It is obvious from the study of literature that university‑industry (U‑I) relationships and their subsequent knowledge transfers are topics of high political, economical, managerial and academic interest. Indeed, technological knowledge is seen as a major source of long‑term economic growth and its transfer to the firm is critical since it acts as a significant innovation factor. In order to access this knowledge, a portfolio of sourcing strategies is available to the firm: knowledge creation through internal RandD departments, knowledge sharing with suppliers or market relationships, and also transfer from knowledge institutions such as public and private research centres. In this paper, we recognISe that University is a central source of knowledge but we question the general belief that knowledge is per se flowing between private and academic sphere through the conduct of University‑Industry relationships. As a result, this paper presents our literature analysis concerning this research topic and explores one particular mean of inter‑organisational knowledge transfer, namely the University‑Industry collaborative research project. We present findings from an exploratory study, which aims at examining knowledge flows and collaborative behaviours at stake in such research projects. This interview survey has been realised with respondents actively involved in Belgian university‑industry (U‑I) interactions and provides qualitative data analysed through the theoretical framework of organisational knowledge creation developed by Nonaka and Takeuchi. We found evidence supporting the existence of a knowledge spiral as a dynamic for the whole projects and identified some knowledge‑based limits to the reconciliation process between university's interests and company's needs.