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Collaborating with companies

There are many good reasons for choosing to collaborate with a company or an organization during your studies. It gives you the opportunity to:

  • Develop and practice your academic skills in a real work-related context.
  • Get to know your future job market.
  • Discover what specific skills you have, and what you excel at.
  • Find out which competencies you might need to improve further in order to be an attractive candidate within a specific area or the job market in general.
  • Enhance your network while studying – it might be the way to obtain a relevant student job or even a full-time job, when you have finished graduated.
  • Further develop your CV while studying etc. 

ITU recommends that aspects of confidentiality and intellectual property rights are discussed before starting such projects. This is among other things to ensure that you do not enter into a contract with a company on unfair terms, such as to waive all the rights to your IP without any compensation.

ITU has prepared an example of a so-called Confidentiality Agreement  that you and the company can use, but this is not a requirement. Many companies prefer to use their own agreement, or make changes / additions to the template, ITU has made.

A Confidentiality Agreement is between you and the company, and ITU is not a part of the agreement. Therefore, you do not need a signature from your supervisor or any other ITU representative. For this reason as well, you must be extra careful what you agree to, as the agreement is your responsibility.

You are not entitled to use ITU Legal, as this is a service to the University staff that can be used as part of their work. Legal will often get involved in your project through the supervisor, but please be aware that it is the supervisor's interests that Legal are protecting and not yours. However, Legal has tried to consider the interests of students in preparing the above-mentioned standard contract. 

We recommend that you show the agreement to your supervisor before you sign it, so you and your supervisor can ensure that the agreement does not contain elements, which are in violation with ITU regulations for projects and exams.

If necessary, you can mark in LearnIT that the assignment is confidential, when you submit it. In addition, the oral exam will be held behind closed doors, i.e. without an audience, on your request.


1. Remember, it is not a requirement in general to enter into a Confidentiality Agreement or an Agreement on Confidentiality and Rights with companies. 
2. Make sure you understand the content and consequences of the agreement.
3. Remember that you own the intellectual property rights (IPR) in the works you produce.
4. Remember that you and the company often have conflicting interests. 
5. Make sure that you are given a fair remuneration for your project results. You should rather not be the new student who develops a new Facebook, without getting a piece of the cake!
6. Remember to be credited for your work
7. Remember that the goal is for you to pass your exam! 


A project executed in collaboration with a company must be set up as any other project at ITU; you must register the project in the same way, observe the same deadlines, find a supervisor from ITU who will accept your project and supervise you, etc.

The project must also meet the same academic standard as other projects at ITU. This means, that you must discuss the problem statement with the ITU supervisor, and find out how the company can be used as a case in the final assignment.



There are several ways to get in touch with a company:
 
  • Many companies have uploaded project proposals in the Job- and Project Bank (you might also check the Project Banks of other Universities). Take a look at companies that have posted internships as well; often these will be interested in project collaboration.
  • Twice a year The Study and Career Guidance hosts an event, where the companies/organizations who are interested in collaborating with students visit ITU. See the calendar for The Study and Career Guidance here.
  • If you are looking at potential companies that you think would be interesting to work with, do not hesitate to contact them. Many companies are interested in working with students.
  • Some teachers are in contact with companies on their own – you can then ask the person you have in mind to supervise your project.

It is a good idea to discuss your individual expectations, before you start the project collaboration. You can ask yourself questions like:

  • Why does the company wish to collaborate with students and what are their expectations in terms of the outcome of this collaboration?
  •  What are their expectations in regards to how the project collaboration will go about?
  •  Does the company have any preferences in terms of method, theoretical approach, the design of the study etc.?
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Before you make an agreement with a company or organization, you should make sure that it is possible for you to gain access to relevant data, which is important for your project. This means that you should:

  • Make sure you have a contact person at the company who has time to meet up with you or your group.
  • If you need to conduct interviews etc., you should make sure that the company is prepared for that.
  • Ensure that you have the opportunity to gain access to relevant material, such as: Meeting summaries, reports, software, documentation etc.

Will you be working with personal data with a company or organization? Please read about your responsibility as a student working with personal data here.