Building Bridges: Linking universities with the manufacturing industry

Robert Knutsen
Charlene Steyn
Martin Nicol


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.

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