Society needs to grow and develop sustainably. Society needs theoretical understandings of various concepts and constructs domiciled in the university, colleges of education, polytechnics and other higher education institutions that generate theoretical knowledge. As imperative as it is for the academia and industry to come together despite that the numerous benefits that would accrue to both, it has always been difficult for the stakeholders have appropriate models for overcoming stumbling blocks along the strategic partnership road.
Our check indicates that “Industrial-academia linkage (IAL) is a crucial mediator and modulator of skill development, adoption of knowledge and promotion of entrepreneurship. It also aids in the strengthening research and development investment via exploiting the synergies and complementarities present in scientific and technological capabilities. This, in turn, nurtures commercialisation and mobility of labour in both the public and private sectors. In 2019, our analyst noted that Nigerian stakeholders need to connect and fix paralyses in the R and D sector, one of the sectors that is critical to sustainable growth and development of academia and industry.
In the report, our analyst pointed out that “it is necessary that businesses and academic researchers remove barriers preventing research co-creation. As an advocate of combining academic and industry principles for understanding issues discomforting people and organisation’s growth, Academic-Applied Research Co-Creation Hub is being proposed as part of solutions to the issues in the R and D sector, using academics-professionals approach. AARCOC emerged after critical analysis of the current situation of research and development engagements in Nigeria. The hub intends to make significant contributions to sustainable academic and industrial development using scientific methods.”
From 10 members of the Hub, who reside in Nigeria and other countries in the world, the Hub has been able to produce a number of academic publications in national, regional and global reputable journals and books. It has also been able to produce popular articles and white papers that enable businesses, political leaders, policymakers and individuals made informed decision in their respective domains.
Our New Proposition and Model for Realising IAL in Nigeria
Our analyst and his colleagues in the Hub have realised, through the outcomes of the researches conducted so far, that there is a need for an information portal that will be the main repository of knowledge for the stakeholders in the academia and industry towards the formation of sustainable strategic partnerships. Therefore, Abito Citta is coming on board to provide an enabling environment for academics, students, professionals, business and political leaders.
The platform seeks to dwell on providing solution driven content rather than problem driven content being produced predominantly by the mainstream news media across the country. The Hub believes that educational institutions and research centres or institutes have more to offer the Nigerian society than perennial conflicts and crises. At the same time, both the industry and academia have more to gain when they are properly clustered and linked.
From the analysis of the data and insights that emerged from the Hub in more than two years, two categories of linkage are being proposed. These include mono-linkage and multi-linkage. The expectation is that there will be more types as actors interact and information flows freely. With mono-linkage, we envisage a situation where an academic institution or research institute collaborates with a company on a particular project [teaching, research and development, capacity building among others]. Multi-linkage is the opposite of the mono-linkage.
Whether mono-linkage or multi-linkage, Abito Citta team expects an academic institution or research institute to have collaboration with businesses in its immediate community [location] more than those outside the community. This is premised on the Hub’s analysis, which indicates that collaboration with the close industry benefit the host community more than a synergy with distant industry.