Collaborate to compete
Are you too busy to do that research that could really put you ahead of your competitors? Do you need specialised equipment but can’t afford the outlay? New Zealand has numerous public sector research organisations that can help you develop your competitive advantage. This article outlines some of the benefits, explains who the key players are, and gives you tips on how to make contact with them. Here are just some of the strategic benefits that you could achieve:
- Kick start a strategic project: You could undertake a targeted term research and development (R&D) project without the need to hire staff. This greatly reduces the business risk attached to the project.
- Add credibility: Once the research is done, it then has the credibility of being backed by experts in the field.
- Leverage funding: There are a number of funding schemes for research projects to help companies achieve their strategic goals. Working with a reputable research organisation will often be a prerequisite for such funding.
- Access specialist resources: By collaborating with a research organisation, you can access its specialised resources and equipment without the need for capital outlay.
- Snaffle the best graduates: Many savvy technology companies use student projects as a way to engage early with good students. Very often this will lead to a permanent employment offer.
- Develop strategic networks: Over time, many companies build up a network of research partners they can call on for advice. Having your own alumni of high-quality graduates can also be invaluable; many go on to hold influential positions in significant companies around the world.
- Testing: This could include everything from usability testing to performance testing to materials analysis.
- Consulting: Market research, feasibility studies and project scoping are the few of the consulting possibilities.
- Research projects: If you want to develop a new product or process and you need the skills or short-term resources to get the research done, a collaborative project is an ideal way, freeing you up to stay focused on your day-to-day business.
- Licensing or buying intellectual property rights: Research organisations are often seeking companies to take new technologies to market, and many successful New Zealand businesses have been built around such technologies.