A recent report by the Finnish Research Impact Foundation, published in November 2023, opens up interesting perspectives on the role and opportunities of business collaboration in the social sciences, humanities and arts research. The launch event of the report on 30 November provided an opportunity to learn more about the main findings and to hear from top international experts at the interface between academia and business.
Julia Black, Chair of the UK based ASPECT network, highlighted the role of commercialisation in promoting the impact of research in the social sciences, humanities and arts. She presented concrete examples of the network’s projects where research results have been successfully commercialised and scaled up for the benefit of society.
Professor Alf Rehn from the University of Southern Denmark highlighted the complexity of industry academia collaboration. His message was clear: collaboration is neither straightforward nor unproblematic. Successful collaboration requires open dialogue, an open-minded attitude and the ability to recognise the inevitable asymmetry between academia and industry.
Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, Managing Director of the Finnish Textile & Fashion Association, shared her views on the role of social sciences, humanities and arts research in the transformation of the textile industry. According to her, the role of these disciplines is not to provide unambiguous solutions, but to challenge traditional ways of thinking about problems and to provide a variety of perspectives. Such an approach is needed as part of interdisciplinary research to promote digitalisation, the green transition and changing consumption patterns in the textile and fashion sector.
The debate on business collaboration in the social sciences, humanities and arts has generated widespread interest. The webinar was attended by more than 100 people, and the experts’ presentations generated lively discussion and comments. We encourage academic organisations, businesses and funders alike to use the knowledge base provided by the report to further opportunities for collaboration in their own fields.
The webinar recording