New report: Successful strategy for broad-based collaboration
The partnership between Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic includes not only successful research projects but also unique collaborations in innovation, administration and education, a new evaluation shows. The results of the evaluation can constitute an important strategy document for KI’s future partnerships with other universities.
“Mayo Clinic in the US has come a long way in its efforts to integrate research with clinical practice,” says Terese Stenfors-Hayes, researcher at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME) and one of the evaluation team. “Here at KI we are strong in basic and registry research, and the partnership between our two organisations has been very fruitful.
One finding in the report is that the number of co-published articles with authors from both universities has increased from 21 in 2008 to 107 in 2015, and the journals publishing them have on average double the mean impact factor of those in which the organisations have published individually.
The partnership was set up spontaneously between researchers at the two universities in 1992. It has since grown organically and come to include much more than research – education and administration, for instance, or the biobank collaboration in which personnel have shared experiences on everything from the freezers they use to how their work can be organised. Exchange schemes in education and administration are highly rated in the surveys and interviews that form part of the evaluation.
“We’ve suggested that more administrative support be created for our partnership than is currently the case. It’s also important to find effective ways of documenting who has taken part in exchanges for the purposes of later evaluation.”
Some of the secrets of the partnership’s success is that it has a strong steering committee and that start-up grants are available for projects in administration, education and innovation as well as research. Help is also provided with applying for grants from the partner university or external bodies. The partnership was further cemented by formal agreement in 2011, since when over 1,200 people have attended an annual conference.
“This kind of broad platform collaboration is unique to KI,” says Professor Maria Masucci, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs at KI. “Evaluating it thoroughly like this will give us lots of opportunities to act strategically in our internationalisation work. This will give us the data we need, for example, when selecting intenational partners.”