Why Most University-Industry Partnerships Fail to Endure and How to Create Value and Gain Competitive Advantage through Collaboration – A Systematic Review

Arlindo Marinho, Rui G. Silva, Gilberto Santos


Purpose: The collaborative work between universities and enterprises is increasingly important given the growing competitive environment, transformed by intense global competition, rapid technological change and shorter product life cycles. In this article several case studies are analysed, as well as relevant academic literature, to get an insight concerning the current relationship status between enterprises and universities.

Methodology/Approach: The methodology is grounded on the literature review on University-Industry Partnerships, selected from indexed sources, and targeted to case-based experiences where practical feedback is given.

Findings: It is shown that university-industry knowledge transfer contributes significantly to an increase of quality, productivity and economic value of businesses. It is found that the lack of controlling mechanisms and lack of efficient communication paths have a strong negative impact in collaboration. Key collaboration factors that support stronger relationships were compiled and discussed in support of better mitigation strategies.

Research Limitation/implication: The limited availability of case studies reporting on operative improvements introduced by policy changes hinders the effectiveness of the findings.

Originality/Value of paper: The paper analyses the collaboration of the university with industry based on case studies with a focus on value creation and how to gain a competitive advantage through collaboration.


collaboration; knowledge transfer; competitiveness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12776/qip.v24i2.1389


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