Vision and recommendations

Vision and recommendations

Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 5:46 pm

The interface between industry and higher education is essential to the growth of chemistry-using industry sectors

Over the next ten years, the UK improves collaborations between business and university to support innovation and growth in the economy.

 
Recommendations made to date:
  • A greater involvement of industry in university education through providing workplace placements, advising on course content and assisting in developing entrepreneurial and soft skills in undergraduates courses.
  • Government to provide more access to funding for SMEs to boost innovation e.g. proposed Investment Bank to unlock private investment for this sector.
  • Universities will also need to make access for industry easier, sharing research facilities and providing common platforms for collaborative work.
Talking points
To achieve this vision, and steps 2.1 - 2.5:
  1. Are the vision and steps 2.1 - 2.5, appropriate?
  2. Do the steps 2.1 - 2.5 miss or overlook any important interface areas between industry and HE?
  3. Who should coordinate the proposed steps 2.1 - 2.5 ?
  4. Where can cost savings be made, and how should savings be prioritised?
  5. How can we measure our progress?
Please contribute your views on the Chemistry Landscape MyRSC forums, providing evidence, where appropriate.
Attached Files

Re: Vision and recommendations

Posted by Hugo Vits on Aug 20, 2011 8:12 am

Adam,

I would agree with some, perhaps most, of the recommendations. But...

A- The keys are with the ' hows?' and ' whys?', and their combinations. For example, the approach to and engagement with a large multinational will be very different than in the case of a local start-up. Presenting a change programme that is a jack of all trades may not lead to the desired outcome.

B- I struggle also a bit with who the actors should be and their commitment. For example:  ' 2.1 a UK businesses and universities work and collaborate globally without the imposition of domestic regional structures.'  .. agreed, but do we then see the UK State as a key financial supporter of this engagement on the basis that it could attract opportunity, business, talent, etc. to the UK? Can that be supported by a local politician? ... or ...Do we want, just to be freed from bureaucratic reins in the UK, to be able to get a knowledge institution system that will go out fight for for its own resources ( but based on a fairly large platform rather than each institution by itself?)?   Then do we have the will of the individuals and the structures in the institutions to do this?  How would this focus on entrepreneurism affect the delivery of education?  Definitely none of this is new and moreover it can be done successfully but is it clear why the UK should do it?  In short... not convinced on the actor ' UK State' on this one.

Cheers

Hugo

R&D Site Manager
Bangalore, India

Re: Vision and recommendations

Posted by on Aug 31, 2011 1:52 pm

Hugo - some interesting comments here and would welcome some further discussion on your points. for example, if you are not convinced the UK State should have a dominant role here then who is best placed to take the lead?

Re: Vision and recommendations

Posted by Hugo Vits on Sep 1, 2011 4:17 pm

Mario,

Happy to debate and explore. I do not have a good answer, as the easy one answer would be 'those stakeholders that benefit the most' is obvious but not helpful.

The State may still have an important role to play - as it may be difficult to find others- but we will need to recreate the virtuous circle of  'Taxes into higher education >> more educated workforce + innovation >> supporting national economic growth, hence more taxes collected...' .  Today ( and in the extreme), higher education institutions  in Science may be falling into a 'tolling model' as thet depend on foreign talent in / foreign talent out..., talent that is today more likely to move elsewhere ( eg back home in China / India) to work in re-localised mature industry or forming innovation hubs. UK constituents may not be particualrly supportive of this... so it is imperative to restore/improve the virtuous circle.  This is nothing new in a competitive environment.

Perhaps there is some mileage in bringing the constituencies closer to the resource allocation problem via 'managed' social network systems.. This could add some reality check.

Cheers

Hugo

Re: Vision and recommendations

Posted by Ian Bell on Sep 6, 2011 4:52 pm

I think that this is somewhat broad in scope and begets the obvious answer - yes!
Echoing Hugo's comment of what is in it and for whom, it is clear that "industry" would not invest in the chemical sciences at universities unless there is a clear benefit.  Similarly it is probably too far a stretch to say that we could build a more vibrant chemical industry in the UK through this route alone.  At best I think that it is one of a number of things that need to change, but unfortunately it is the activity that will likely have the longest lead time to see results.
Why? I think that the key interaction between industry and academia in the chemical sciences is in encouraging the development of new top class talent and encouraging that talent to move into exciting and rewarding roles within UK chemical industry.  The statement copied below addresses this in several ways but of course there are others.
  • A greater involvement of industry in university education through providing workplace placements, advising on course content and assisting in developing entrepreneurial and soft skills in undergraduates courses.
If we are to build a stronger UK chemical sector I strongly believe that his needs to be sustainable, in hence built from the bottom up.  So the balance between this long term view while managing the short term health until we get there is the critical balance for us to ponder.

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