UNAIR NEWS – In a series of QS APAC 2023 conference activities, UNAIR held a panel discussion that explored innovation, especially harmonization of higher education institution, industrial evolution and global engagement. Four speakers were presented in a discussion held on November 8, 2023 at the Exhibition Hall 8BC Auditorium, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia. Prof Muhammad Miftahussurur, Dr SpPD MKes PhD FINASIM led the discussion which was attended by all QS APAC 2023 delegates from UNAIR and other universities.
In his opening speech, Prof. Miftah said that triple-helix cooperation from universities, industry and government is necessary to provide solutions to world problems. “To meet up with the global challenges, it is now necessary for industry and HEIs to work together to adjust their mutual agreements through relational governance. These collaborations result in the development of new products, new services, and new processes,” said Prof. Miftah.
Meanwhile, Fx Sudirman, CEO of PT Biotis Pharmaceutical Indonesia, told how the company he had just formed was able to develop a Covid-19 vaccine when the pandemic hit the world. He also shared about Prof. Fedik Abdul Rantam’s vaccine development plan and the agreement reached between PT Biotis and UNAIR, as well as the issuance of a Presidential Decree which launched the creation of a domestic Indonesian vaccine called INAVAC.
“This story shows the strength of our determination to create synergy between universities, industry and full support from the government. The impact of change resulting from the collaboration of these three parties is very clear. Together we can answer global challenges and provide extraordinary results,” explained Sudirman.
Apart from that, Dr Datin Aznita Aziz as Vice President of the Industrial Development Division of the Malaysian Bioeconomic Development Corporation explained the importance of university collaboration with the business and industrial world (DUDI) in creating new jobs and preparing the next generation. She reviewed this from the perspective of her country, Malaysia. She explained how 30 years ago, it all started with a crisis, when the unemployment rate was high and graduates were not ready for work.
“The government at that time felt there was something that needed to be improved, because the unemployment rate was quite high and the skills we got from university were not used in the workplace,” said Datin.
She further explained that several government policies were made to overcome this problem. One way is by providing conditional grant funds.
“The government encourages collaboration between universities and industry by providing research grant funds. If it is not collaborative research between universities and industry, the grant funds will not be awarded,” she continued.
She explained that there are several important factors that need to be encouraged in order to create a good climate of innovation and collaboration.
“Now everyone understands the importance of ensuring graduates get the right job with the skills they got from university. Secondly, universities must also encourage practical exposure, this could be done through an internship program 1-6 months before they graduate,” she said.
Main Director of ICBiotech Osaka University, Prof Dr Kazuhito Fujiyama, reviewed how collaboration between universities and industry can remain strong, sustainable and fair. Prof. Fujiyama conveyed the phases of collaboration that occurred at Osaka University.
“We started with technology consultation and joint research from university academics. If it shows good results, the company will consider commercialization, marketing and we can enter the second phase, namely industry on campus, which means bringing company research on campus,” he explained.
In four to five years, the industry on campus will try to produce new breakthroughs that can truly be capitalized as commercial innovative products. Students can join the company and we can get revenue and other benefits.
“Sometimes companies give us ideas, then we develop those ideas into technology. A cycle like this is very important to maintain sustainable collaboration with companies,” added Prof. Fujiyama.
The fourth speaker, Hugh Edminston, Senior Vice President (Administration) of Singapore Management University explained the importance of global engagement and knowledge transfer in the context of innovative collaboration.
“If we don’t work together to solve the world problems we face on earth, we might not be here after 150 years. But what impresses me is that all the big universities in the world study the same topics like sustainability, population aging, big data, AI. This is what we are doing now and we have to do it together,” he said.
Hugh said there are many opportunities for collaboration and producing impactful solutions. According to Hugh, collaboration between universities and industry is an important key to producing this solution.
Author: Andi Pramono