A micro-level exploration of University-Industry collaboration to deliver clean and sustainable growth : How can we make it work?

King, Stephen and Gormally-Sutton, Alexandra and Larty, Joanne (2021) A micro-level exploration of University-Industry collaboration to deliver clean and sustainable growth : How can we make it work? Masters thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2021kingMScRes]
Text (2021kingMScRes)
2021kingmsc_r.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB)


Delivering against the objectives of clean and sustainable growth is a complex challenge requiring long-term collaboration between University and Industry. The process of developing effective collaborations in itself requires time to be effective. However, funding designed to stimulate these collaborations often comes laden with limitations which can create a shorter-term outlook and can hinder the development of long-term collaborations, creating tensions at the micro-level. If these tensions cannot be overcome then the success of these collaborations may only ever be partial. This research project seeks to assess and understand the ways in which individual academics and project delivery staff navigate this dichotomy between the long-term need and the short-term approach. To date there has been an emphasis on macro level explorations of University and industry collaborations (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000). There is much less insight into interactions, experiences and tensions at the micro-level. The literature that does exist focuses on topics such as; the causes of tensions (Cunningham et al., 2014; Miller et al., 2018b), barriers to collaboration (Rybnicek and Konigsgruber, 2019), measures of success (Veletanlic and Sa, 2018). and time restrictions (Lyall, 2019b). This study is exploratory in nature taking an inductive research approach. Utilising semi-structured interview as the primary method of data collection and focusing on one individual case, the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation (CGE) at Lancaster University. This approach enables the study to contribute to the literature in the field by exploring the tensions and challenges that exist at the micro-level in greater detail and framing them in terms recognisable to academics. By doing so the actions individuals put in place to deal with these tensions can be identified and the potential unintended consequences of these tensions and actions can be highlighted. By doing this we are in a much better position to understand how the University level processes and support mechanisms can be adapted and improved. Without this insight the structures and mechanisms that are in place may continue to only partially support academics and the achievements these collaborations can generate are going to be limited.

Item Type:
Thesis (Masters)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
29 Mar 2021 09:30
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:54