Strategic Partnerships

Working in partnership with external organisations is an essential component in the realisation of the University's strategic vision. Partnerships can help maximise the impact and influence of the University's research, innovation and teaching on society. Collaborating with external partners can also provides academics with a readymade pathway to impact for public funded research or an alternative source of research funding as universities increasingly look to diversify income streams.

This strategy presents a methodology for focusing efforts across the University on a select number of strategic partnerships that offer the greatest potential return for both the University and its partners and sponsors.

What do we mean by strategic partnerships?

The defining principles of our strategic partnerships is that the University and its external partner have a formal mutually beneficial relationship based on shared values and goals which aim to deliver long term outcomes that neither party could achieve on their own. This sets them apart from ongoing transactional relationships the University might have with external organisations (e.g. framework agreements for contract research).

There are two types of strategic partnership:

  • Corporate Partnerships are major partnerships, with cross campus participation and with engagement in a number of different activities. Examples include Marks & Spencer, Dare (with Opera North), Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Worldwide Universities Network, White Rose University Consortium, and N8.
  • Strategic Partnerships involve engagement across a number of different activities; (though) they do not have the reach of a corporate partnership and are concentrated in certain areas (e.g. at a faculty level) of the University. Examples include Arup and Sinochem.

What sort of activity happens in a strategic partnership?

No two partnerships are alike; they are developed to meet the specific needs of the relationship based on agreed shared strategic goals and objectives. The mix of activities in a corporate or strategic partnership could include:

  • Contract research
  • Collaborative research
  • Consultancy
  • Staff exchanges
  • Networking/promotional activities
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  • Use of campus accommodation and facilities
  • Licensing of University Intellectual Property
  • Students (e.g. placements, recruitment)
  • Training (including continuing professional development)

Support is available to staff wishing to develop a partnership or know more about partnerships.

For further information please contact: 

Andy Duley
Director of Commercialisation
T: 0113 343 0918