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