University Research and Commercialization Prof. MalikRanasinghe Vice-Chancellor University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
Structure of the Presentation • Present situation - Industry and University Views • Research in Universities and Issues • Successes and Missed Opportunities at the UoM • Interventions & Way Forward
Present Situation Focus of Higher Education and the Universities today is to produce quality Graduates who are employable productive leaders and good citizens. Mission of the UoM is to produce a “World Class” Graduate
Industry’s View Universities do not understand the requirements of the Employers’ in terms of attitudes, skills and knowledge of the Graduates.
Industry’s View Employer Requirements 1. Academically sound and technically competent graduate 2. Soft skills, English and ICT literate 3. Team player who is flexible 4. Confident with proper attitudes 5. Positive outlook / market friendly 6. Being able to perform from day one
University’s Challenge Typical Student • Intelligent and eager to Learn • Competitive and Self-Centered • Diverse backgrounds/competencies • Insufficient knowledge in English and ICT, lacking social skills
University’s View Industry does not understand the capabilitiesof graduates, and does not train or support them to become effective employees.
Overcoming Challenge When the Industry and the University work together University Industry Interactions • Student Based Opportunities • Consultancy and Service Based Opportunities • R & D Based Opportunities
University Industry Interactions Consultancy Based Opportunities 1. Individual / Team Consultancy 2. Contract Research 3. University Consultancy Company
University Industry Interactions Research & Development 1. Staff / Student Research Projects 2. Innovations and Inventions – IP Policy 3. Industry Sponsored R&D Centers
Research in Universities Issues There is no dedicated funding for Research in Universities. • Priority of HE in Sri Lanka is to increase the number of graduates. • Good to have research in Universities but not essential – at UoM2% of the recurrent grant.
Issues University Research is not ready for Commercialization. • Objective is to find something new that is publishable / obtain patent. • Commercialization requires: • Proof of Concept • University Research Incubator • Prototype • Business Plan • Venture Capital / Angel Fund
Issues Universities lack Incubators. • Legally not permitted – Cannot take a loss. • Incubation requires: • Seed funds and support without a guarantee of success • Legal mechanism for Ownership Lack Venture Capital / Angel Funds.
Success Stories Microwave active coloured EPDM extruded profile Bio diesel process and testing Polipto Pilot Plant Cost competitive Natural Rubber Flooring Before DSI High cost tile UoM Low cost tile After
Success Stories M-Token Platform Reservation Web Application mToken Platform mToken DB User Web Brower Handset (with/without NFC) mToken Server Smart Poster with NFC Tag POS Terminal Movie Theater
Lost Opportunities Universal Grain Moisture Meter Aqua Cube – Gold at Mondialogo Awards 2009 Sonar Navigation Aid for the Visually Impaired Kit to treat Elephantitis Patient Warmer
Lost Opportunities Stand-alone ECG Abnormality Detector Wireless Intercom Universal Vehicle Diagnosis Analyzer KaluDodol Reactor Navigating robot for exploration and surveillance Traffic controller for Railways
Lost Opportunities COCONUT DE-HUSKING MACHINE TEA PLUCKER IN OPERATION WEED REMOVER Remotely Controlled Ploughing Machine
Interventions Short Term – next 2 to 5 years • Provide monetary incentives for University staff for Research. • Set up Research Incubators in every University using Inventors Commission and sustain them. • Set up Venture Capital / Angel Funds to help Commercialization
Interventions Long Term – next 10 to 15 years • State to allocate funds for R&D with commercial potential. • Provide monetary incentives for researchers and reward those who commercialize research. • Provide incentives for private sector to fund and be involved in R&D and commercialization.
Way Forward • University and Industry must work together to produce, an employable graduate & research that create useful knowledge. • University has the students for 04 years while Graduates are Industry’s main resource for the next 30 to 35 years.
Way Forward • Set up Research Incubators in Universities which will provide the motivation and essential link to commercialize University research. • The vacuum that exist between University research and commercialization should be owned and filled by the MoTR.