Science and business – complicated relationships – Special Supplements

Ewa Kawecka, international ICC coach, career advisor.

The development and implementation of innovations is one of the pillars of the knowledge-based economy. It is also an important element of the social and economic cohesion policy. In order for the Polish economy to increase its competitiveness, cooperation between science and business is necessary. Both circles are more and more willing to take it up. It is the activity and cooperation of universities, research institutes, innovation centers and technology parks that determines the creation and application of innovative solutions on the market. What is important in this type of business relationship?

Ewa Kawecka: Such relationships may take place on an institutional level, but also on a personal level, when they are based on cooperation with specific people. This is usually a much more effective way to achieve satisfactory results on both sides. At the beginning, I recommend that you build contacts with specific people, instead of establishing official inter-institutional cooperation. The word networking “has a special meaning here. Personal relationships allow both parties to better understand the specifics of their work, which differs in both the understanding of the concept of time and the operating model itself. Business is focused on success, while the area of ​​research and innovation includes failure and failure. It proves by no means the inefficiency of the world of science represented by universities. The basis of good cooperation is the attempt to put on the shoes of the other party and look at the world from their perspective. It is important to be able to jointly define a goal worth achieving, because our Polish courtyard shows that universities sometimes they work on areas of research that have already been considered unprofitable in Western Europe or the USA, while there are also areas of interest in science and business that have a small part in common, so it is so important to define a goal worthy of both parties.

Business and science don’t always get along. Experts emphasize that such cooperatives are often lame and point out that although we have a strategy that motivates universities to cooperate with business, there is no incentive from state authorities, there are problems with communication between entrepreneurs and scientists, and understanding is also lacking. What needs to be changed to bring science and business closer?

It is definitely important to work on a common goal, which is a win-win situation in which everyone sees both value and benefit. Currently, many companies switch to survival mode during a pandemic. Some joint projects requiring financial outlays have been frozen, and others have lost their raison d’être. However, new challenges appeared. The only question is how quickly the university world will flexibly adapt to these changes.

It must be remembered that business and universities are two different worlds, each environment has different expectations and different patterns of conduct.

How, then, is it effective in establishing and overshadowing cooperation, especially in a difficult time of the pandemic?

You should definitely not be closed to new opportunities. Cooperation between entrepreneurs and scientists requires consistency and a lot of patience. Recently, the way of establishing and maintaining relationships that are going online has changed. The existing online relationship is easy to maintain, but it is more difficult to create it, based on mutual trust.

For such cooperation to be successful, these relationships require an understanding of each other’s needs. It happens that scientists do not always want to conduct research in the areas indicated by business, and entrepreneurs must realize that science is not conducive to rush. It seems to me that both sides lack the trust which is necessary for successful cooperation.

– The article was created as part of a promotional and information supplement Innovation Biotechnology.

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