Whilst there are stark differences between the work being carried out at universities and by businesses there is a common theme that will forever link them together; preparation for the future. Both academia and industry are striving for solutions to the real-world problems that have a significant impact on us all. Nonetheless, there is a difference in culture between the two and this leads to different approaches to tackling these issues.
Academics use public money to push the boundaries of knowledge and investigate new technologies. Often this gives academia the opportunity to work on more ‘blue sky’ research that is not usually available to industry as business directors need a quicker return-on-investment. Also, academics apply a wide variety of methodologies to problem solving and sometimes these have practical obstacles that prevent or impede commercialisation due to high costs, long processing times or low yields etc. This is where we see the benefits of collaboration.
Bringing together people from academia and industry with different but complimentary expertise and knowledge can lead to much faster product development and development of products better suited to the exact needs of the industry. Academics bring knowledge and results from cutting edge research and industry provides insight into consumer needs/behaviour, practical viability and scale up. Also sharing of facilities and resources can help reduce time and costs for both parties. Furthermore, connections made between university students and business profits everyone. Students gain valuable business experience and business establish a network of future innovators and leaders.
Structural Adhesives Ltd have strong relationships with local universities Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham and have collaborative projects in the pipeline. Structural Adhesives Ltd hope that collaborating with universities will support the company’s green agenda with projects focusing on sustainable adhesives and adhesives to aid with recyclability.