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Making university-industry collaboration work - a case study on the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories contrasted with findings in literature

  • Rohrbeck, Rene
  • Arnold, Heinrich M.

The growing competition in consumer as well as business customer markets is forcing industry to explore new ways to foster product and service innovations. To increase the clock speed of incremental innovations and raise the number of radical innovations, university-industry collaborations (UIC) are a powerful means discussed by practitioners as well as by scholars. This paper discusses the approach of the Deutsche Telekom Group (DTAG) of building a UIC by creating a separate organization. This organization consists of R&D personnel both from industry and academia and proves to be effective in channelling innovation potential. Being an organization with its own identity and situated on university premises, the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (DT Laboratories) offer different ways to overcome the cultural, institutional and operational barriers associated with UIC. The case study validates and challenges findings on UIC in literature. The paper closes with practical advices for the establishment and management of UIC and suggestions for further research in this field.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5470.

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Date of creation: 11 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5470
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  1. Rappert, Brian & Webster, Andrew & Charles, David, 1999. "Making sense of diversity and reluctance: academic-industrial relations and intellectual property," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 873-890, November.
  2. Gulbrandsen, Magnus & Smeby, Jens-Christian, 2005. "Industry funding and university professors' research performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 932-950, August.
  3. Loch, Christoph, 2000. "Tailoring product development to strategy: case of a European technology manufacturer," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 246-258, June.
  4. Hall, Bronwyn & Link, Albert & Scott, John, 2010. "Universities as Research Partners," Working Papers 10-9, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  5. Azagra-Caro, Joaquin M. & Archontakis, Fragiskos & Gutierrez-Gracia, Antonio & Fernandez-de-Lucio, Ignacio, 2006. "Faculty support for the objectives of university-industry relations versus degree of R&D cooperation: The importance of regional absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 37-55, February.
  6. Meyer-Krahmer, Frieder & Schmoch, Ulrich, 1998. "Science-based technologies: university-industry interactions in four fields," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 835-851, December.
  7. Phan, Phillip H. & Siegel, Donald S., 2006. "The Effectiveness of University Technology Transfer," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 77-144, November.
  8. George, Gerard & Zahra, Shaker A. & Wood, D. Jr., 2002. "The effects of business-university alliances on innovative output and financial performance: a study of publicly traded biotechnology companies," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 577-609, October.
  9. Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
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