Asee peer logo

Identifying Roles in University-Industry Research Partnerships

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session


Tagged Topics

Diversity and Corporate Member Council

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.876.1 - 26.876.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Lynette F. Wilcox Virginia Tech

visit author page

Lynette Wilcox is a doctoral candidate in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. She has been investigating various aspects of academic and industrial partnering while completing her dissertation research on trust in university-industry research partnerships. Wilcox has held administrative and research assistantships with the NSF Center for e-Design to support her research work in this area. Additionally, she also holds a Master's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Identifying Roles in University-Industry Partnerships ABSTRACTThe term “university-industry partnership” is quickly becoming an over-generalized term used todescribe many different ways academia and industry engage with one another. There isincreasing national interest in the U.S. for developing stronger connection points and reducingbarriers to collaboration between academia and industry participating in partnerships. However,the ambiguity of the term “university-industry partnership” makes it difficult to apply research-based recommendations for improving partnering processes. A clear distinction of the types ofroles and relationships within given organizational settings should be specified when using theterm “university-industry partnership”.The purpose of this study is to identify the roles of “university-affiliated” participants and“industry-affiliated” participants in university-industry partnerships. The various roles are thendescribed in the context of the relationships between the academic and industrial participants. Aliterature review is conducted to identify these roles and relationships within the context of sixcommonly practiced mechanisms for university-industry partnerships at research-intensiveuniversities: 1) University Research Centers, 2) Research-Technology Parks 3) TechnologyTransfer/Sponsored Research Offices 4) Industry Advisory Boards 5) IndustrialEmployment/Career Services 6) Vendor relations. For each mechanism, examples ofrelationships, challenges associated with each type of relationship, and potentialrecommendations for future directions of the relationships are obtained from the literature. Theresult of this study is a role-based theoretical model of university-industry partnerships.A role-based theoretical model can be useful for researchers and practitioners to clearly discernthe types of relationships that are relevant to the work they conduct in university-industrypartnerships. One key factor in improving university-industry partnerships is understanding thenature of the roles and relationships one is trying to improve. Clarifying these roles will behelpful for moving forward with a more focused research agenda for university-industrypartnerships.

Wilcox, L. F. (2015, June), Identifying Roles in University-Industry Research Partnerships Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24213

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015