The relationship between academia and industry is a well-known concept. However, improvement is necessary to move from the traditional exchange of funding for research to the creation of long-term strategic partnerships incubators and innovation activities in the academic organization. The purpose of this study is to explore and design an innovative and sustainable framework to improve the industry-academia link by leveraging academic innovations and incubators and to highlight the challenges faced. This work enhances the existing body of literature and knowledge regarding collaboration and offers concrete steps to be taken for effective collaboration between universities and industries and hence improving the global economy.

Keywords: University spin-off, incubation strategy, university, firm, technology transfer, university-industry relations, IPR, Innovations.


Academia and industry are two important pillars of our economy. a strong collaboration between the two will augur well for our developing economy, enabling innovation, growth within the education system and producing an employment-ready workforce. It’s time to create a nurturing environment where the industry and the academia can work hand-in-hand. Corporations are starting to realise the significance and engage in more and more research-based projects. Additionally, government projects like Start-up India and therefore the Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research will help bridge this gap and inculcate innovation across industries/sectors.

Late during the 19th century, Bayer – the German pharmaceutical firm, formed relationships with universities. During World War I, the National Research Council of the US got together scientists in research-oriented universities with those in industries to support the war effort (Rast et al., 2012). However, such partnerships weren’t very frequent. Nowadays, and since the increasing influence of knowledge on economic growth, creating more and more partnerships is significant to any economy.

Globalization and therefore the pressure of international competition is dissolving boundaries between nations, institutions and disciplines, creating a disturbing knowledge production system that’s increasingly global (Saleh, 2002). The prosperity of a nation is predicated more and more on its ability to mobilize and exploit knowledge-intensive assets. During a global economy, regions seeking to compete more effectively need to build soft structures that support knowledge creation and enable firms to strengthen a region’s capacity for knowledge creation and innovation (Cairney, 2000). Policymakers in developed countries began to formulate laws and regulations governing the exploitation of Intellectual Property (IP) to enhance the contribution of a national university system to industrial innovation. Consistent with Cairney, this approach to regional development requires an environment of trust between the general public and private sectors and between universities and the regions.

Consequently, universities have the potential to act as strong drivers of growth by educating people with high skills in research and by commercializing and applying new knowledge to reinforce prosperity and quality of life. this needs an integrated innovation system of research centres, universities and businesses/industries.

According to World Economic Forum data, if an area’s average income per capita is over 9000 US dollars, then knowledge and technological innovation are going to be the most important forces driving its economic growth. In Taiwan, 98% of the businesses are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and they play a fundamental role in the sustainable development of Taiwan’s economy, but thanks to limited funding, only a few of them have established research and development (R&D) departments. Over 70% of the R & D resources in Taiwan are held by universities, which became hubs for new knowledge and technologies. Through university-industry collaboration, original and breakthrough ideas, inventions, and innovations are systematically channelled from universities into industrial applications and want to develop an entrepreneurial economy.

Higher Education system & Innovations

Change is difficult in any organization; people resist change. As Lloyd Armstrong writes, “Individuals are often wary of changes that challenge old assumptions and require new skills to succeed. An organization is a collection of individuals and therefore reflects the interests of each individual”. Higher education institutions are filled with highly educated people with advanced degrees; many of them are considered national experts in their fields by a variety of scholars. Additionally, through research at colleges and universities, many of the innovations we see in thousands of products in use around the world have been made possible by innovative professors in our labs. . These people are creative. That’s why with so many highly educated and creative people, colleges and universities will be innovative institutions. They will have disruptive cultures of creativity and innovation that will set new standards for education worldwide. However, for the most part, institutions are studying different aspects of innovation by including it in the regular credit program.

Focus on Innovation

Colleges and universities are full of bright, creative people. The challenge is to harness this creative intelligence and energy to develop a culture of innovation. College and university leaders must foster such a culture of innovation on their campuses. Creating a culture of innovation means that leaders encourage the following:

 a) Rewarding innovation, even if it fails.

 b) Training faculty and staff in Design for Innovation techniques.

 c) Fostering cross-departmental teams to solve problems.

 e) Clearly defining problems that must be addressed.

f) Understanding your customers (students).

 g) Providing time for unstructured time.

 h) Not imposing too many rules.

 i) Listening with an open mind

 j) Encouraging prototypes.

These techniques are both simple and complex. For some managers, this means thinking differently and for others, it means letting go, which can be difficult. University Innovation: Transforming faculty from providing outstanding students to a model that drives innovation, helping businesses transform while creating innovative new businesses. We need to create resources at the university that can deliver POC (proof of concept) research that leads to innovations.

Ecosystem bootstrap and maintenance (BUILD)

First, we need a set of simple and transparent rules that will help participants navigate the complex environment of academia — business relations and the transfer of academic IPs.

Academia as an innovation driver.

  • Connecting to the right business partners (CONNECT)
  • Promotion of research and transfer capabilities (PROMOTE)
  • Values
  • Capacity building (PEOPLE)
  • Educating students and staff towards delivery for companies and commercialization (TEACH)                                               
  • Attracting talents and senior experts (COME) 
  • Retention and systematic development of research capacities (STAY)
  • Diversity          
  • Impact on business and society (IMPACT)    
  • Supporting fundamental research leading to applications (INVENT)
  • Cultivating scalable research outcomes and start-ups (INCUBATE)
  • Making academia and companies innovate together to scale          

We need to make academia better in delivering innovations to the industry at

 1) Department level

 2) Meta-university level

 3) Faculty level

 4) Global scale.

Universities can benefit in many ways from this interaction with industry. First, scholars must have practical problems to apply their knowledge. When universities connect with industry, they are inundated with practical problems to be solved. Additionally, the university has a reliable data source through its links with industry. Second, universities may revise their curricula to allow for interaction with industry. Thus, the university increases the employability of its graduates. Finally, university-industry links link advances in knowledge with advances in practice. Working together on a problem exponentially increases the chances of starting a new business.


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