About Us

Developing Business-Aware Academics is a four-year £5m Research England project that offers doctoral and early-career researchers (from across all disciplines) the knowledge, skills and networking opportunities to engage effectively beyond academia. Based at the University of Exeter, we work in collaboration with the Chartered Association of Business Schools and a wide range of other universities, businesses and other partners.  

Universities, industry and government have long identified a need for greater collaboration between academia and business to realise the full potential of the UK’s research and innovation talent. Although there are some excellent initiatives in place, significant barriers remain. Our project targets researchers at the beginning of their careers, empowering them to develop the business competencies, mindsets, confidence and networks to collaborate effectively with industry.  

Our approach is built around the following four complementary areas of activity: 


Building an evidence base through research into existing provision and good practice across higher education and industry, and continually evaluating the impact and effectiveness of new initiatives. 

a woman with long hair standing beside a white board


Developing training in business skills, competencies and mindsets for doctoral and early-career researchers.  


Delivering multi-disciplinary networking opportunities for researchers and industrial partners to break down barriers to effective collaborations.  

a man using a virtual reality headset sitting with a colleague with a laptop


Building a campaign to champion the advantages of enhanced research collaboration and mobility across academia, industry and beyond.