Need of strong university-industry partnerships: a case study in Sri Lanka

Randil, Chameera, Jayasiri, Gimhan, Perera, Chamal, Siriwardana, Chandana, Liyanage, Champika Lasanthi orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6687-3611, Hettiarachchi, S S L and Haigh, Richard (2018) Need of strong university-industry partnerships: a case study in Sri Lanka. International Conference on Disaster Management (ICDM 2018), 229 .

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University-Industry Partnerships (UIPs) in the field of DRR have produced several innovative tools, services, and advancements in industrial applications globally. However, from the Sri Lankan perspective, the level of UIPs appear to be significantly lower compared to the global context. In Sri Lanka, a country that has suffered a lot from natural disasters such as landslides and floods especially over the past few years, DRR activities are undertaken by the governmental and private sector organizations and volunteers, mostly as separate entities. This could lead to inefficiencies, overlapping of efforts, and also to the reinvention of the wheel. The Universities as Higher Education Institutions have a key role to play in bringing the aforementioned stakeholders together not only to strengthen the work they do by effective partnerships but also to come up with innovative solutions through research and development. The purpose of this paper is to explore how effective UIPs can be created in Sri Lanka to achieve the above by exploring; 1) current status of UIPs in Sri Lanka; 2) barriers to creating UIPs; 3) needs and opportunities for creating UIPs; 4) identifying best practices in creating strong and sustainable UIPs. The purpose will be fulfilled with the use of a literature review and by gathering stakeholder opinions. The research findings revealed that there is a need to develop a policy that addresses the aspects of knowledge diffusion, production, engagement, increasing the exposure of the academia for the industry and capacity building in universities. This is in order to tackle key barriers to creating UIPs. There is also a need for strong and effective leadership initiatives from universities to ensure sustainability of UIPs in Sri Lanka.

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