TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Developing of a Quadruple Model for Collaborative Research Actions between Higher Education Institutions and Industry



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-15-3968-8
ISBN (painettu)978-952-15-3957-2
TilaJulkaistu - 20 kesäkuuta 2017
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


This research focuses on new, more practical models of collaboration between higher education institutions and industry in European universities. EU, the national governments and especially the national economies demand that there should be more goaloriented actions for technology transfer and collaboration between HEIs and businesses so that the research and innovation results can be faster and more effectively capitalised. There is a research gap in combining the fluent partnerships, the applied technology research, the technology knowledge transfer and the integration of RDI and education with effective working methods. This research has concentrated on the modelling of research, development and innovation actions of HEIs, which aim at quality and practical RDI collaboration with enterprises as well as close integration between RDI actions and education.

The context of this research is the field of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (UASs) and in case studies the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) on the west coast of Finland. The goal of this research was to find connective factors and working methods, which can be utilised and focused on the research, development and innovation work at Finnish HEIs but also shared with other European universities in the future. In addition to all this the impact of the RDI work was studied in order to find the most effective factors affecting the integration of RDI and education and the engineering educators’ professional development.

This research solved real world problems of enterprises and HEIs with innovative models. The main research method of this thesis has been the design science research. The modelling of the technology knowledge transfer as well as the technology research, development and innovation inside each project were based on design science research methodology. Altogether, the whole research process rested on an idea of a new HEI targeted model for collaborative research between HEIs and industry.

This research confirms that partnerships between HEIs and enterprises generate several benefits, like new learning outcomes and need based competence development for the personnel. The partnerships seem to require constant development of the processes and actions, but this research indicates that well-functioning partnerships create researchbased knowledge to support innovation processes in the industry, foster new innovation creation and recognise new opportunities for future collaboration. The research results encourage the HEIs to set their own goals more vigorously already in the beginning of the process.

The technology knowledge transfer modelling of this research has been based on applied research cases, in which the research knowledge and practical skills have been combined in order to answer the needs and challenges of the enterprises. The main goal of the practical research work has been to apply new technologies to new cases and to create new applications. The impacts of different applied research cases have been identified from the different perspectives of enterprises, HEIs and students. The modelling is based on the generalisations of these identified impacts. This research generated three different models for technology transfer. These models introduce new approaches for need and dialogue based technology knowledge transfer. The models focus on knowledge increase and innovations in SMEs. The models are non-linear, emphasise the meaning of need recognition and consist of many iterative cycles. This research states that the technology knowledge transfer deepens the collaboration between the HEIs and the SMEs. The model also aims at increasing the responsibility of the enterprises and supports push to pull transformation of the technology knowledge transfer.

As a part of this thesis, the experiences of engineering educators working as engineering researchers were studied. The results indicate that applied technology research work can increase the engineering educators’ knowledge and practical knowhow remarkably. The educators highlighted new experiences and personal development. They found the applied technology research very arduous but also rewarding. This research states that the applied technology research work is an effective way of lifelong learning.

All things considered, this research was essentially a discourse of interactions between HEIs and enterprises, especially small and medium sized enterprises. The modelling of the actions and procedures have aimed at the interactions and collaboration that can add value for both parties. As the main contribution of this research the W4 – a quadruple model for collaborative technology research activities between higher education institutions and industry – has been created. The purpose of the W4 model is to create a WINWIN-WIN-WIN situation for the HEIs’ regional innovation environment. When the HEIs and industry collaborate according to the model, all the participants, enterprises, HEIs, students and the surrounding society, win as the collaboration creates several advantages for all of them.

To conclude, the W4 - a quadruple model for collaborative technology research activities between higher education institutions and industry – indicates clear benefits for enterprises, HEIs and students, who bring their needs and knowledge to the shared platform of collaborative technology research activities and as a result of these activities they all gain new knowledge, practical knowhow, and ideas for innovation and development. When the enterprises openly bring their technology needs and challenges to the process of collaborative activities, the HEIs can identify and allocate their expertise to these purposes and engage students to work within the processes.


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