University-Industry Engagement Advisor: OBE’s Garnetti on due diligence

In an article featured in the July 2023 issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor, OBE Managing Director John Garnetti shares his insight into vetting potential industry partners. In particular, he highlights OBE’s iterative approach to “Identify, Investigate, Implement, and Improve” partnerships, beginning with the company perspective and matching it to UW–Madison’s unique capabilities.

He adds:

“[OBE] takes a ‘consultative, holistic’ approach to the process. ‘We seek to understand possible issues, time horizon, the decision-making process, and resources required through the engagement. Once those are identified, I go into investigating how our capabilities can be [marshaled] to serve the company, their ability to engage students, faculty, labs — sometimes beyond campus — and customized solutions, like targeted recruiting plans.’

“‘We’re equal partners, so we both have to have skin in the game to realize the longest-term impact,’ he says. ‘I recommend we start with a pilot project — tangible, manageable, and relatively short-term — as a way of getting to know each other. Is there a natural alignment? How do we need to adjust?’

John also points out that it’s important to ensure that, whatever process you use, it fits within the culture of the institution. Read the full article here.