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Companies profit from collaborating with the University of Copenhagen – University of Copenhagen

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2 August 2012

Companies profit from collaborating with the University of Copenhagen

11 billion Danish kroner – that is how much private companies gained as a result of research collaboration with the University of Copenhagen during the period 1998-2008.

Companies entering into collaboration with the University of Copenhagen increased their productivity per employee by a yearly average of 6.5 pct. corresponding to an annual net gain of 52,000 DKK per employee. 

This encouraging link between Research and Development (R&D) collaboration with the University and an increase in productivity is documented by an economic impact analysis, carried out by the consultancy company Damvad.

goSupermodel logoAs well as an overall economic analysis, the report includes case studies. One of the success stories described in the report is the collaboration between the Centre for Communication and Computing and watAgame, the company behind the online community goSupermodel. 

The report stresses how researchers and watAgame had a mutual interest in analysing the activities of the users of the website. For the company, the new knowledge gained is highly useful for developing the site to increase its appeal to the users. For the researchers, data about the actual behaviour of users on a community website is particularly valuable and holds the potential for further research.

In general, the report uses the case studies to show that formal R&D collaborations only represent a fraction of the ties between companies and researchers. Less visible and less formal interactions play a crucial role in building and maintaining ties between universities and companies.

Our collaboration with watAgame is a good example of the kinds of results that can follow from these less formal collaborations, says Assistant Professor Rasmus Helles from the Centre for Communication and Computing.

Rasmus Helles

Rasmus Helles

He continues, Insights provided by researchers from the humanities and social sciences are often useful to companies at an earlier stage in the business development process than R&D projects aimed at specific R&D tasks, development of patents and so on, and this is often better achieved through more ad hoc collaborations.

The report goes on to recommend that policymakers stimulate these other forms of interactions, in particular the establishment of long-term relationships between scientists in companies and at universities.