EATRIS recently represented the biomedical RIs community and CORBEL project at the CALIPSOplus / SINE 2020 second Industry Office meeting.
Nigel Wagstaff, Innovation Advisor at EATRIS and leader of CORBEL WP8, Accelerating Innovation, attended this meeting in Crete on 10-11 April 2019, and gave a presentation on the CORBEL Innovation Help Desk and related activities, which led to a lively discussion and exchange of experiences between RIs in the biomedical and neutrons/synchrotron domains.
While the scope covered by these physics (synchrotron and neutron generation) infrastructures is not as broad as that of the biomedical sciences served by CORBEL, participating industry liaison officers identified a number of similar challenges. Outreach to industry, in particular to SMEs, is perceived as essential and in the physics realm can mean involvement both as user and as (joint) technology developer. The challenge to engage with industry is thus common to infrastructures which may differ widely in scope and services. Broadly similar initiatives to the CORBEL Open Call are found in other infrastructures. In addition, Help Desk type of initiatives exist in certain cases.
Common factors in engaging with industry are the need to take a long-term view and to invest in relationship building. In addition, training and best practice guidance for researchers play a key role. Our CORBEL industry collaboration best practice guide and the best practice workshop held in December 2018 were mentioned as illustrative of the type of common services which can make a difference.