Industry-academia collaborations are in continual flux. The changing role of academics is reflected in the interaction between industry and academia. In this article, we examine how meetings as a genre are used to establish and alter the roles and identities of participants. First, interactional analysis shows that a meeting set-up revolving around academic presentations confirms an old role division between collaborators where academic contributions are vulnerable to undervaluation. Second, we found that so called “leading individuals” show critical discourse awareness that allows partners to reposition themselves in relation to each other. They use interactional strategies to create a joint purpose, empower participants to jointly realign, and motivate them to openly share progress. This results in a power shift where academics feel free to pursue their agendas. With this article, we try to understand how the choice of linguistic features shapes social and interpersonal relations in industry–academia collaborations by focusing on open innovation as a socially contingent process.