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Making Better Use Of The "I"S: Innovating With Industry At The Interface

Dr Cynthia Cliff

Queensland University of Technology

BACKGROUND: In March 2017, a consortium of 15 global pharma companies and MTPConnect contracted QUT to develop and deliver The Bridge Program. One hundred participants completed the program in 2017 and a further 100 will complete at the end of 2018. QUT’s involvement in this initiative offers a unique opportunity to examine value co-creation processes taking place at the university-industry interface.\

As global pharma and QUT reps sat down to plan the program, a concerning misalignment of vision for its capstone 3-day residential component emerged:

  • Industry’s expectation was strongly aligned with an industry norm comprising 3 days of high-level didactic delivery by globally significant industry figures; and

  • The QUT team was focused on meeting the learning objective to develop participants’ capacity to enhance pharmaceutical commercialisation outcomes.

    Clearly, compromise was needed to deliver on expectations. 

    The overlay of an immersive, interactive, app- supported, experience component that would to some extent “gamify” and promote embodied participant engagement with the materials presented and the high level speakers themselves throughout the 3-day residential was proposed.

    This suggestion initially met with polite scepticism, but as time went on and planning for the residential progressed a number of tipping points were observed as the idea started to take hold, and was eventually completely taken over by the consortium.

    This paper examines the lessons for university- industry innovation in teaching and learning that can be drawn from the tipping points observed during development of the Bridge Program.

    METHODS: Data collection and analysis will be completed by mid-November 2018. A desk audit of meeting notes and minutes is being used to map the collaboration processes and their timelines throughout the project. Semi-structured key- informant interviews with consortium members will provide a range of individual perspectives and first-hand insight into consortium members’ experience and perceptions of factors influencing their attitudes, engagement and inputs at various key points throughout the value co-creation process.

    DISCUSSION: The aim is to identify and characterise a set of key elements that have contributed to the Bridge Program’s growing reputation as a significant and game-changing model for learning and teaching innovation at the university-industry interface.