The engagement with industry actors is a key element in the transition towards an entrepreneurial university model. The purpose of this paper is to explore the university–industry collaboration (UIC) drivers from the industry side. It analyses how, and to what extent, policy interventions could increase the engagement of industry actors in UICs.
Firms involved in universities’ students (academic forms of UICs) might not necessarily consider the university as a research partner, even in a geographic proximity setting. In addition, there is a potential “dark-side” to proximity, when industry participants build their perceptions using second-hand experiences or indirect information. A training intervention facilitates to overcome pre-existing biases but does not trigger a substantial change in the UIC’s behaviour of the firms in the short-term.