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The Importance of Connecting with Industry

Connecting with the industrial world is becoming more common for academics. In this blog, learn about how Connecting with Industry helps bridge the gap between academia and industry, giving researchers the skills and tools to confidently work with, or for, industry.
25 Mar 2021

Connecting with Industry – Bridging the Gap

In our previous blog, we looked at the origins of our Connecting with Industry programme and how has evolved in since its creation.

This week, we are diving a bit deeper into how the programme better aligns researchers with the needs of industry, leading to richer partnerships and career progression.

 

It’s complicated…

More and more, universities are appreciating the benefits of a relationship with industrial partners. From furthering research and scaling it to important funding opportunities, the relationship between academics and industry is evolving all the time.

However, there can often be a misalignment between researchers and industry. Researchers can easily be sucked into the ‘academic bubble’. Whilst this is not necessarily a bad place to be, it can limit opportunities. Researchers don’t always know the best way to approach industry or how to translate their technical language into something suited for a commercial partnership.

 

“The biggest challenge in getting Industry and Academia to work together well is that they speak different languages. If you can translate your technical knowledge into the language of industry, so that they understand what your research means to them, you’ve cracked it. That is one of the most valuable skills of all for working with or in industry.”

Chelsea Brain, Technology Transfer Officer @ Northumbria University

 

…but it doesn’t have to be.

Connecting with Industry bridges this gap. It brings experts in key areas together to deliver training that will open researchers to the industrial world. By building skills such as communication, networking, and learning how to position themselves as experts, researchers are provided with the tools to aid career progression – either by enhancing relationships with industry as an academic or moving to a career out with academia.

Built into the course is ‘Conversations with Industry’ where participants hear directly from those in industry. We’ve worked with industry representatives from huge multi-nationals, start-ups and social enterprises such as. This gives our participants a broad outlook across sectors and allows perspectives from several people with diverse career backgrounds, opinions, and advice.

A real concern of many researchers is simply not knowing enough about industry. Not only does Connecting with Industry teach skills and tools to enrich relationships with industry, but it also provides a better understanding of the needs and expectations of researchers from industry. This knowledge is incredibly powerful for our learners, boosting their confidence in themselves and when interacting with industry.

 

“It’s an excellent programme that gives some very valuable insights into getting a job in industry and how to effectively communicate your value to them. The connections you can make during this course with peers is also very valuable.”

Course Participant, University of Oxford

 

Ready to find out more?

At Skillfluence, are really proud of our Connecting with Industry programme. After lots of consultation with PhD students and early career researchers, we think we have designed a programme that really brings value and impact to them. Our feedback suggests this is the case. We want researchers to have confidence in themselves and their work. Connecting with Industry gives individuals practical skills and advice to progress to the next stage in the career, whatever that is.

Want to know more about running Connecting with Industry for your researchers? Contact us here.

 

Interested in knowing more about questions PhD students and early career researchers have for industry? Register here for our Skillfluence Insights webinar on Thursday 15th April 2021 and hear the results from over 300 surveys of Connecting with Industry participants.

 

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