Workshop 3 raised some interesting issues for fostering collaboration across public service organisations. Below are three which stood out to me, what others play an important role in fostering collaboration?
1. Organisational priorities – the case studies presented at the workshop highlighted the value of projects where a research agenda can be connected with a tangible challenge being faced by a public service provider. This alignment enables funding to be generated by both organisations independently and for multiple outcomes to be delivered simultaneously. It also helps both organisations avoid becoming entangled in a long and complex procurement process.
2. Trust – the discussion which took place during the Collaboration Marketplace demonstrated the values and aims, and the fellow feeling, shared between those working in Higher Education and other Public Sector organisations. Although this is a fairly obvious point, it is also clear that it helps provide a strong foundation to build working relationships on. It is also not something necessarily shared in the partnerships between public service providers and private sector organisations which can be more commercial and rigid in their nature.
3. Procurement – It was clear from conversations taking place at the event that there are many instances where Higher Education and Public Sector organisations could work together but may not be able to find the exact alignment between research and need to enable them to find funding independently. In these cases differing procurement processes and yearly spending patterns can have a significant impact on how partners are able to work together. This suggests that encouraging more innovative and sustainable approaches to service provision will require innovative approaches to procurement to match.
Other points from the workshop may have stood out for you, or you may have some additional thoughts on the above points. Let’s continue the discussion below.