Should Industry Collaborate More with Education?

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the symbiotic relationship between the water buffalo and the oxpecker.  Basically, bird pecks buffalo, buffalo is freed of parasites, bird gets a free meal, bird and buffalo are happy. It’s a classic and beautiful tale of how working together can provide mutual benefits that has been told to death by countless high school science teachers as well as animal documentary narrators.

The reason this relationship is constantly referenced is because it’s actually a really good model. Collaboration is a great practice and can benefit both parties involved. That’s why collaboration between education and industry is important.

MIT has garnered a bit of a reputation for collaboration. In fact, since its founding the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has made a point to work with other institutes and organizations around the world. It’s no coincidence that MIT also has a reputation for making immensely important breakthroughs and discoveries at a high rate.

At the moment there are over 700 companies working with researchers at MIT on collaborative projects of mutual interest. Last year MIT reported 678 new invention disclosures and $80 million in total licensing revenue.

These types of collaborations are already becoming more regular with educational institutes and companies across the world. It truly is a symbiotic partnership.

Companies benefit from research, while institutes benefit from funding. Both groups benefit from the information found through research, as does any group or individual involved in that field of study. It’s never a bad thing to have more information, and these collaborations between education and industry are a great way to ensure that new information is always being sought out.

What’s more, forging stronger connections between educational institutions and companies helps to increase the trained workforce, since schools better understand what industries need and students have the chance to see real-world applications.

Constantly seeking more information and doing more research is crucial to moving forward in any field. The more collaborations occur, the faster a field will advance. The knowledge gained by institutes as well as by the companies is symbiosis at it’s finest.