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Partnership power

The prominent Rochester billboard encouraging cancer patients to seek treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo is gone. The reason, as reporter Will Astor noted in last week’s edition, is that collaboration has replaced Roswell’s former competition with the University of Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.
 
After signing a memorandum of understanding last fall, the two cancer centers have pursued a joint research effort, with an agreement to evenly share funding secured for their collaborative projects. Driving the joint effort is a difficult reality: The biggest U.S. cancer centers dwarf both Wilmot and Roswell, and cooperation gives them a better shot at research funding.
 
Call it the power of partnerships. For a growing number of companies and organizations, working together provides competitive advantages that strict autonomy cannot offer.
 
Another recent example is the collaborative initiatives undertaken by St. John Fisher College and Nazareth College of Rochester. As reporter Nate Dougherty explained, these efforts aim to rein in the rising cost of higher education and offer an enhanced experience for students.
 
Meanwhile, a partnership of UR and IBM Corp. is central to plans for a Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation that could bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in sponsored research to Rochester. And for the past several years, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Rochester General Health System have been building a research-focused partnership that combines their strengths in a number of areas.
 
Yet another example in the non-profit sector is ACT Rochester, a community indicators program of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Rochester Inc., with research and analysis provided by the Center for Governmental Research Inc. Indeed, more than 200 local organizations and numerous individuals helped shape the design of ACT Rochester.

Competition is healthy in many respects, but it’s not always the way to go. For individual businesses as well as for the region, partnerships can be a particularly effective strategy for growth.

4/13/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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