Thursday, December 7, 2023
NewsNew council, think tank surface to monitor industry linkages

New council, think tank surface to monitor industry linkages

Proclamation mandates university-industry linkage

The formation of a national council dubbed the Linkage Council and a new think tank are in the works in an effort to improve the weak linkage between industries, research centers, and higher education institutions.

The House of People’s Representatives (HPR) passed a new proclamation authorizing the establishment of the Council. It also mandated the council to improve the linkage between the private sector, higher education institutions, and research centers. After the Council is set up, it will establish a think tank to assist and advise on the linkage’s effectiveness and monitor its implementation, among other duties.

Tesfaye Beljige, the government whip, explained to Members of Parliament (MPs) that such ties had been established solely out of interest and must be mandatory now.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) will oversee the Council, which will consist of universities, schools for technical and vocational training, research institutions, industries, and other government officials.

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Almost every ministry contributed to the creation of the new proclamation.

The proclamation states that the Council will “prescribe strategic directions based on the fields of focus set by the government and supervise the process and performance of the linkage.”

Private and public universities have been tasked with identifying linkage gaps and increasing linkages by providing consultancy services to the business community. These institutions are also required to establish a transparent and effective revenue administration system for the linkage.

Higher education institutions will also be required to identify, select, test prototypes, produce, market, and transfer technologies to local industries. The proclamation also includes incentives for higher education institutions, the private sector, students, and researchers, distinct from the sharing of patent and invention royalties.

A new directive is anticipated to determine how funding is mobilized from domestic and international research networks and distributed to private industries, students, researchers, and institutions of higher education.

To this end, all higher education institutions will establish intellectual property offices within their departments. The inventor or patent owner (a researcher or institution) is authorized to receive at least 30 percent of the invention’s gains.

On the other hand, industries are required to allow researchers, teachers, and students access to their facilities for practical activities.

The federal government has established 27 research institutions in addition to the four sectoral councils that report directly to the Prime Minister. There are hundreds of technical and vocational training institutions and close to 50 universities.

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