Building Stronger Bridges: Strategies for Improving Communication and Collaboration Between Industry and Academia in Software Engineering

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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Abstract

Background: The software engineering community has expressed growing concern regarding the need for more connections between research and practice. Despite the large amount of knowledge researchers generate, its impact on real-world practice is uncertain. Meanwhile, practitioners in industry often struggle to access and utilize relevant research outcomes that could inform and enhance their work. Collaboration between industry and academia is seen as a potential solution to bridge this gap, ensuring that research remains relevant and applicable in real-world contexts.

Objective: This research aims to explore challenges in communication and collaboration between industry and to design, evaluate, and implement strategies that foster this collaboration.

Methodology: The design science paradigm inspires this research, as we aim to obtain knowledge about industry-academia communication and collaboration by studying challenges and solutions in context. The thesis includes case studies; some are exploratory, while others focus on evaluating specific strategies.

Results: In terms of problem understanding, we identified challenges that impact communication and collaboration, such as different expectations, perspectives, and ways of working. Furthermore, we pinpointed factors facilitating communication, including long-term projects, research relevance, and practitioners' involvement.
Regarding how to improve communication and collaboration, we investigated two strategies. The first strategy involves using the SERP-taxonomy approach in a project on software vulnerability management in IoT systems. The second strategy involves the proposal of interactive rapid reviews, conducted in close collaboration with practitioners. We share the lessons from conducting two reviews (one in testing machine learning systems and the other in software component selection). The benefits of conducting interactive rapid reviews include mutual understanding, the development of networks, and increased motivation for further studies.

Conclusion: The thesis emphasizes the importance of industry-academia collaboration as a key aspect in closing gaps between research and practice. The strategies discussed provide tools to understand industry-academia partnerships better and support future collaborations.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Höst, Martin, Supervisor
  • Engström, Emelie, Supervisor
Award date2023 Jun 16
Publisher
ISBN (Print)978-91-8039-661-5
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-8039-662-2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2023-06-16
Time: 10:00
Place: Lecture Hall E:A, building E, Ole Römers väg 3, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University, Lund. The dissertation will be live streamed, but part of the premises is to be excluded from the live stream.
External reviewer(s)
Name: Garousi, Vahid
Title: Associate Prof.
Affiliation: Queen´s University Belfast, UK.
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Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Computer Systems
  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
  • Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

Free keywords

  • industry-academia collaboration
  • software engineering
  • communication
  • interactive rapid reviews
  • partnerships
  • researchers
  • practitioners

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