Integrated Corporate Cooperation Approach Workshop

Teppo Heiskanen
Aalto University

Aim of the workshop

Companies seek various kinds of cooperation with universities: research projects, recruitment opportunities, input into the curriculum and teaching, access to campus, and even support through donations. Universities often offer these options through different units and departments, creating a fragmented and confusing picture. The fragmentation may go for the company as well, as e.g. the R&D department might not know what HR is doing with a particular university.

At Aalto University, we have strived to look at our corporate partnerships as one relationship with many ways of cooperation. The key is an integrated CRM system that includes corporate contacts, externally funded research projects, alumni and donors. A successful approach requires careful cooperation between the traditional industrial relations function and the traditional development/advancement office.

In this interactive workshop, we will share our experiences at Aalto University and invite workshop participants to share theirs. We will look for answers to the following questions, among others:
• How do build a culture of sharing information about external contacts within the university?
• What does an integrated CRM system mean and how to build one?
• What are the challenges of the cooperation between industrial relations and development/advancement within a university?
• How does this all look from the company point of view?

A company representative will be invited so that the last question can be discussed in a meaningful way.


We will decide on the working methods once we know the amount of participants. Options include
• The coffee shop method, in which participants discuss a specific question at one stop, and then move to the next, and at each stop the new arriving group adds to what the previous group contributed
• The gathering of input through an online system such as Presemo, or through a game application such as Kahoot

Maximum 20 minutes will be used for the introduction, 40 minutes for the groups, and 30 minutes to summarize and to conclude.

Results and conclusions

The result is hopefully a collection of new ideas and best practices for participants to take home. The workshop results will be edited into a presentable form and distributed to all participants.

Aalto University background

Aalto University is a multidisciplinary community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. At Aalto, high-quality research, art, education and entrepreneurship are promoted hand in hand. In global university rankings, Aalto is at the top of its fields.

The university was established in 2010 when three leading Finnish universities, the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art and Design Helsinki, were merged.

Aalto University offers companies collaboration opportunities in all areas of activity. The networking possibilities range from researchers to teachers and Aalto’s active student community. Collaboration often starts in the form of a single project, but can evolve into a long-term strategic partnership. We also encourage SMEs to take part in cooperation.

With this background, we believe that we have an excellent opportunity to offer an exciting workshop to the UIIN conference, and we look forward to learning from our colleagues.