An initial stakeholder meeting was held to discuss this project on 16th May 2016. A brief presentation from Nola Hewitt-Dundas provided an overview of the project, key research questions and data to be used – predominantly the BSD data (for local firms), the HESA and HEBCI data to profile universities and their interactions (see below). Reference was made to two earlier research projects undertaken for HEFCE which provide some of the starting points for the current analysis.
There was some discussion of data strengths and weaknesses and the possibility of incorporating other data into the analysis including potentially information on KTPs and material from an FP7 Evaluation. Scottish government are working on a similar analysis of the value of university-business links using the UK innovation survey data.
Two potential extensions to the project were suggested:
- The development of a parallel qualitative strand focussing on case studies of SME university interaction
- The use of the panel data nature of the UK innovation survey to investigate whether working with a university led to a change in firms’ ability to innovate
Other discussion raised questions about the IPR outcomes of SME-university interactions and the value of also considering process changes. The role of public support in stimulating collaboration was also highlighted as was the different approaches individual universities have adopted to promote collaboration.