Ecosystem & Trend

Case Studies on Global Industry, Academia, and Research Cooperation

In the wave of the fourth industrial revolution, the forms and details of industry-academia cooperation will continue to change drastically. Reflecting the needs of the times, other countries are taking on new challenges.


Written by Ok Wooseok
(Chief of the Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation at Incheon National University)

A few common characteristics link successful cases of industry-academia cooperation.
First, the governments and local governments provide the infrastructure to form an innovative platform.
Second, the universities participate in two-way knowledge sharing.
Third, although the universities, companies, and local governments have different objectives,
they actively discover common goals to achieve win-win situations.

Going beyond the ‘Tear of Malmö’ to Become the ‘Miracle of Malmö’ | Malmö, Sweden

After the fall of the shipbuilding industry, the city of Malmö achieved sophistication in its industrial structure by revitalizing the urban area. Back in 1998, the city of Malmö and the Swedish government established Malmö University on the site of the old shipyard in order to induce talented human resources. Malmö University facilitated improvements to the levels of education of those coming from immigrant families and the inflow of young people inhabiting the region. Then Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu chose to focus on providing a test bed for young people to feel free to come and experiment with whatever they chose, disregarding the disputes over promising industries.

Innovative Platform Established by Local Governments | Lab Central, U.S.A.

Boston’s biotech cluster is a representative case of open innovation. The neighboring universities of Harvard, MIT, and Boston University do not run any hospitals, outright; however, in collaboration with the state hospitals, Boston has grown into the largest city for bio venture companies to gather — surpassing even San Francisco. The biggest key to the success of Boston’s biotech cluster is “Lab Central,” a space where startups can co-work in labs provided by the city government. This facility has become a watershed to dramatically lower the entrance barrier for startups in terms of their need to purchase and utilize huge pieces of equipment.

Startup Innovation on Two-way Knowledge Sharing | Station F, France

At “Station F,” a startup incubator in Paris, global companies from different fields operate their own programs. Naver, a Korean company, is also housed in this French incubator, while excellent French business schools operate programs centered around their alumni. A success factor that differentiates Station F from other facilities is that the companies in the incubator equally share knowledge without the need for classifying a mentor and mentee. In addition, universities participate in programs conducted by companies so that a win-win structure can be formed. Universities nurture companies that become potential partners, and companies utilize the program as a channel for discovering human resources.

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