Rapid changes in the global competitive environment and the speed of innovation worldwide have forced private and public sector institutions to unite their efforts to remain ahead of their competition and foster the diffusion of knowledge within national innovation systems. This has led to a focus on long-term commercialisation partnerships rather than single transactional exchanges. This study provides unique insights into such partnerships by outlining relevant key success factors and taking into account the impact of organisational culture difference and of individuals engaged in the process. An integration of relationship marketing and technology transfer theory, as well as a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches, including a dyadic assessment, provide a novel and well-rounded framework for understanding research-oriented university-industry relationships. The results should be of particular interest to university and industry managers and staff, policy makers, technology transfer offices and research centres, consultants, and other bodies aiming for research commercialisation success.