work
Sample Partnership Agreement 3 – The value of flexible resources
4. An example of a project plan shown as a Gantt Chart on Page 42.
University of Leeds Policy on Exploitation of Research and Intellectual Property Rights
This Policy is specifically incorporated into all employees’ contracts of employment and any legal relationship between the University and its students.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
1. There are numerous definitions of intellectual property (IP). In essence, IP may be regarded as ‘knowledge and its creative application’. In practical
terms all material generated by staff should be regarded as potentially being IP and generating intellectual property rights (IPR). Examples of IPR include
patents, copyright, performance rights, design rights and trade marks.
The University’s General Approach
2. The University treats students and staff equally in relation to IPR. Where reference is made to members of staff under this policy, students are to be
granted and subject to the same rights and responsibilities.
3. The wide dissemination of IP is obviously fundamental to the work – and indeed the idea of – a university; and (subject to only limited exceptions) the
University has in this context granted members of staff freedom to publish academic publications and take the income derived from these publications.
4. In the context of furthering its objectives as an academic and charitable institution, the University is committed, both for its own sake and in the interests
of its staff, to maximising the benefits which can be derived from the exploitation of IP. Thus, when IP is exploited commercially, the University is
committed to sharing the benefits of that exploitation with the staff concerned. The University’s policy on IPR is based on those commitments – and
they mean for example that the University and its staff must take all reasonable measures to protect the University’s IP. The policy is shaped also by the
consideration that the University and its staff must in any event respect IPR belonging to others.
5. In short, the University encourages active identification of commercially–valuable IP, suitable protection and robust exploitation to the mutual benefit of
the University and staff. It should be noted in this context that commercial exploitation (for example, on the basis of patents) need not be incompatible
with academic activities such as the publication of academic papers.
6. The University wishes to ensure that academic publications by its staff or students reach as wide as possible an audience free or at low cost
where this is in the interests of the University, and are also available for appropriate re–use within the University without payment to any third party.
This is not incompatible with opportunities for the profitable commercial publication of textbooks and similar works, or the commercial exploitation of
teaching materials.
Ownership of IPR and the sharing of benefits
The legal position
7. Although the legal position is inevitably complex, the law is such that, unless there are specific agreements to the contrary, the University would
normally be regarded as owning all intellectual property generated by University staff during the course of their employment. (Students are not normally
employees, but the effect of the contract between the University and its students is, in this connection, to place students in the same position as staff.)
8. However, not all IPR generated by staff during the course of their employment necessarily belongs to the University. There are two exceptions to the
general rule set out in 6 above:
(a) The University may, as a matter of policy, determine that particular categories of IPR should be vested in the staff who produce them. Nonetheless, the
University’s capacity to waive its claim to IPR is limited: partly for pragmatic financial reasons, but also because it is a charitable body (and therefore
obliged by law to do so), the University has to take all reasonable measures to seek to maximise the returns on its assets (which, of course, include IPR).
In practice, the University has decided not to make any claim over income earned by members of staff from academic publications.
(b) Some IPR is generated on research or other third–party contracts the terms of which may give third parties (usually the funding body in question) rights
over some or all of the IP. (In practice, such third–part rights will be negotiated between the University and the funding body before the research contract
in question is signed.)
Conditions of ownership, use and ownership of IP
9 The University’s conditions on the ownership, use and exploitation of IP are designed to reflect the general position under the law: the University asserts
its right to ownership and use of all IP generated by staff during the course of their employment, and it likewise asserts its right to ownership and use
of all IP generated by staff outside the course of their employment where substantial University resources have been used. The University is however
committed to sharing with the staff concerned the rewards derived from successful commercial exploitation of IP which they have generated.
Copyright in research or teaching material remains with the individual member of staff.
10 Against this background, the following specific conditions apply to the ownership, use and exploitation of IP
(I) Except as may be provided in a contract with a third party (for example, a funding body), except in cases where an individual has been employed
specifically for the purpose of producing a particular academic publication, and except where publication might result in the loss of an opportunity for
commercial exploitation, the University freely allows members of staff to publish academic publications which they produce and to keep all income
from those publications. (Cases of doubt or cases requiring interpretation should be referred to the relevant Dean in the first instance.)
(II) Subject to (I) above, the University owns and therefore has the right to use without limitation all material that is generated by staff during the course
of their employment and any material that is generated by staff outside the course of their employment but which is based upon substantial use of
University resources.
(III) The University when using material generated by staff will wherever practicable give due acknowledgement to the authorship of material.
(IV) Where the University commercially exploits material generated by members of staff it will share a percentage of the income it derives from such
commercial exploitation with the authors in accordance with 11 below.
(V) If a member of staff wishes to claim ownership of IP on the grounds that that IP was not generated during the course of that member’s employment
with the University and did not require substantial use of University facilities, he or she should in the first instance approach the Dean of the Faculty
concerned. The Dean may assent to any such claim at his or her absolute discretion, but must inform the Intellectual Property Management Unit
(IPMU) with whom the Dean is expected to consult in cases of doubt. Any dispute will be referred for resolution to a panel consisting of the Pro–
Vice–Chancellor for Research; either the Dean for Research of the relevant Research School or the Dean for Teaching and Learning of the relevant
Faculty; a nominee of the Leeds AUT; and a lay member of the University Council appointed by the Council.
11. If members of staff wish to seek the commercial exploitation of any IP owned in whole or in part by the University, they must do so with the consent of
the University obtained through the IPMU, which will advise on procedures and ensure that such rights and licences as are necessary are in place. They
must also seek approval from their relevant Dean in accordance with the procedures in place with IPMU.
12. Decisions on the sharing of any benefits from the exploitation of IPR will be made case by case within the following framework
(I) The individuals concerned (hereinafter referred to as the ‘inventors’) will be required to work with IPMU to ensure that all the Inventors are identified,
and that the origins and ownership of the IP are fully determined. It is also expected that they will agree between themselves the distribution of the
inventors’ share of any income or capital gain arising from the exploitation of that IP. Those who are identified as inventors may include academic
and related staff, support staff and postgraduate and other students of the University.
(II) The inventors will receive no less than 25 per cent and no more than 40 per cent of the net proceeds from exploitation (after meeting any costs,
including University overheads), the residue accruing to the University. In cases where a new company is formed to exploit the IP in question, the
inventors, subject to the agreement of the University Nominated Officer will receive shares in that company in accordance with the formula agreed
for sharing the net proceeds between inventors.
(III) The University’s share of the net revenue and any capital gain arising from the exploitation of IP will, in general, be shared with the resource centre(s)
in which the IP was generated. The precise share will be determined in accordance with the then current revenue and profit sharing policy as
approved by the Planning and Resources Committee.
(IV) Any disputes about the sharing of benefits will be referred for resolution to a panel consisting of the Pro–Vice–Chancellor for Research; either the
Dean for Research of the relevant Research School or the Dean for Teaching and Learning of the relevant Faculty; a nominee of the Leeds AUT; and
a lay member of the University Council appointed by the Council.
13. Similar principles will apply to the sharing of the University’s benefits from the exploitation of IP which is owned jointly by the University and a third party.
14. With the consent of the Head of School (or where it is the Head of School seeking consent, the consent of the relevant Dean for Research) members of
the University are entitled to use IP for the purposes of carrying out consultancies in accordance with current University policy on consultancy.
15. Members of staff are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the University’s IPR is properly protected, consulting IPMU at the earliest
opportunity once new IP with commercial potential is identified.
16. The University strongly recommends that staff producing research publications should not sign away their copyright. The University encourages
members of staff to contribute their research publications to an Open Archive where this is possible under the terms of their publication.
17. For the avoidance of doubt, the University acknowledges and accepts that in the case of any inconsistency, it is bound by its legal responsibilities and
obligations to staff contained within the general law that cannot be varied by these conditions.
University of Leeds Policy on Research Contracts
The Lambert Collaborative Research Agreements (contact RSU for further information)
The Lambert Review, sponsored by the DTI in 2003, recommended that a set of model agreements be drawn up to assist universities and industry,
particularly SMEs, to collaborate more effectively. Richard Lambert highlighted the difficulty that companies and universities have in agreeing over the terms
(especially the IP terms) of research collaborations and saw this as major impediment to greater industry–university collaboration. The models are now
available for use.
These agreements were initially created by an influential group of around forty interested parties from industry, universities, Government, RDAs and Trade
Associations. Richard Lambert came on board and created an inner working group comprising representatives from GSK, HP, Avidex, AstraZeneca, Rolls
Royce and from the universities of Cranfield, Liverpool and UCL. Manches solicitors undertook the task of drafting everything, assisted by a corporate lawyer
from GSK. The Patent Office and the DTI also provided support.
The primary motivation was to do something useful by reducing the time and angst consumed in negotiating Research agreements and thereby:
to increase the amount of collaborative work that is undertaken by making the whole process more transparent and by reducing transaction costs;
by helping to focus attention on the major issue – IP – and to bring some objectivity and compromise to that negotiation;
to reach better agreements – ones that unambiguously reflect the intentions and needs of the parties and that are fair.
There are five model Collaborative Research Agreements, each providing a variation on the theme of who owns, and has the right to exploit the results of
the Project. Whereas Leeds existing standard contract models focus on IP Ownership as the major issue, the inner working group agreed that IP Rights was
the real issue. Ultimately it does not matter so much who owns the resulting (foreground) IP – what matters is who has the right to use it and for what. This
makes the discussion necessarily more complex because IP Rights can be partitioned in all sorts of ways (whereas ‘ownership’ is ‘ownership’)
The models are available from Taken together these amount to quite a few centimetres of paper and seem quite
intimidating – but they simplify dramatically as soon as you realise that, in all but one of them (Lambert 5) they are pretty much identical except for the
Clause relating to IP (Clause 4).
The table below summarises the terms of each and there is a Decision Tree which is a questionnaire designed to direct the parties concerned to the most
appropriate Lambert agreement:
Lambert 1 University owns results and grants the Sponsor a non–exclusive licence to use in a specific field of interest/ geographical area
Lambert 2 As Lambert 1 but Sponsor also has option to acquire an exclusive licence to (specific field /geographic areas of) the results
Lambert 3 As Lambert 1 but Sponsor also has option to take an assignment of rights in (specific field/geographic areas of) the results
Lambert 4 Sponsor owns results (with royalty return if commercially viable) but University can still use for further academic R&T, on proviso that such
R&T doesn’t jeopardise commercial exploits
Lambert 5 Sponsor owns results but university has no given right to use or publish – this is straight contract research and on a par with consultancy terms
In reality, Lambert 2 and 3 may be combined so that the Sponsor has the right to negotiate an exclusive licence and/or an assignment. The outcome of
negotiations could be, for instance, that the Sponsor takes an exclusive licence in one territory and an assignment of IP in a different territory.
None of the agreements deal with the joint ownership of IP because this seems to occur more rarely than people think and it is more difficult for both the
Sponsor and the University to manage.
Their use is, of course, voluntary but they are expected to have major impact in our sector as they come into common usage. They do not, however, cover
situations in which there are multiple sponsors. The existing CBI–AURIL ‘LINK’ agreement seems to work well for these types of collaboration – available via
a link from the RSU website
The major shortcoming of the Toolkit is that it does not – and will never – prevent all disagreement and negotiation. Research collaborations are far too
complex for that. There is therefore a danger that we all agree completely on the terms of the various agreements but will disagree violently about which of
the five model agreements to use! The ‘decision tree’ will help to bring some objectivity to the process but will rarely provide clear answers.
There are plans to extend to a full suite of agreements over the next year to cover the majority of research related activities including MTA’s, NDA’s,
Consortiums, Studentships, Licences and assignments of IP, Consultancies and Grant donations for specific purposes. The beauty of this is that all the
definitions and standard clauses will tie up with each other and the Lambert Agreements.
Sample Partnership Agreement 1
University of Leeds and Company X Alliance
The need to speed-up the process of approving research projects in both partner organisations was recognised by both partners. A 5-year overarching
agreement was discussed that would contain all legal and contractual information usually present in long-term agreements or non-standard research
contracts. Research projects would then be written that ‘slotted into’ the overarching agreement, eliminating the need to discuss legal and contractual
requirements for each separate project.
Content of the Overarching Agreement
Scope (what each partner will do, what it is responsible for, what each partner brings to the agreement)
Constitution of the steering committee. This agreement chose joint Chairs (one from each partner) and included an independent member whose role
was to ensure the principles of the agreement were adhered to
Core funding and responsibility of the management team
The funding limit on projects covered by the agreement
Intellectual property rights of partners
Exploitation process
Communication process
Termination of the agreement
Dispute Resolution
Liabilities of both partners
Restrictive covenants including the limits under which partners may conduct business with competitor organisations
Work Projects
The overarching agreement refers to additional documents called “Individual Work Projects” which are covered by the agreement. These Work Projects are
bespoke research projects that were agreed initially and also developed as the partnership evolved. The normal terms and conditions associated with new
research projects refer, in the Individual Work Projects, to the overarching agreement. This means additional projects can be agreed and signed off very
quickly, saving an estimated 1-2 months on the approval process for each project. So far this overarching agreement has allowed over 65 research projects
to be approved across 7 years.
Sample Partnership Agreement 2
University of Leeds and Company Y Alliance
This is an agreement between two partner organisations that covers how they will work together to attract and tender for further projects. It builds in a lot of
the principles of Open Innovation (one of the recommended reads in section 4.4). The agreement is particularly open about the extent to which information
and materials will be shared in order to accomplish its objective, and particular attention is given to the Steering Group and professional team.
Content of the Agreement
Definitions of contractual terms
Scope of the agreement referring to how the partners will cooperate
Open use of equipment in both partner organisations
How information will be shared
Composition of the Steering Group having at least two representatives from each partner
The role and responsibilities of the management team (one project manager appointed by each partner)
How discussions with potential and existing customers will be conducted (who is responsible, how approaches from customers should be directed)
Intellectual property rights (existing and new)
Dispute Resolution
Work Share
The agreement refers to a Work Share arrangement that covers what each partner will do and how they will work together. Both partners’ tasks and
responsibilities in the preparation and submission of tenders for work are stated clearly, but there is also a clear emphasis on sharing information and team
working. The Work Share also notes how negotiations will be conducted by reference to a set of ethical values.
Sample Partnership Agreement 3
Alliance between Company Z, Leeds and three other Universities
A framework agreement between Company Z and four Universities (of which Leeds is one) in which Company Z agrees to use the universities as its research
resource for 5 years.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Universities agree to give Company Z the first opportunity to fund or co-fund any research ideas relating to its
business, and to take on agreed research projects providing solutions to Company Z as appropriate. These are significant academic research projects for
which publications are sought by all parties and not ‘contract research’.
The agreement contains the usual legal and contractual clauses similar to those outlined in the previous examples, as well as a mutual appraisal
arrangement. Under this arrangement, Company Z appraises the Universities according to agreed performance indicators, and the universities appraise
the Company similarly. The performance indicators are chosen so that this arrangement becomes beneficial to the business of being a good partner and
driving organisational efficiency, and not seen as a set of arbitrary targets that need to be delivered. One target for the Company is to reduce the number of
meetings it has by 50%!
The post-doc without portfolio
Key to the success of the agreement is the appointment in each university of a ‘post–doc without portfolio’. This is a fully funded 5-year appointment that
is not tied to one research project and for which no project deliverables are expected. This provides a flexible, responsive, expert resource that is able
to undertake short research projects quickly as well as manage the ongoing project portfolio of 22 projects. This researcher gains a unique portfolio of
experience, spending one day per week embedded in Company Z gaining work experience in the private sector and has great variety and choice in the
work undertaken.
Other teaching benefits have resulted for all partners. The involvement of Company Z in the undergraduate taught programme lends further credibility
to an already highly-regarded course, makes placements easy to organise and allows the Company access to graduates who can be fast-tracked onto its
management training programme.
An example project plan (shown as a Gantt Chart)
4.3 Useful contacts
Research Support Unit (RSU)
Telephone: 34081
[email protected]
Alumni and Development Office
Telephone: 36109
[email protected]
Knowledge Transfer Support Unit (KTSU)
Telephone: 33761
[email protected]
Human Resources
Telephone: 34146
[email protected]
Staff and Departmental Development Unit (SDDU)
Telephone: 34012
[email protected]
Student Recruitment Team (Marketing Research)
Telephone: 34845
[email protected]
Media Services
Telephone: 32668
[email protected]
Press and Communications Office
Telephone: 34012
[email protected]
International Office
Telephone: 33930
[email protected]
4.4 Top 10 recommended reads
1. Wild Rose Foundation Partnerships Cookbook
An excellent partnering guide for public and not–for–profit organisations in the style of a recipe book.
Download the pdf file at:
2. European Commission Handbook on Responsible Partnering
A guide to better practices for collaborative research between science and industry.
Download the pdf file at:
3. Why Strategic Alliances Don’t Work
This 2002 Forbes article shows the importance of values in a partnership (Section 3.3 – Gain trust). It shows why strategic alliances fail to deliver
when the most important ingredients (respect, honesty and trust between partners) are missing.
4. How to Create Successful Partnerships
A 2004 literature review focusing on the health sector, but the advice offered is applicable across disciplines.
Wildridge et. al., Health Information and Libraries Journal 2004, 21, pp 3–19
5. Using NERC Science
All the research council’s web sites have sections on partnerships, but this one is particularly informative. The principles it discusses apply
across disciplines.
6. Open Innovation
A book by US academic Henry Chesborough illustrating an approach to innovation that involves working in partnership – open innovation.
Harvard Business School Press 2003, ISBN 1–57851–837–7
7. Small Business Notes Guide to Strategic Alliances
A very interesting website for ‘small businesses’ – a term which, for these purposes, we can readily substitute with ‘large research groups’.
It defines a strategic alliance as a way to work together with others towards a common goal while not losing your own individuality.
8. Building and Managing Corporate Alliances in an Academic Medical Centre
Aimed at bio–medical research partnerships, but the general guidance offered is applicable across disciplines.
T. Melese, Research Management Review, 15, 1, Winter/Spring 2006
9. 1000 Ventures Business Partnerships Guide
A web site outlining the basic how’s and why’s of partnership working.
10. Becoming an Alliance Partner of Choice
An Accenture Point of View article. It is quite corporate but the advice offered is applicable everywhere.
Download the pdf file at:–D14D–4466–A965–284E2F440603/0/A4_Alliance_Ptr_of_Choice_PoV.pdf
University of Leeds
Leeds, United Kingdom
Tel. 0113 243 1751
Doc No: 10008895