Building Bridges: Linking universities with the manufacturing industry

Robert Knutsen, Charlene Steyn, Martin Nicol


Abstract

This article explores ideas for linking university research entities with small- and medium-sized manufacturing industries. In an environment such as the Western Cape, South Africa, where well established teaching and research activities in science and engineering exist at several universities and research institutions, it is astonishing to realize that the local manufacturing industry struggles to obtain assistance with research and development in order to remain competitive locally and globally. Some of the reasons for this situation are outlined and solutions are proposed. In particular, the role of a gateway organization which aims to build networks between universities, research institutions and industry is described.

Full Text

PDF

References

Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology 1996, 'White paper on science and technology', Republic of South Africa, Pretoria, viewed 9 June 2009, http://www.dst.gov. za/publications-policies/legislation/white_papers/

Drummond, M 2007, 'R & D capability assessment in materials and manufacturing', unpublished report for Cape Initiative in Materials and Manufacturing, Cape Town.

European Commission 2006, 'Constructing regional advantage: Principles – perspectives - policies report', European Commission, Brussels, viewed 19 June 2009, http://www.dime-eu.org/files/active/0/regional_advantage_FINAL.pdf

Godfrey, S 2006, 'Partnerships and networks in new materials development', in G Kruss (ed.), Creating knowledge networks: Working partnerships in higher education, industry and innovation, HSRC Press, Cape Town, pp. 94–126.

Jones-Evans, D, Cooke, P, Klofsten, M & Paasio, A 2001, 'Entrepreneurial universities from the periphery', European Commission Publication EUR 19846 – The regional level of implementation of policies, Brussels.

Kaplan, D, Daniels, R, Lorentzen, J & Morris, M (eds) 2006, 'Micro-economic development strategy for the Western Cape – Synthesis report: 2006', Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Provincial Government of the Western cape, Western Cape.

Lambert 2003, 'Lambert Review of Business-University Collaboration: Final report December 2003', HM Treasury, London, viewed 3 June 2009, http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/

Miles, N 2007, 'The state of the innovation economy in the UK 2007', Oxford to Cambridge Arc, Norwich Research Park, pp. 74.

National Advisory Council on Innovation South Africa 2007, 'Human capital and the South African knowledge base: Annual report 2006–2007', National Advisory Council on Innovation, Pretoria, viewed 9 June 2009, http://www.naci.org.za/pdfs/NACIreports/

North West Universities Association, 2007, 'KnowledgeNorthWest final report September 2007', North West Universities Association, Manchester, UK, viewed 2 July 2009, http://www.nwua.ac.uk/docs/pdf/KNW_Final_Report_FINAL_200907.pdf

Toronto Regional Research Alliance 2007, 'The role of universities in economic development: Discussion document prepared for TRRA research working group', TRAA, Ontario, Canada, June 2007, pp. 63, viewed 7 June 2009, http://www.trra.ca/en/reports/TRRAReports.asp

University of Cape Town 2007, 'Social responsiveness report 2007', University of Cape Town, Cape Town, pp. 55–59.