How much do you know about your local university? Organizations are increasingly partnering with universities for a myriad of reasons that can all lead to business growth.

Inside Higher Ed reports that corporate partnerships began in the early 2000s when Stanford University created its program. As of 2016, there were partnership programs at over 30 of the Association of American Universities’ 62 US prestigious research universities.

The journal of Research in the Sociology of Organizations found that partnerships are more prevalent in Western states. For example, all of the schools in the University of California system offer corporate partnerships.

With 40% of global employers reporting talent shortages, according to Manpower Group’s 2016 Talent Shortage Survey, more employers are turning to training and development to address these issues. A corporate university partnership can help alleviate this gap.

Lori Turec, SVP of Marketing Services explains why employers are partnering with schools, stating that it “can help employees to achieve their educational goals, increase employee satisfaction, improve employee retention, narrow the skills gap and ultimately bolster the reputation of their organization.”

Another reason that corporations are partnering with universities is for product testing and research purposes. Are you working on developing a product but need to research the technological specifications? There is probably a school out there with a team of researchers working on a similar technology.

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) is a great tool for identifying such programs. AUTM is a global network of more than 3,200 technology transfer professionals who work in academic, research, government, legal, and commercial settings. AUTM hosts a Global Technology Portal (GTP), which provides a place for the technology transfer community to post available technologies, success stories, and conduct searches for free.

AUTM’s “GTP makes it easy for universities and corporations to find each other and begin licensing and partnership discussions.” There are a lot of universities that are looking for companies that will bring their ideas and technology to market.

When looking to embark on corporate university partnership, Lori Turec stresses the importance of the school and the organization having a clear understanding of each other’s goals, in the form of a service level agreement. Not sure if your local universities have a partnership program, we can help.