The trend is clear. SMEs want to collaborate with researchers and vice versa. The benefits for both parties are obvious, but knowledge partnerships do not happen by themselves. They require persistent process facilitation, the right match-up between enterprise and researchers and—last but not least—the support of professional business consultancy.

This was the basic concept behind the ‘Knowledge as Growth Engine’ programme, which over the past twelve months has provided the growth framework for 25 high-tech companies. Innovation consultants at Scion DTU have been responsible for screening the companies, matching them with one or more researchers at DTU and facilitating the process throughout the project.

In the course of the Knowledge as Growth Engine programme, the companies have gained new knowledge and feedback on their product development, enabling them to identify new market opportunities. Professional business consultancy has ensured solid commercial foundation for the development project, and process facilitation has optimized value creation from start to finish.

While most of the development projects resulted in major developmental breakthroughs, they were also fraught with challenges requiring perseverance, patience and determination.

“The all-important learning from the Knowledge as a Growth Engine programme is that continuous process facilitation is the crucial ‘kit’ in making product and business development go hand in hand.”

Ultimately, this created the necessary development that allowed the companies to move forward in their respective markets.

In the course of the project, the high-tech companies received 400 research hours from DTU, 45 consultancy hours with business consultants and 100 facilitation hours from Scion DTU. In return, the companies have invested 800 development hours of their own.

The knowledge as a Growth Engine programme has ensured that highly specialised technological knowledge centred at DTU has been given the opportunity to set root in companies who would otherwise have found it difficult to gain access to such knowledge.

The learnings of the Knowledge as Growth Engine programme are supported by the Damvad report from 2012, which shows that compared to a control group, companies that collaborate with universities realize an annual productivity growth of ten per cent over a six-year period.

Helle Nielsen-Elgaard

Founder at WeScale
I have personal entrepreneur experience from a couple of start ups. I hold strong skills in developing programs to support innovation for large groups of companies but always holding sigth of the individual approach and development.

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