Working in Partnership

A guest blog written by Paul Murphy, Head of Partnership Development Unit at Coventry University

paul murphyThe role of the Partnership Development Unit at Coventry University is to identify, develop and nurture strategic relationships with industry and other key stakeholders, on a global basis.  We are seeking partnerships with a clear focus that meet the business objectives of all parties and that drive business value.

With it being American Independence Day earlier this month I feel it apt to refer to my recent pathfinder trip to the USA – Illinois, Ohio and Indiana – visiting nine universities in 7 days!  The purpose was to leverage these institutions’ professional expertise for our own learning as well as to develop a joint strategy around student exchange, summer schools, research and to help enhance their industry engagement initiatives.  This is something we already do with many educational institutions that we have partnered with around the world and the trip provided invaluable insight into how higher education establishments are run in America.

Our US partners were particularly interested in how Coventry University manages its research and development activity in our joint ventures with industry.  An example of this and a model we often use to develop strategic relationships is our “faculty on the factory floor” – a significant collaboration with the Unipart Manufacturing Group. This model of collaboration brings together a perfect partnership of academia, industry and research and development in a “live” manufacturing environment in the form of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (IAME).  It is built around three core pillars:

  • Learning & Skills
    • Developing industry-ready engineering graduates.
    • Creating new postgraduate learning opportunities and professional development courses for industry.
  • Research
    • Offering a unique way to collaborate in the research and development of innovative technologies and products, with a clear route from initial testing and concept into full-scale manufacture and supply.
  • Business Engagement
    • Disseminating research and technologies for the benefit of Unipart, its suppliers and UK manufacturing.

This innovative approach to integrating learning, research and business engagement is arming UK industry with the skills, technologies and the competitive advantage required to trade globally, creating jobs across the supply chain and generating real economic value to the UK. The learning opportunities aim to address the domestic skills shortage and the need for more graduate engineers that can enter industry and have an immediate impact.

In light of the Brexit vote, Coventry University will remain focused and resilient in order to accommodate the challenges it will most certainly face as it goes forward.  The university will take a positive and proactive stance to maintain the excellent relationship it enjoys with its students and wider communities nationally and internationally.  With reference to our partnership work, research is a core part of the university’s activity and I will be looking to our research centres to help shape our enhanced approach towards new and existing joint ventures within Europe.


If you would like to learn more about how you could increase your business value in partnership with Coventry University, please contact me:-

Paul Murphy, Head of Partnership Development Unit

Tel: 07557 425 095 – Email:

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