Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

EURAXIND Report Summary

Project ID: 710294
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EURAXIND (EURAXESS for Industry)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The EURAXIND project aims to strengthen relationships between industry and academia by increasing employer engagement with the existing EURAXESS networks through expertise, practical toolkits, benchmarking surveys and workshops. EURAXIND will provide opportunities for collaborations and strategic partnerships, and promote the recruitment of highly skilled researchers into all employment sectors.

The overall objectives are:

• Identify employers’ and researchers’ needs in order to effectively support intersectoral mobility and collaboration (WP3, WP4 and WP6);

• Provide the EURAXESS network, and more generally RPOs, with targeted online tools and resources to support institutional outreach to and engagement with employers (WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5);

• Inform and encourage researchers within academia to consider career and research opportunities within industry by providing online tools and resources to connect with industry and to support Career Development Centers at RPOs (WP2, WP4 and WP6);

• Attract more industry employers to use EURAXESS services and post more jobs on the EURAXESS Jobs portal by developing a targeted Employer Engagement Toolkit for EURAXESS Service Centres (WP2, WP3 and 6).

This proposal relates to the ‘Science with and for Society Work Programme (SWAFS) 20142015’, Topic ‘EURAXESS Outreach to Industry’. It contributes to one of the key priorities within ERA, that of creating an open and transparent labour market for researchers, by outreaching to industry and businesses. This proposal addresses these challenges by increasing employer engagement with the EURAXESS portal, the EURAXESS network and Career Development Centres, as well as increasing the research and career opportunities available to researchers by enhancing their abilities to engage with and promote themselves to industry.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The nine month period covering the first review has consisted of setting up the structures and processes to support the successful implementation of the project, conducting several literatures reviews and developing an Industry Engagement Strategy. An External Advisory Board and Researcher Panel was set up to provide expert input throughout the project.

1. Literature review of institutional practice
A European wide literature review was carried out of existing literature with regard to understanding what is known about how institutions collaborate and interact with business and employers.
Key findings include:
• The institutional engagement with industry has been a key priority for the European Union for some time.
• Although the barriers are generally well understood, there is still need for practical actions in fostering the engagement of research institutions with industry.
• Related national initiatives can facilitate these interactions and could include cross-sector collaborative programmes, targeted funding to develop individuals, overarching services and networks that help or advise researchers or those who support them, financial incentives for companies to employ doctoral graduates.

2. Literature review of employers’ needs
A European wide literature review was undertaken exploring and identifying employers' needs with respect to intersectoral mobility and employability of researchers and research collaborations with academia.
Key findings include:
• There is only limited involvement of industry in discussions on how all actors can best profit from intersectoral mobility and stronger interaction with academia.
• A case can be made for a comprehensive survey to identify requirements of the non-academic/business sector at European level, also as a means to support a stronger involvement of industry in the “European HR policy” discourse.
• While a scarcity of literature is observed in particular in terms of cross-national comparisons, the sources identified paint a quite similar picture of opportunities and challenges for intersectoral mobility across Europe and emphasise the importance of transferable competencies for researchers.
• Internships, intersectoral doctoral programmes, such as the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions are examples of schemes that support early exposure of researchers to the non-academic sector and thus foster the development of transferable competencies and intersectoral mobility.
• A ‘communication triangle’ approach involving senior academics/supervisors, external employers and researchers should be considered to sustainably support intersectoral mobility.

3. Literature review of researchers’ views and experiences
A European wide literature review of researchers’ views and experiences has been completed, drawing from both academic studies and a variety of grey literature and other sources with relevance to this topic.
Key findings include:
• Perception of researchers is that intersectoral mobility is low, but more common in arts, social sciences and humanities.
• Intersectoral mobility is more common when there are funded schemes to enable it; however, it is much less common than international mobility.
• There is little published research on researchers’ experiences of intersectoral mobility, however it seems that it is easier to move to and from the public sector, than the private sector.
• The different cultures in academia and private sector mitigate against mobility including a lack of understanding of the skills developed by the other sector and different perceptions of excellence.
• The different motivations provide barriers, for example academia perceives the private sector as only interested in commercial success, whilst academia focusses on knowledge development and time in industry reduces the ability of researchers to publish papers.
• In academia security of employment increases with length of experience and progression mitigating mobility by senior researchers.

Development of an Industry Engagement Strategy
The Industry Engagement Strategy is designed to provide a structured approach to the engagement of key stakeholders in the project and effective dissemination of the project results through employer networks. Given the diversity of employers across Europe, we will use their own networks to engage them in the project through surveys and workshops and to encourage them to engage with the EURAXESS portal and network.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The expected impacts of EURAXIND are:
• Opening up the labour market for researchers by encouraging more businesses to employ researchers and advertise positions through EURAXESS Jobs;
• Increasing the intersectoral mobility of researchers by providing them with information on the labour market for researchers in industry, matching their knowledge and competencies with employers’ needs and enabling them to present themselves effectively to potential employers;
• Increasing academia and industry interactions through targeted and effective approaches of EURAXESS Centres to businesses;
• Advancing researchers’ careers through raising awareness within the EURAXESS Centres and industry of the importance and benefits of open and merit based recruitment, responsible research and innovation (RRI) and promoting the value of researchers’ competencies.

These impacts will be achieved through providing , by developing the online Employer Engagement Toolkit and Industry Career Development Module and by conducting fourteen workshops at national level with EURAXESS members and industrial employers.

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