Since 2007 the European Union has established new regulations in respect to state-aids which prevents universities from competing with businesses using governmental funding. As most academic staff is paid for by government, universities are in the position of putting in bids for business or government contracts far lower than a normal business would be able to charge. Therefore every university has to budget their projects with external parties using market rates, or in case those are not available, applying standard hourly institution rates and ensuring a profit on the project.

Having outlined two central issues in terms of academic administration in university-industry relationships, it is highly recommended to businesses to discuss (potential) administrative issues with their academic partners at an early stage in order to prevent wrong expectations.

Key questions:

  1. Are you aware of how a university administration works?
  2. Are you aware and prepared for administration and bureaucratic hurdles prior to and during your collaboration?