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HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL INTEGRATION OF ACADEMIC SCIENCE: ACHIEVEMENTS AND FAILURES J. Lodos Chemistry Faculty, Havana University Cuban Sugar Corporation AZCUBA
FIRST QUESTION: Characteristics of today´s Chemistry?
UNIVERSITY RESEARCH IN USA University Science is the main contributor to progress because it generates education, knowledge and ideas but also wealth for the Society and for the Universities. There is a tendency between the increase of granted patents and the increase of the staff percentage of part—time professors arriving from or going to industry.
CUBAN WAY One of the Cuban alternatives to horizontal and vertical integration is the “Close Loop Organizations” as CIM and CIGB. In my opinion, application must be regarded as an academic merit. This is reflected in the increasing number of relevant scientists introducing their own results as members of boards of associated enterprises.
SECOND QUESTION: Are our chemists prepared for horizontal and vertical integration? Are we preparing our students for horizontal and vertical integration? Are we prepared for that?
UNIVERSITY AND TODAY’S CHEMISTRY Once characteristics are identified, the goal of Chemistry Faculties should be to prepare chemists that could assimilate them. But in many Latin American universities, Chemistry is taught in a “precedent” way: complexity is added thru the years. Individual intra-Faculty work prevails over collective, extra-Faculty and vertical work.
ADVANTAGES OF INTEGRATION Integration implies to strengthen collective work and it adds individual capabilities. Vertical integration is needed to speed-up introduction. Team composition must include specialists from different Sciences. We must learn to find our place in it. Team leader is not anymore a coordinator of scientific activities only. Additionally, he has to be a manager for the introduction of results, eventually a more important task.
FAILURES OF INTEGRATION Collective work demands a higher level of coordination, individual tasks and friendly working environment. This is not always achieved. Chemist did not learn to be part of teams and experiences difficulties in it. Many university structures do not facilitate integration. Opportunities are lost to carry out market and feasibility studies (Faculty of Economy), or scaling-up a process (Engineering Faculty), or designing a brand (Public Relation Faculty). Chemists are not prepared to assimilate or lead them.
UNIVERSITY AND INDUSTRY Faculties expect that industry will accept their results no matter its “finishing”. University expects the industry to provide horizontal integration as market and feasibility studies and field tests, and to assimilate 100% vertical integration as pilot production, scale up and commercial tests. But, frequently industry feels the product has a low degree of integration and its development is costly and risky. It rejects it.
CONCLUSIONS • University has to promote the interrelation with other Sciences. • University has to emphasize successful experiences of vertical integration. • University has to attract successful chemists as part-time lecturers. • University has to promote professors going to industry part-time. • Staff´s scientific research has to be linked in some way to application. • Introduction must be considered as a significant academic merit in evaluation.