Director, University- Industry Linkage Technology Transfer
Assistant Professor of Development Management, College of Business and Economics, AAU
Effective and efficient University-Industry Linkage is a necessary condition for knowledge and technology transfer from university to the industry. 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. Addis Ababa University pursues and encourages technology transfer through both formal and informal channels through its university-industry linkage and technology transfer office.
In countries like Ethiopia, where the culture of indigenous technology development and utilization is low and most industries are traditional trade-based, formal university-industry linkage and technology transfer channels have to be pursued aggressively. In the formal channels, the University can initiate and work through the linkage for effective knowledge and technology transfer.
The formal university-industry linkage and technology transfer channels AAU pursues are:
- University-Industry Cooperative Research,
- Industry-Sponsored Research Projects,
- Patent Licensing,
- Consultancy Services Agreement between University and Industry,
- Using Science and Technology Parks and Technology Business Incubation centers,
- Industrial Internship
Mandates of UILTT Office
- Establishing formal relationships with Industries and communities;
- Identifying and prioritizing researchable issues of development (adaptive research);
- Planning, developing and executing the establishment of incubation centers in consultation with relevant units;
- Playing active role in attracting market for rendering research services, in collaboration with relevant units;
- Planning and developing policies on Intellectual Property Rights in collaboration with relevant institutions;
- Soliciting fund for proposal development related to adaptive research and technology transfer;
- Arranging for marketing of technology;
- Following up on the establishment of technological and non-technological Innovation Incubation Centers;
- Liaising with existing innovation incubation centers;
- Acquiring technologies and facilitating technology testing and value adding;
- Demonstrating and popularize technologies;
- Coordinating and facilitating the development of policies and overseeing the implementation of Intellectual Property Rights;
- Collaborating with the relevant College/Faculty Associate Deans and the respective Department/Program Units in executing the above activities.
Activities of UILTT
- Need assessment on creating effective University-Industry linkages
- Need assessment on effective technology transfer activities
- Supporting of colleges and institutes to transfer technologies
- Benchmarking neighboring countries (Kenya and Tanzania) and abroad to learn more on their technology transfer and university industry linkage experiences.
- Supporting of technology business incubation center both in capacity building and Infrastructure
- Study on science and technology park establishment
- Strengthening University Industry Linkage
- Internship policy preparation, printing documents and dissemination
- Staff development in Technology Transfer, Incubation Center, Intellectual right policy dissemination
- Website development
The main activities that have been done this year based on the SIDA fund are listed bellows:
- Development of University Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer Policy: This policy will help each college, institutes, schools and the University at large. Partnership and close collaboration of universities and industries that foster practical knowledge building and also facilitate technology transfer is vital. Students need to be nurtured and capacitated with practical knowledge that could only be achieved with close partnership and win-win arrangements between universities and industries in general. Owing to this, Ethiopian educational system has emphasized the University Industry Linkage and technology transfer concern that initiated establishment of offices in all public universities across the country. Addis Ababa University has established this office with keen belief that coordinated collaboration is achieved in all institutes and collages. However, with the growing expansion of the university and educational programs, ratifying a policy that governs activities of University Industry Linkage and technology transfer is deemed to be critical. Therefore, the aim this policy is to guide the overall partnership of the university with industries and associated technology transfer affairs. The draft has already been submitted and the final policy will be ready soon.