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Creating A Successful Academic Industry Partnership With Industry: Southeast Missouri State University's Experience

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.178.1 - 5.178.4



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Athula Kulatunga

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2647

Creating a Successful Academic-Industry Partnership with Industry: Southeast Missouri State University’s Experience

Athula Kulatunga, Ph.D., CEM Southeast Missouri State University


Partnerships between academia and industry can be beneficial to both parties in many ways. Through such partnerships, new experiential learning opportunities for students can be initiated, professional development opportunities for faculty can be enhanced, and new technologies can be introduced to area industries and students. This paper discusses how to initiate university- industry partnerships, how to identify potential industries for partnerships, how to get the support from administration, how to put partnerships to work while fulfilling departmental needs, and how to avoid common pitfalls.

I. Introduction

Industries are continuously challenged to reduce production costs, increase productivity, improve product quality, and comply with environmental concerns. The competitive edge of industries can only be maintained through ongoing evaluation of the manufacturing practices and re- training of the workforce. With shrinking budgets, academic departments are challenged to find alternative ways to introduce new technologies to students, internship opportunities, and field experiences.

To achieve these goals, a unique partnership between industry and academia is needed. The creation of the Manufacturing Technology Resource Center (MTRC) at Southeast Missouri State University is one way to facilitate the changes needed by Missouri’s manufacturing concerns while providing means to educate students and industry employees about new technologies and their applications.

The mission of MTRC at the Polytechnic Institute is to introduce modern and energy efficient technologies to students, area manufacturers, and the public through continuous partnerships with industries. MTRC believes that continuous training and education of the workforce is one of the pillars of successful industry.

II. Initiating Academic-Industry (AI) Partnership

First, you need to identify a company or an organization that has strong ties with many industries in your area. One of the best candidates for this is your area utility company. Utility companies are interested in introducing value added services and increasing energy efficiency of industrial and commercial customers. Some utility companies are already helping industries to perform energy audits, reduce energy waste, etc. Area Chambers of Commerce will be able to provide a list of companies who are really interested in community development.

Kulatunga, A. (2000, June), Creating A Successful Academic Industry Partnership With Industry: Southeast Missouri State University's Experience Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8248

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