Research and development budgets are expanding rapidly as competition gets more fierce and the globalization of products becomes increasingly inevitable. Kraft Heinz Co., a food brand you might think wouldn’t be overly vested in new products, spends 15 billion dollars on research alone per year.
While big companies outspend small and medium-sized ones substantially when it comes to developing and researching product possibilities, if your company is not partnered with a research team, you’re going to fall behind.
That truth is making many interested in research collaboration with universities or other private partners.
Research collaboration unlocks a host of development possibilities. It also offers fringe advantages to companies like yours. Curious to learn what those advantages are?
Want to know how you can go about forging research partnerships? If so, keep reading!
Why Invest in Research Collaboration?
Whether you’re working with a private research collaboration partner like ROSALIND Bioinformatics or public partners in government learning institutions, collaborating on research saves you time and hopefully, makes you money.
How exactly does research collaboration do that, and what other special advantages might you enjoy through investing in it?
Here’s what’s worth knowing:
Research Collaboration Outsources Expensive Work
You could hire internal research and development personnel to manage your development needs. The people you’ll need to hire will be well-paid, however. They’ll also need a litany of benefits that may very well cost more than their base salaries.
Collaborating with external research bodies, on the other hand, enables you to pay them contractor fees on a project by project basis. These fees pale in comparison to the expenses involved in keeping internal staff on-site and taken care of.
Research and Development Means More Products
One of the popular adages in the world of investing is, “You have to spend money to make money.” This is true when it comes to running most businesses.
Successful companies know that every product they create has a shelf-life. Once that life expires, they’ll see their revenue and profits drop.
By researching and developing new product iterations, you can keep a steady flow of interesting brands flowing to the market. That keeps your corporate brand relevant while money comes in.
Identify Top Talent
Research collaboration with universities, in particular, has the unique advantage of allowing your team to identify up-and-coming talent.
Imagine a student at the university you’re contracting is given a high-level job on your project. Let’s say they work well on your assignment and collaborate in a way that fits your team’s culture. What’s keeping you from offering that person a job upon graduation?
University collaborations, therefore, cut down on recruitment expenses.
We’ve touched on some of the why it’s worth investing in research collaboration. But how can you go about finding collaborative partnerships, either in the university circuit or via private firms?
That answer is easier than you think and looks much like the process for getting most contract jobs going:
Set Your Budget
Before you engage anyone, know how much you’re willing to spend. The moment you make your job public, bids will start flowing in. Only by knowing how much you’re capable of spending can you understand whether or not teams that are offering their services are worth engaging.
Put Out a Public (or Private) Request for Proposal
When you want contractors to bid on your jobs, you create what’s called a request for proposal. These requests outline the project, timelines, and sometimes, what sort of compensation will be offered.
Other times, compensation is left off and interested parties are given the edict to bid what they feel is fair.
Public requests for proposals can be put up on your website or proposal boards. Private requests can be submitted to companies and learning institutions that you’re most interested in working with.
Pick Your Partner
With your request in circulation, eventually, you’ll have a handful of partners that are interested in collaborating. Talk to each of them, discuss the scope of your job, and if a group feels like a good fit, take the leap.
The sooner you jump in with a group, the faster you’ll be able to get your new products out the door, so don’t hesitate too much!
After your collaboration begins with whoever it is you decide to partner with, hopefully, the heavy lifting on your project will be managed by them. Know that you will still have to work with your partner, to a degree, to guide their efforts in a direction that best supports your company though.
Much of this “active guidance” will be front-loaded since partnerships are always most cumbersome as people are being brought up to speed. Your involvement, however, should gradually abate.
As your project pushes forward, you can decide to continue your partnership with your contractor for future jobs. Or, if you feel they’re not a good fit, you’re welcome to divest your partnership to find a new research collaborator.
We Hope the Benefits of Research Collaboration Move You to Act
Business and university collaboration. Business and private entity collaboration. These are powerful tools when it comes to powering your development ambitions.
We hope that our post on the why, how, and what of the collaboration process hit home that point with you.
If you find yourself in need of more guidance or inspiration on research collaboration, talk to others in your industry. By doing so, you’ll learn more about how collaboration has helped companies. W
e also welcome you to explore more like-minded content on our blog!