How Academic Research is Driving Innovation and Growth

Vinod Saratchandran, Business Analyst at Fingent, has experience conceptualizing and delivering niche mobility products that cater for various domains including logistics, media, and non-profits. In this blog, he explores how useful academic research can potentially be for enterprises.

Most academic research has been closely identified with a niche and ‘enterprises’ seems to belong outside this circle. Research done at academic institutions across the world have deeply benefited science, economy, industry and several other fields. It fueled new discoveries and innovations in these disciplines, which has greatly transformed the world and how we live. Today businesses implement e-Learning to improve efficiency and productivity. Studies show that e-Learning reduces the learning time by at least 25 to 60 percent when compared to traditional learning.

But the acceptance of academic research among enterprises has been low, not because of its lack of value, but due to underutilization.  Out of the thousands of research papers and dissertations produced, only very few end up contributing actual value to an enterprise.

Propelling innovation within an enterprise rests chiefly on relying on information derived from external sources. In this case, academic research from universities seems a valuable cache of information that enterprises can depend on for using in all their crucial processes and operations.

The troves of academic research do need to help drive productivity, innovation, and growth in an entrepreneurial environment. And this is where the real intent of academic research lies: to stimulate positive action, innovation, and progress in an enterprise that relies on it.

Academic Research: A Driving Force of Innovation and Growth

Several research papers have broached the subject regarding the value of academic research in facilitating innovation and growth. Although appearing slightly biased, a look at the facts stated in these papers seems to offer the truth, which is that academic research has a perceivable influence in driving innovation and growth.

The revenues generated by enterprises contribute a major part to economic development. Besides, they promote the creation of more jobs, which improves the per capita income and the GDP of a country. The paper ‘Contribution of academic research to innovation and growth’ clearly identifies academic research as having a consequential effect in the corporate world.

The results derived from the study elucidates Research & Development (R&D) as a major driving force behind higher productivity, quality, and innovation in the products and services offered by an organization. When looking at how large enterprises are investing huge amounts in R&D, the above statement holds true. With e-learning, knowledge is no longer a centralized activity. Through learning management solutions, employees involved in the R&D processes become content producers with robust knowledge.

Research can guide a business to make several improvements to its existing methodologies and processes

Currently, enterprises have begun to understand the scope of using academic research. More organizations now tend to rely on meticulous research for all sorts of purposes ranging from product development to customer behavior assessment. And this calls for a new cooperation between enterprises and universities to share information for the betterment of both parties.

The Synergy between University and Enterprise

Universities across the world are spearheading academic research. Every year, the research output from universities and other major academic institutions have quadrupled. Enterprises can leverage this huge potential in academic research by forming collaborations or tie-ups with universities. Such collaborations enable universities to share their resources comprising of research papers, dissertations, case studies etc. with enterprises.

Mostly, the use of research can guide a business to make several improvements to its existing methodologies and processes. For instance, a company can utilize external academic research sources shared by a university to find better methods for renewing their existing internal research, development, production, and testing.

The continued success in implementing this model has led companies to actively fund academic research in universities. Companies can get early access to the research materials prior to publication, which they can use right away for any of their operations. Besides, funding universities for specific research projects is an effective exercise in public relations as well.

How can Enterprises Benefit from Funding Academic Research?

Funding academic research is the new norm among several top-level enterprises. Even medium and small-scale businesses have resorted to the use of research by networking with academics or by forging ties with local universities. Some ways by which an enterprise can benefit by funding academic research are:

Research Infrastructure – Funding a university will give an enterprise access to the advanced research facilities. The facilities have the right equipment along with skillful research personnel for carrying out the studies. It is a good alternative since it eliminates the costs involved in investing a separate research division and its infrastructure.

Skilled Human Resources – Universities have an array of skillful researchers who are well versed in the process and highly educated. The availability of such valuable resources can benefit a company greatly as it gives them access to the right talent that they need to aid in their specific research projects. It is a more affordable and less risky option than hiring people directly.

Talent Recruitment – Research funding at a university benefits an enterprise in recruitment as well. Universities usually have exchanges of research personnel who comes to work on a project temporarily. Companies can leverage this opportunity to hire personnel to work for them in areas concerning research and development of specific products or services.

Research Upholds Value in Enterprise

Enterprises that make products and services need a thorough understanding of what they intend to make. Every product or service undergoes a careful research and development within the in-house departments. This ranges from the design to its functionality so that it can best fit in with the needs of the end users whether public or commercial.

In today’s context, research has a prior value since customer interests have got diversified and technologies like the internet have spun off massive amounts of useful data. Implementing a proper R&D can be a true advantage for companies to develop products and services that sell profitably and serve the customer needs.

Direct cooperation between an enterprise and a university has produced excellent results that drive innovation and growth. The theoretical knowledge shared by the researchers have made quite an impact on the output generated by an enterprise. The studies bring out the latest insights into specific subjects and knowledge fields.

Adopting these new forms of information have enabled enterprises to fare ahead with the times. It creates true value in the products and services that they create, which in turn nurtures a model that upholds innovation and growth among all levels.

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