Two Cultures - Joint Success
For a future driven by technology and businesses built on knowledge and innovation, the role of R&D (Research and Development) between industry and academia plays a vital role in the way we do business. As a result, the function of project management in this area is of critical importance. Although inter industry-academia R&D is not a new concept, the guiding principles of project managing industry-academia R&D is by nature somewhat delicate and undefined. However, an organisation that has gained unique experience in this area is the Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre).The EPECentre is an industry funded Centre of Excellence for electric power engineering, hosted within the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch. The experience of the EPECentre in R&D and lessons learned on the intricacies of inter industry-academia R&D project management has revealed ‘insider’ information on issues such as understanding cultural differences between industry and academia, allowing for contingency to operate in this environment, achieving realistic deliverables, etc., knowledge which could potentially add value to any organisation wishing to establish R&D links with academia and create win-win situations for both industry and academia – two cultures, joint success!