April, 2020

Creating Strategic Industry Partnerships


Interested in joining the workshop and an international network of professionals passionate of driving university-business cooperation?

Register now

This two-day workshop will be held from Monday 17th to Tuesday 18th June 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. The workshop will consist of presentations and practical exercises. Participants will be encouraged to collaborate with each other and to share their experiences.


  • London South Bank University (United Kingdom)
  • LTU Business AB (Sweden)
  • University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (Germany)
  • University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • University of Oslo (Norway)
  • The British University in Egypt (Egypt)
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Groningen (Netherlands)
  • University of Malaga (Spain)
  • Reykjavik University (Iceland)
  • SABIC (Saudi Arabia)
  • University of Technology Sydney (UTS)



The workshop will offer the opportunity for participants to gain insights in the latest research on strategic partnership management, with input from both business as well as universities. During the workshops participants will share good practice case studies from their own universities, as well as learn from a variety of good practices from corporations and universities in Europe and the United States.


From workshop

"Since 2014, Linköping university has run a strategic partnership program and has today eight strategic partners. Even though the workshops title is “Creating Strategic partnerships”, the workshop was very useful for us. We were two senior participants from LiU and the workshop gave us a chance to reflect, criticize and evaluate our processes together with other experienced people from all over Europe, everybody with the aim to become more professionalized in the area. The workshop moderators are very skilled and their different backgrounds is a great asset in these academy-industry-discussions. I highly recommend to participate in one of these events."
Dr. Maria Swartz, Chief Strategic Officer at Linköping University


Everybody wants to develop their business contacts into strategic business partnerships. But what does “strategic” really mean and how to do it? Based on years of research, numerous case studies, benchmarking with multinational companies and practical experience from both business and universities, we have identified five success factors for creating and sustaining strategic partnerships. In this workshop you will use the Partnership Canvas as a tool to assess and develop your institutions partnership approach along these success factors.

Gain insights into the success factors for strategic partnerships, share experience and best practices, assess and further develop your current engagement with external partners, and learn a methodology that you can use in your home institution.

Designed for
This workshop has been devised to support university managers, leaders, administrators, professionals in the interface with industry, academics and researchers who are seeking improvements in their partnership management. As a workshop participant you will receive a workshop certificate, issued by the University Industry Innovation Network and signed by the workshop facilitators.

We first present insights from the book “Strategic Industry-University Partnerships - Success-Factors from Innovative Companies” on what large corporations consider their success-factors for university collaboration. This serves as a starting point to develop a common understanding of what makes a partnership strategic and a common language to discuss this issue. We will then introduce the Partnership Canvas as a tool to systematically assess and develop different aspects of a strategic partnership.
A large part of the workshop is dedicated to facilitated group work. Participants will work with the canvas in groups of 3-4 to first assess their current partnership approach. They will then identify tensions and gaps and together develop ideas on how to mitigate them.

  • Get insights into the university-partnership approach of eight leading global companies,
  • Develop a common understanding of “strategic partnerships” and share best practices,
  • Work with the Partnership Canvas in small groups to assess and develop your partnership approach,
  • Tour around the Amsterdam Science Park area including the innovative Start-Up village,
  • Dinner at one of Amsterdam’s iconic restaurants.
As a result of this workshop, participants will have:
  • A better understanding of what makes a partnership strategic,
  • Specific best practices from leading companies and other universities,
  • An assessment of the partnership approach of your institution, including gaps and tensions,
  • Concrete ideas on how to close the gaps and mitigate the tensions,
  • A methodology that can be used in your home institution to facilitate a discussion and trigger a change of mindset,
  • A trusted network with like-minded professional facing similar issues.


Dr. Lars Frølund
Dr. Lars Frølund is the Research Director of MIT Innovation Initiative and a Visiting Fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research focuses on the success factors for university-industry partnerships, innovation ecosystems, and mission-driven research and innovation. He is the co-editor of the book Success Factors for University Partnerships where leading global companies describe their excellence in industry-university collaboration and “Developing Successful Strategic Partnerships with Universities” published by Sloan Management Review. He is on the board of the Danish Innovation Fund and was a Fulbright Scholar at MIT in 2016/17. He lives with his wife and two children in Boston, USA.

Dr. Max Riedel
Dr. Max Riedel manages the ZEISS Innovation Hub @ KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), which fosters education, networking and collaboration between KIT students and researchers, and ZEISS staff. Max previously worked at Siemens University Relations, where, among other things, he was responsible as key account manager for two of Siemens strategic partner universities and the company's PhD network. Max holds a doctorate in quantum physics with experience in management consulting. In 2017/18, he was delegated to the University of Ulm to support the ramp-up of the Quantum Technologies Flagship initiative, one of the European Commission’s most ambitious long-term projects to bring technology from the lab to the market.

Together with Lars Frølund, Max is co-editor of the book “Strategic Industry-University Partnerships – Success-Factors from Innovative Companies ” (Elsevier,2018).

Example timetable


08.30 - 9.00: Registration

09.00 - 9.30: Introduction – from ad hoc to strategic partnerships

09.30 - 10.30: Success factors for university-industry collaboration - the company's perspective

10.30 - 11.15: How to use the Industry Partnership Canvas to assess industry engagement approach

11.15 - 11.45: Coffee

11.45 - 13.00:  Group Work: Assessing your industry partnership

13.00 - 14.00: Lunch

14.00 - 15.30: Using the canvas to explore and define the direction of your industry partnerships

15.30 - 16.00: Coffee break

16.00 - 17.30: Role and skills of the intermediary

17.30 - 19.00: Free time

19.00: Dinner and networking


08.30 - 9.00: Coffee & Reflections on Day One

09.00 - 10.00: Canvas finalisation

10.00 - 11.30: Presentation of Partnership canvasses

11.30 - 12.00: Implementation and best next steps

12.00 - 12.15: Conclusions and wrap-up