Desalegn Tesfaw Abate
University-Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer (UIL & TT)
Higher Education Institutions are the source of knowledge and technology. At the same time, industries are established with strategic orientation for survival by managing knowledge for the purpose of generating profits. Industries are mainly devoted to the development of products and processes, production, marketing and sales. In this regard, industries are assumed to demand useful solutions of problems. In this regard, effective and efficient University-Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer (UIL & TT) is a necessary condition for knowledge and technology transfer from university to the industry. The university graduates and research outputs have to be absorbed by the industry. The industry is also source of finance for university research activities and source of information for quality assurance so that graduates with high level of knowledge and skills, as required by every industry, can be produced. The outcomes of research undertaken in universities have to be transferred to the industry integrated to the products and services of the industry and impact the living standard of the society.
It is known that, one of the objectives of higher education institutes is to support the development of the country by solving problems of industries, service providing institutions and producing skilled labor force.
UIL & TT is aimed at supporting the creation of Science and Technology Innovation (STI) System in the country. This is meant to build collaborative research initiatives that would be industry driven, with the goal of technology invention, adoption or adaptation by regional industry. The goal is to move the economy towards the federal STI goals, while strengthening the university’s capacity for innovative research. The Innovation System stakeholders include; Universities, other higher education institutions, research institutions, industry, TVETs, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), government and non-government organizations, and community.
All parties can be benefited from the linkage, if there is a clear understanding of fundamental University policies and procedures and of the complementary but differing goals of the university and research institutions, industry, SMEs, government and non-government organizations, and community.
The implementation techniques of UIL & TT could be through Internship, Externship and joint agreements. Internships are career-development activities in which students engage in learning through practical and relevant experiences at various internship sites. Internships are undertaken by students who are at or near the end of their academic program. These structured experiences involve the practical application of previously studied theory through course work. Internships are targeted to the students’ meaningful future plans and allow students to explore careers that require additional knowledge, certification, or on-the-job training. While Externship is the process of engaging university academic staffs on career development activities by assigning them in relevant industries. Moreover, technologies transfer can also be delivered through different joint agreements with industries.
The benefit of the UIL & TT could be amongst others to transfer demand driven technologies to industries. Technology transfer is the process of transferring scientific findings or new knowledge and technologies developed that are essential for public use or for commercialization after validating their usefulness through participatory demonstration and evaluation with users. The concept of technology transfer encompasses processes like adaptation, adoption, innovation, invention and reverse engineering.
In general, University academic and research staff and students are encouraged to engage in appropriate industries. Such activites can provide the individual staff members with experience and knowledge valuable to teaching and research and also help students gain vaulable educational opportunities and experience. It also facilitates the transfer of technology to improve the wellbeing and productivity of society and offer research opportunities through which the staff member can make a contribution to the knowledge development and to solve problems.
- Linking the university, TVET, and industries to work together and solve problems for mutual benefit
- Identifying and solving industries and public organizations’ problem through research, community services and technology transfer.
- Enabling staff and students to develop knowledge, create technology and transfer it into problem solving, and entrepreneurial thinking, and plan, monitor and evaluate these engagement for better sustainability.
Aspired to be one of the top five UIL & TT offices in teaching and learning, research, community service and technology transfer in 2017 E.C.
- Service quality;
- Research and innovation culture;
- Customer oriented;
- Institutional thinking;
- Effectiveness and efficiency;
- Readiness for change;
- Accountability and