Dr. Nurelegne Tefera’s Opening Speech on the National Workshop of University-Industry Linkage
MAY 30 /2018
- His Excellency Bogale Feleke, State Minister, Ministry of Industry
- Dear Distinguished Invited Guests,
- Dear Participants from Industries,
- Dear Our University Staff Members,
- Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of AASTU and myself, I would like to welcome all of you to Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. Thank You So Much for coming to us to share your ideas and experiences for the betterment of the link between our university and your respective industry/institution.
Before I forward my remarks on today’s workshop, let me say few words about our University.
The establishment of well institutionalized and strong science and technology universities and Institutes of Technology serves as a cornerstone to build an economically developed and industrialized state of Ethiopia. Based on this conception, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (AASTU) was established in 2011 as the first specialized University for science and technology in the country.
Since 2014, the accountability of the university was transferred to Ministry of Science and Technology and since then the university has enrolled competent students using entrance exam to make the above dream into reality. These students are among the best mind students throughout the country. The university has also carefully recruited instructors from home and abroad. We have also established in all areas state-of-the art teaching laboratories.
Besides, we have launched new research based masters and PhD programs in all areas of engineering and science and in selected national priority areas.To strength our University’s research and technology transfer capacity, eight centers of excellence which are listed below are established.
- Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
- Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
- Constriction Quality and Technology
- High Performance Computing and Big Data Analysis
- Nuclear reactor technology
- Nano Technology
- Mineral Exploration, Extraction and Processing
- Sustainable energy
We strongly believe that launching of these centers of excellence will help to fill the gap in science, technology and innovation areas through conducting problem solving research in engineering, science, technology and other areas.
In addition, core laboratories are being established which will give service not only for AASTU but also for other stakeholders and the academia.
Dear Ladies and Gentle Men
Universities have become the prime source of ideas that are increasingly being translated into viable market commodities in the shape of service provision, product manufacturing and improvement in systems, processes and procedures of companies.
The university-industry linkage and industry-university collaboration and partnership have increased the possibilities than ever before to change the knowledge and innovative ideas generated through quality research activities of higher institutions of learning into commercial business enterprises.
It is, therefore, not surprising that universities are increasingly working together with industries.
In our part, the university-industry linkage is among the top priorities of our university. We have established a University Industry Linkage (UIL) Directorate in our organizational structure to facilitate the work. Using this structure, we have done many things including the signing of bilateral agreements with more than 50 industries that are relevant to our academic programs.
The directorate also runs a number of consultancies and research projects. Some of these projects are completed and some are on-going.
Basing the feedbacks from industries, we are also keen to tailor our curricula to address the growing needs of industry so as to produce the efficient and functional workforce they need. In the same vein, industries are also expected to convert the knowledge and innovative ideas generated through the quality research activities of higher institutions to alleviate their industrial problems. Moreover, industries have to consider one undeniable fact, which is, industries that have a very strong collaboration with higher educations are likely to be more competitive and more profitable than traditional businesses.
But for this to happen, we need to strengthen our collaboration since it has tremendous benefits for both the university and the industry, and broadly speaking to our country.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Some industries have had to create research and development department, solely tasked with the duty to continually research and develop services and products. Although this department has several advantages for an industry to build its research and development capacity, the external sources of technologies have also become more and more important. To develop technologies externally, one can apply inter-firm collaboration, industry-research institution collaboration and university –industry collaboration. Among these collaboration options, the university-industry collaboration option has been considered a top issue by many scholars regarding competitiveness.
It is my belief that this collaboration will provides us with innovative and creative ideas to have a deeper and involved interaction between industries and universities.
When students have internship at industries, they will get functional knowledge in respect to their relevant disciplines. They cherish the necessity of team work, understand the conditions for industrial partnership and are able to broaden their horizon from the practical industrial perspective which makes them fit very easily into industry. On the other hand, industries which also profit from new ideas of the young generation and they train their tomorrow’s partner.
To end with, I would like to thank those industries that have played their national commitment through our students’ industrial attachment programs like the internship and short-visit. I also call other institutions and industries to do the same in this program.
Your excellency, ladies and gentlemen
To strengthen the university industry linkage, the role of the government is vital. Specially, those institutions that lead the industrial, construction and ICT sector should play a leading role in order to full fill their mission. Thus, I call them to work together.
In conclusion, there are tremendous benefits for both universities and industries if they collaborate with each other. It is, therefore, my hope that both our staff and representatives of industries will reflect on how best universities can collaborate with industries since we all agree that, the link has not been the best.
Finally, I would like to thank the organizer of the workshop.
I thank you all!
MAY 30 /2018
Dr. Nurelegne Tefera