Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management, Operations and Marketing


With growing pressure from many governments for more productive relationships between universities and industry, their relationships and motivations have become a significant research area. Perkmann et al. (2013) have synthesised the literature in the area and developed a normative analytical framework for successful academic engagement between universities and industry. A gap in the literature identified by Perkmann et al. (2013) was the pathway for academic engagement was not well defined. It follows that a focus on understanding the most effective ways for university-industry innovation relationships to be initiated and developed through the early stages is essential for closing this research gap.

Deliberately taking a pro-active stance, this thesis examines the proposition that universities can take the lead and drive research relationships with industry, in effect becoming the nexus point of collaboration networks for innovation projects. To do so the drivers and roadblocks to relationship initiation and early stage continuation are examined by using data collected from 36 respondents, with experience as university academics, industry collaborators and experienced intermediaries mainly from Australia. The participants were associated with academic engagement activities organised by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science which encompasses diverse technologies with a wide range of complexity. The use of semi-structured in-depth interviews allowed for the lived experience of key actors to be explored and captured as they evaluated entry into new innovation projects. NVivo® was used to analyse their insights.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.