Exploring opportunities for collaboration between the corporate sector and the dental education community

D. Alexander, J. Clarkson, R. Buchanan, G. Chadwick, R. Chesters, C. L. Drisko, C. W. Douglass, L. Farrell, K. Fletcher, F. Makoni, M. Monaco, B. Nordquist, N. I. Park, S. Riggs, L. Schou, F. C. Smales, J. W. Stamm, C. G. Toh, T. Volpe, P. WardP. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The ultimate purpose of both dental industry and dental education is to improve the oral health of the public. This report provides background information on the different roles and objectives of the dental industry and dental education communities, the different operating environment of each sector and also areas of common interest where collaboration will be of mutual benefit. The report addresses five areas for potential collaboration between the dental industry and the dental education communities: Contribution to joint activities. Effectiveness and efficiency. Workforce needs. Middle- and low-income countries. The future of International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations (IFDEA). The traditional areas of support and their limitations that have been provided by industry are outlined in the report and some new approaches for collaboration are considered. Industry-based research has been an important factor in developing new products and technologies and in promoting oral health. However there is a need to facilitate the introduction of these developments at an early stage in the education process. Industry has to operate in an efficient manner to remain competitive and maximise its returns and therefore survive. The academic sector operates in a different environment and under different governance structures; although some trends are noted towards adoption of greater efficiency and financial accountability similar to industry. Opportunities to jointly develop best business practices should be explored. Industry has responded well to the oral health needs of the public through the development of new products and technologies. The education community needs to respond in a similar way by examining different healthcare delivery models worldwide and developing programmes to train members of the dental team to cater for future needs and demands of communities in different regions of the world. The reputation of industry-based scientists and clinicians is high, and their role in contributing to the dental education process in practical ways needs to be explored and further developed. Closer relationships between industry scientists and faculty and students could assist industry's need and desire to develop new technologies for the broader dental care system. The corporate sector can play a key role in the future success of IFDEA by providing support and expertise in developing areas such as regional leadership institutes, a Global Faculty and Network and in collaborating in developing continuing education programmes as well as involvement in its governance. Thirteen recommendations are made in the report. These are considered to be important initial steps in developing the already strong relationship between the education and corporate sectors. Partnership and collaborating more effectively along the lines suggested should, almost certainly, generate mutually beneficial outcomes, whilst serving over the long term to elevate the public's oral health status on a global basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Collaboration
  • Dental education
  • Dental industry
  • International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations
  • Partnerships


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