Promoting University-Industry Collaboration in Developing Countries

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Collaboration between academia and industry is not only becoming increasingly important for the development of systematic national innovation systems; but it also bring about great rewards which are also distinct in developing countries. The benefits include helping to (1) coordinate R&D agendas (2) avoid duplications (3) stimulate additional R&D investment (4) exploit synergies and complementaries of scientific and technological capabilities (5) expand the relevance of research carried out in public institutions (6) foster the commercialisation of public R&D outcomes (7) increase the mobility of labor between public and private sectors.

Universities and the industry are also increasingly recognising the benefits of collaborations. Organisations are gradually utilising open innovation strategies to better incorporate other relevant information that can better the collaboration with universities; while universities have begun adopting advanced teaching and research methods that can help improve rectify the challenges faced by industry and contribute directly to economic success.

However, the priorities and scope of university-industry collaboration varies between developed and developing countries. In developing countries, a key consideration is the poor quality of education and lack of university fundings which typically leads to insufficient aptitude to team up with industry in innovation-related projects. As such, existing collaboration tends to be more informal and to focus on job employment of university graduates rather than research. In most developing countries, university-industry collaboration is hindered by historically based culturally and institutional barriers, which takes time to prevail.

As universities adapt to globalisation, there is an observed increased in the number of prominent universities from developed countries that are operating campuses in developing countries, aimed at furnishing training or to engage in R&D. Therefore, this allows universities in developing countries to globally take advantage of their reputation, knowledge base and management practices.

Read the full policy brief here.

Participate in the upcoming QS WorldClass 2018 from 16-18 April 2018.

This is an event organised exclusively for senior higher education leaders and key industry partners. Interested in making a change to the higher education world? Come join us in Abu Dhabi as we discuss on the “Changes in University/Industry Interaction”.