Varsity-industry linkage needed to carry out research programme
Monday, 31 March 2008

Discussants at a seminar on Saturday emphasized the need for establishing effective university- industry linkages to carry out research and development experiments to improve productivity skills and quality, and make commodities competitive, reports UNB.

The seminar organized by the British Council to facilitate interaction between experts in relevant fields from both Bangladesh and UK was held at a local hotel.

Vice-Chancellor of the BRAC University Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury was in the chair.
Director of British Council Dr June Rollingson was present while Professor K Siddique-e-Rabbani coordinated the event and presented a paper on how to forge the university-industry linkages between the two sides.

Dr Khaleel Malek of the Manchester University presented the keynote paper which spelled out the various policy moves and stages of development of the British society from the early industrial revolution to modern day technology- based industrial society.

The speakers underlined the need for framing national policies which will be supportive in the first place to help development of small and medium scale industries by increasing the skill and productivity of the workers and the management.

The policy regime should at the same time be supportive to curriculum development in the educational institutions from the primary level to the universities to produce people at every level equipped with technical know how to contribute to business and industrial development.

The discussants were highly critical of the government policies which they said support cheaper imports through lowering duties while making domestic manufacturing costlier by heavily imposing VAT and other taxes.

Prof. Jamilur Reza Chowhury said the country has very little practice of research and development activities at industry level as most major industries were previously controlled by the government or still in the public sector where bureaucrats have hardly any interest in taking up research activities.

But the industries can not achieve competitiveness and major breakthrough without research and development activities, he said emphasizing the need for university-industry collaboration to open a new development chapter in the country’s history.

The seminar decided to set up a working mechanism like a forum of university teachers and entrepreneurs to take care of research and development requirement at particular industry or sectoral level to stimulate the country’s manufacturing activities.

“The British Council takes interest to see the replication of the British experiences in flourishing the Bangladesh industries and business,” Rollingson said wrapping up the seminar.

The seminar was attended by university teachers, chamber leaders and retired professionals, who worked as prominent scientists during their in-service career.

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