Addis Ababa University (AAU), Office of Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer (ILTT) held a validation workshop on University Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer Policy at Eshetu Chole Hall (College of Business and Economics) on March 9, 2021.
Professor Tassew Woldehanna, President of Addis Ababa University, in his opening address said.that AAU is one of the youngest in the continent, but has been strongly competing with many above century old African universities without any substantial independence and autonomy.
“In recent years, our University has been making great strides in the field of research and is now competing well with other great universities both in continental and global levels,” Prof Tassew mentioned.
Shumey Berhie (PhD), Director of Office of the Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer, in his introductory speech on ILTT’s policy, said thatAddis Ababa University collaborates with a number of industries in the field of consulting, training and research.
Ameha Mullugeta (PhD), Interim Director of Academic Affairs, in his ‘Student Internship and Staff Externship Policy’ focused message stated that concerned units of AAU should be responsive to internship and externship programs to serve the industry and build student-staff capabilities.
“Internship and Externship programs shall be made fair to all stakeholders: colleges and institutions have to establish sustainable relations with target industries for mutual benefit,” Dr. Ameha urged.
According to Dr. Ameha, student Internship program will be incorporated in all academic curricula and binary grading system which is ‘pass or fail, shall not be used in any student internship evaluation scheme. And the schedule for Staff Externships will be based on semester workloads to avoid any staff scarcity for course delivery, he added.
Wondwossen Bogale (PhD), Associate professor at AAiT, in his Industry Sponsored Research and Technology Transfer Policy notes, addressed that collaborating with industries on research projects is part of AAU’s goal of being a leader in addressing the issues and challenges facing the industries.
Dr. Wondwossen stressed the need to possessing industry sponsored researches which help the university to fulfill its mandate to assist transfer the results of research into industries and the society.
According to Dr. Wondwossen, industry sponsored research projects give rise to a range of issues on authorship and ownership of intellectual property, conflicts of interest and commercialization of findings. There should be an agreement on this matter at the outset of the collaboration and arrangements that must be consistent with relevant university policies and procedures as well as significant legislation and codes of practice, he added.
Mitike Molla (PhD), Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, said in her concluding remarks that various industries often come to the University seeking consultancy services with small amount of fee, which does not satisfy the professional who provides the service.
“We found the fact that, half of the proceeds from the research, which meant to be paid to the institution, does not encourage the inventor. So, we have to re-examine this issue seriously,” Dr. Mitike noted.
By: Theodros Shewangizaw
Photo: Andualem Aseffa
Editor: Abraham Giramy