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“How can I solve your problem?” – Acquisition seminar for science

“We invite all those who have time and a serious interest in the topic of applications or are involved in applications or cold calling”. With these words, the Women’s Representative at Hof University of Applied Sciences and the Research Marketing department advertised an internal seminar on the topic of “Acquiring industrial projects”. “The question is always: how do we get the partners and ourselves together at the table to tackle research projects,” said Head of Research Marketing Anne-Christine Habbel.

The participants and speaker Hans-Lothar Busch; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

For researchers from the natural sciences in particular, it is not always easy to find out what partners such as municipal or city representatives need in order to get involved in research proposals, added Women’s Representative Prof. Anett Matthäi. Scientists would like to present their portfolio, but not primarily have the solution to the partner’s problems in mind. The seminar was intended to raise awareness of a different strategy. Two regional company representatives, one employee each from the city of Hof and the district of Wunsiedel and fourteen academic staff from Hof University of Applied Sciences were able to try their hand at acquisition training in October 2023.

Real acquisition role plays

In concrete terms, this meant that all participants practiced different ways of being well prepared and successfully engaging in conversation with one another. The aim was to remove obstacles to a joint project. This was practiced in tandems consisting of one or two research assistants and the external guests. On top of this, there were tips on designing landing pages, personal social media accounts and communication.

The feedback from the participants was very positive:

The combination of university representatives and external guests worked very well. These were not fictitious situations, everything was real.”

Jette Petzold, participant

“We were able to network very well during the seminar and the speaker also knew exactly what he was talking about,” commented Katrin Müller, also from Hof University of Applied Sciences. The participants all got involved and the role play was very well received.

Less vendor’s tray and more problem solving

Seminar leader Hans-Lothar Busch is one of the few acquisition coaches in Germany who specializes in science. “Science needs to move away from vendor’s tray and towards problem solving,” he summarized at the end of the workshop:

Successful project design is based on the problem to be solved, rather than the catalog-like comparison of all the offers that broad-based research teams have.”

Hans-Lothar Busch, acquisition coach

The seminar was jointly financed and organized by the Women’s Representative of Hof University of Applied Sciences and the Research Marketing department.

Katrin Müller
Anne-Christine Habbel

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