Last year we blogged about our experiences of academic collaboration for the NCUB.

We explored how, as an SME, we had tangibly benefited from our relationship with the University of Reading and our experience of the Knowledge Transfer Parnership Scheme (KTP).

We also shared our thoughts on the future of business and academia collaborations and the need for clearer channels of communication to be opened between both parties.

“Let’s talk openly with course leaders and academics to ensure employability and soft skills are a focus throughout college and university education…

Let’s focus on getting employers into schools even earlier…speak with careers advisors to offer an insight into what small business leaders are really looking for…

[These] conversations need to be happening between SMEs and academia now, in order to educate, inspire and effect change.”

Now, as we approach the next wave of graduates, college and school leavers entering the world of work and seeking opportunities, it feels as though this post is still significant.

As small businesses, our scope for change is more limited in terms of our resources, visibility and manpower. But working together, and with academic institutions, we can make a positive difference to young job seekers in our local communities, be that through work-experience, careers talks, employability skills workshops or longer term projects.

What’s equally vital is that we communicate to other local businesses that an academic collaboration is also commercially worthwhile, and that the support of an academic institution can bring great outcomes to a business.

“Our relationship with the University has gone from strength to strength”

Read it now: An SME’s Perspective on Academic & Business Collaboration

Find out more:

Hear what Director Karen had to say at Henley Business School about SMEs and academia

Meet Karen and find out more about her work

Discover why SMEs need to lend their voice in praise of apprenticeships

Learn more about our work with local charity, the Basingstoke Consortium

Visit the Basingstoke Consortium’s website

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.