Industry And Science Relationship Fosters Entrepreneurship

FRIDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2012 00:00

By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Shahiddan Saidi

BANGI, 5 Dec, 2012 – The increasing focus on the role of industry-science relationships in fostering entrepreneurship, makes Academic Entrepreneurship significant in pushing research universities forward towards wealth creation.

The National University of Malaysia’s (UKM) Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation Affairs) Professor Dato’ Dr Rahmah Mohamed said Academic Entrepreneurship (AE) is the byword that highlights new endeavour for higher learning institutions.

Prof Rahmah was opening the 9th Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP) general conference, in Bangi today on the theme Unlocking the Wealth of Universities: Academic Entrepreneurship. She was representing Vice-Chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin.

She said before AE, scholars’ ideas, inventions and innovations were described most in research reports, project papers and journal papers. Not many in the industry knew of these innovations and excellence and their potential for cutting edge products or service standards.

Knowledge, embodied in people and technology had always been central to economic development. Hence the advent of K-economy had brought the two groups, the scholars and the industrial players closer together.

She described AE as a game-changing endeavour which complements the two traditional roles of universities i.e. education and intellectual discovery. With AE both roles are not adversely compromised and  may even enhance the traditional roles further through the sharing of financial benefits from the commercialisation initiatives.

The two factors, she stressed, became a key element of the innovation system both as a human and technology capital provider and a seed-bed of new firms. This had brought forth academic entrepreneurship.

She said universities in recent years had created new firms as vehicles to exploit research results mainly stimulated by society’s higher expectations for economic development and internal pressures to generate new sources of income.

She hoped that as the AUAP since its inception had played a fundamental and crucial role in bringing together collaborative efforts from the members and associate institutions  to address issues and concerns of higher education, the conference theme will provide the venue to discuss AE further.

The general conference featured 25 presenters from Malaysia and the other nine ASEAN countries, China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, South Korea, Britain, and the United States, among others.

The AUAP was established with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement and the holding of the Founding Conference in 1995 at Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) in Thailand.

The last General Conference was held in 2008 in Bangladesh.