Synthesis Report

In 2020, we have seen just how much our cities, nations and even the whole world can be quickly confronted with immense health, social, and economic challenges. These disruptions demand quick and collaborative innovation to collectively find answers and ensure sustainability not just of companies but entire economies (H. Lee & Miozzo, 2019). It is in challenging times like these that we witness how scientific and innovative minds come together and provide a shining beacon of hope.

Indeed, university-industry collaborations drive radical innovation that benefit individuals and society at large. The most recent example being the collective effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine (WHO, 2020). At the forefront of these collaborations, we specifically saw the power of individual people coming together, united by a common goal and motivated to push through and past the looming uncertainties.

This success has been built by and with so-called boundary spanners, that is, people who successfully bridge between the academic and industrial world to build networks, enable knowledge creation and transfer, and together create, manage, and implement innovative solutions.


Spanning Boundaries Agents Profile Book

University-business cooperation (UBC) has never been more relevant than it is today, and it is in these difficult times that we witness how science and business work together to face societies’ challenges. We hope that these partnerships continue to persevere in the name of innovation, despite difficulties being faced, and continue to co-create solutions to today’s pressing issues. At the frontier of these partnerships are the Spanning Boundaries agents, who “break down internal and external organisational boundaries in their engagement for collaborative innovation”.