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Academia vs. Industry Research

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jwashin3
(@jwashin3)
Eminent Member Registered

The financial incentives that drive industry, without question, account for the different pace than academia.  What I have noticed is that partnerships with the private sector "quicken" the normal pace of our research work, especially when they tie additional levels of funding to certain research or study guidelines being met.  The greater level of accountability toward reaching a positive outcome distinguishes industry from academia.  In the academic setting, we are much more cognizant of complying with NIH or NSF guidelines and reporting processes.  Unconsciously, our culture can cruise into the end of our 3-year or 5-year grant term, and in many cases, we can secure a supplemental grant or a no-cost extension to give us another 12-24 months to accomplish the aims of our study. 

This kind of leeway is unheard in the for-profit setting.  In fact, we could probably all plan on being fired if after 3-5 years, our research or product development had not yielded any tangible outcomes that could be tied to commercialization and profit-generation potential!  I think the optimal setup is having a PI or project manager with industry training and mindset within the academic setting who can accelerate the pace of research.  When it's vice-versa, industry culture nearly always swallows up the "sensibilities" and laid back tendencies of the researcher from academia.

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Posted : 01/08/2020 3:05 am
aohara
(@aohara)
Eminent Member Registered

To answer the first question posed regarding if projects in industry are successful- well, yes. In fact, many times in industry, a company's success is based off the success of their projects. Projects are obviously focused on the objective at hand, but in a larger grand scheme, projects are usually created to produce something for the company in order to drive it forward, produce more revenue, and ultimately stay in business. I have not been exposed to industry for long, however, from my experience so far I can tell there is never enough time given to complete projects. There is definitely a lot more pressure to get things done from upper management, and the timelines proposed are usually not by the people actually doing the work. The key to ensuring the success of a project comes from basic steps of project management- initiating, planning, executing, and closing with monitoring and control throughout. The planning phase is the most crucial within this development in the sense that it will determine delays, and how they are handled, in the execution phase. The effort and time put into these phases will ultimately lay out the projects timeline and success. 

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Posted : 16/09/2020 9:09 pm
jal58
(@jal58)
Eminent Member Registered

Research in Industry is generally completed faster due to strict deadlines. The time management risks of an industry research project should be accounted for in the planning phase. In Industry, the whole point of research is to ultimately develop a product for profit. A company might decide not to fund a project if they think the research portion will take to long. So with strict deadlines and proper resources, industry research is usually completed faster than academia.

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Posted : 18/09/2020 6:03 pm
maniakberk
(@maniakberk)
Eminent Member Registered

I feel more comfortable doing research for a living than doing engineering work for a living. There are two options, either academia or industry. Although I would be more comfortable and more efficient doing research, I want to make a decent living as a result of my graduate education as a financial benefit rather than making a name for myself. My view is helping others is nice, but I got to be okay myself to be able to do that. Although, I am a little confused about how I can find a position in the industry. What are the hiring managers look for while hiring a Biomedical Engineering Researcher? In academia, if you have a Ph.D. or Masters, you can join a lab eventually in the field of your interest, but in the industry, they want to experience, and I am not sure if they count graduate education as research experience. So although I want to work in the industry as a researcher, I cannot figure out what I must do to be considered.   

 
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Posted : 20/09/2020 8:29 pm
llefevre
(@llefevre)
Eminent Member Registered

I’ve had a fortununate opportunity to work with both academia and industry in terms of research and I noticed many parallels but there are some subtle differences that I will outline. While working in an industry I had to deliver quantitative research as opposed to qualitative research using statistical analysis software. The project is well funded and required a very strict deadline. In addition the project was very well-funded and I was able to present it successfully to the CEO of the company who found my research rather stimulating. That experience gave me the confidence in industry and how thorough of an operation it can be when organized, funded correctly, and given the proper direction in perpetuity. I’ve done a few research projects on the academia side. Having that experience has given me many skills that I otherwise would have to learn on my own if you were in industry. The environment promotes learning and skills development and because of this the research did take time. Grant funded research is not always available and may not move at the speed of industry but nonetheless some of the greatest innovations of our time have come from academia. Case and point look at Biontech collaboration with university of Pennsylvania scientists and what they were able to accomplish with the COVID-19 vaccine, simply amazing.

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Posted : 13/05/2021 1:54 pm
mrlee5
(@mrlee5)
Eminent Member Registered
Posted by: @llefevre

I’ve had a fortununate opportunity to work with both academia and industry in terms of research and I noticed many parallels but there are some subtle differences that I will outline. While working in an industry I had to deliver quantitative research as opposed to qualitative research using statistical analysis software. The project is well funded and required a very strict deadline. In addition the project was very well-funded and I was able to present it successfully to the CEO of the company who found my research rather stimulating. That experience gave me the confidence in industry and how thorough of an operation it can be when organized, funded correctly, and given the proper direction in perpetuity. I’ve done a few research projects on the academia side. Having that experience has given me many skills that I otherwise would have to learn on my own if you were in industry. The environment promotes learning and skills development and because of this the research did take time. Grant funded research is not always available and may not move at the speed of industry but nonetheless some of the greatest innovations of our time have come from academia. Case and point look at Biontech collaboration with university of Pennsylvania scientists and what they were able to accomplish with the COVID-19 vaccine, simply amazing.

@llefevre does a good job with identifying the differences between research in academia and industry. I've done academic research and do some on the industry side as well, but this response gives a great idea of what to expect on either side of the spectrum. Industry research in my opinion is a bit more strict as there are timepoints and deadlines throughout that are setup in a way to progress the project forward. 

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Posted : 16/05/2021 5:20 pm
kc4310
(@kc4310)
Eminent Member Registered Registered

@merzkrashed great feedback.  Are you a product manager?  Some years ago I had the unfortunate experience of being apart of a product launch that was missing the product manager... I'm still not sure how that was supposed to work.  Needless to say, the product launch was tough on the team.  Hence your comment resonates well.  To that end, what do you suggest to be the critical components of a product launch?  Whatever first-thought comes to mind is welcome. KC

This post was modified 1 month ago by kc4310
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Posted : 16/05/2021 6:06 pm
kc4310
(@kc4310)
Eminent Member Registered Registered

@merzkrashed great feedback.  Are you a product manager?  Some years ago I had the unfortunate experience of being apart of a product launch that was missing the product manager... I'm still not sure how that was supposed to work.  Needless to say, the product launch was tough on the team.  Hence your comment resonates well.  To that end, what do you suggest to be the critical components of a product launch?  Whatever first-thought comes to mind is welcome. KC

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Posted : 16/05/2021 8:55 pm
eowino
(@eowinomsm-edu)
Eminent Member Registered

Academia research mainly focused is on research and discovery the love of science and learning. However, we see that it is different in industry work that allows their researchers to feel a sense of immediate impact on patient lives by creating products that will go to the market and use soon. I believe that there has to be a balance between what happens in industry and academia. In Academia, their research seems more extensive, while in industry they are more driven with profits.

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Posted : 21/05/2021 1:03 pm
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