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Case studies and examples

Strategic Services supports university development, identifying partnerships, and more

Elsevier’s Strategic Services team of consultants, data scientists, and analysts have been successfully helping universities and research organizations solve their thorniest strategic questions. Planning for the future is no easy task, but by leveraging the right combination of data and expertise, institutions can be sure they are on their desired path to grow and impact. Below are a few examples of how Strategic Services was able to successfully support research institutions to reach their strategic goals.

1: Research planning in the local knowledge economy

A map of the local knowledge economy can be invaluable for providing perspective into research priorities and relative strengths in a region. It is often most useful when a deep analysis of a client institution accompanies the study of the knowledge economy. The following three images relate to a specific region of European research, but similar strategies have proven powerful tools across many different geographies.

1a Case Study: Country-level research strengths

In one look at the relative activity index (RAI) across disciplinary topics in select European countries, we can see that the Health and Life Sciences are strongest (more blue) in Italy and Switzerland. In Switzerland, the influence of The Health Valley and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry helps drive innovative research in these fields. Diving into these topics and cross referencing with an institutes’ research program can help develop strategies to take advantage of existing research expertise in a region.

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Country-level research strengths infographic

1b Case Study: Funding and hot research topics

Major funders like Horizon 2020 can influence the research fields receiving financing, leading to more publications and research efforts in those spaces. Do you see overlap between the largest research topics in some European countries (top) and Horizon 2020 funding schemas (bottom)? Depending on the location, national, local, non-government, and other funders may also play a pivotal role in the development of science and should be taken into consideration.

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funding and hot research topics infographic

2: Local partnerships

A key priority for any institution is to identify impactful partnerships, using both the organization’s strengths and the needs of the local community as a compass. In the examples below, Elsevier examined partnership models, local industry, research associations and existing research collaboration networks to help identify potential fields and partners for future collaboration.

2a Case Sudy: Partnership models and their impact on research

How other institutions structure and govern partnerships is helpful to understand when exploring your own potential partnerships. In this example, one University’s approach has led to success as a leader in Customer Insights, Entrepreneurship, and International Economics. The impact of their Global Centers was clearly visible in the publication output studied by Elsevier.

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partnership models infographic

2b Case Study: Existing and potential collaboration networks

In this example, a network of collaborating research organizations was studied to understand active organizations, their relative research impact (FWCI), number of partnerships (lines emitting from each node), and geographic location. Starting with a high-level view such as this, individual collaboration networks can be examined more closely, to see relative interest in different research sub-topics or even the change in collaborating partners over time. This can ultimately be leveraged to identify appropriate partnerships for another organization interested in entering this field.

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Existing and potential collaboration networks infographic

2c Case Study: Connecting partnerships to topics of national interest

Partnerships can come in many shapes and sizes, but it is often important to focus on topics that benefit both the institution and regional priorities. In this example, a business school may find partnership opportunities by aligning with various pillars of the French COVID-19 recovery plan to support SMEs, Future Skills Gaps, Financial Energy Market research, and more.

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Connecting partnerships infographic