Academic partnerships are attractive for many reasons, from gaining access to early-stage technologies to recruiting top talent. However, to get maximum benefit, companies must structure and execute partnerships effectively, and do it in the right technology areas with the right groups and universities. To achieve these goals, we interviewed those directly involved in academic partnerships and evaluated the more than 36,000 academic publications in printed, flexible, and organic electronics. This continues to be an area of expanding expertise, as overall publications have been increasing by 25% annually since 1996, with display and organic photovoltaic technologies leading the way. In forming engagements, master agreements and regional projects are highly effective. Seoul National University, Stanford, UCLA, and the University of Tokyo top the list of 30 candidates for forming master agreements based in their expertise in printed, flexible, and organic electronics combined with overall research breadth. In addition, after identifying the top 213 research groups, regional hotspots in Asia, Europe, and North America, each with its own technology expertise, were located, led by the Seoul, South Korea region with its 61 top researchers, including 21 in transparent conductive films and 17 thin-film transistors.
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