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A proactive approach to engagement with industry is increasingly forming an integral part of Higher Education Institute (HEI) strategy. At the heart of this engagement focus is the recognition of the need to transition from shorter term transactional relationships to longer term interactive relationships (Jeffrey, 2009)
Recognising this need, Technological University Dublin (DIT), one of the largest Higher Education Institutes in Ireland and a pioneer in technological education, sought to create a framework which could foster ongoing dialogue between industry and Institute thereby creating an informed, trusting and supportive environment within which mutually beneficial interaction could be progressed.
Accordingly, in 2010, DIT established a Corporate Partnership Network to provide a structure to support the development of academic industry relationships through a better understanding of each other’s environments. By creating an informal yet structured approach, the Network is designed to facilitate the establishment and fostering of long term industry partnerships and to assist industry achieve their organisational objectives in collaboration with DIT.
This practitioner case study will document the growth of a relationship between DIT and Bord Gais Networks, a state owned utility company which develops, operates and maintains the natural gas transmission and distribution networks in Ireland. It will highlight the development and role of the DIT’s Corporate Partnership Network in supporting the relationship and its role as a catalyst in generating a variety of interactions including third party accreditation of the company’s training centre, guest presentations, memoranda of understanding, research scholarship sponsorship, and joint programme development. It will also describe organisational approaches at divisional level which support the relationship development.
Kirk,D., Nolan,L. (2014), 'Partnering for the Future: A Case Study in Building Long Term Academic Industry Relationships', UIIN Annual Conference, Barcelona, 24 April.