• Vol 10, No 4 (2019)
  • Architecture

Critical Success Factors (CSFS) In University-Industry Collaboration (UIC) Projects in Research Universities

Mahanim Hanid, Othman Mohamed, Maznah Othman, Mohd Suhaimi Mohd Danuri, Kho Mei Ye, Mohammed Ali Berawi

Corresponding email: mahanim@um.edu.my


Published at : 29 Jul 2019
IJtech : IJtech Vol 10, No 4 (2019)
DOI : https://doi.org/10.14716/ijtech.v10i4.668

Cite this article as:
Hanid, M., Mohamed, O., Othman, M., Danuri, M.S.M., Mei Ye, K., Berawi, M.A., 2019. Critical Success Factors (CSFS) In University-Industry Collaboration (UIC) Projects in Research Universities. International Journal of Technology. Volume 10(4), pp. 667-676
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Mahanim Hanid Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Othman Mohamed Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Maznah Othman Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mohd Suhaimi Mohd Danuri Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kho Mei Ye Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mohammed Ali Berawi Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author

Abstract
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This research study examines the CSFs in UIC to ensure the success of any collaboration. Thirteen success factors were evaluated by respondents from industry and public research universities in order to identify the most critical ones. Adopting a quantitative research strategy, both groups of respondents were selected based on their experience of involvement in UIC projects. Similarities and differences in the two university and industry perspectives were identified. Universities focused more on the quality of the researcher, commitment and financial support as the main factors in ensuring the success of the collaboration. As regards their industrial counterparts, some similar factors to the universities were highlighted. In addition, the industrial partners were concerned with constant communication and strong teamwork as the main ingredients of successful implementation of UIC projects. By understanding the similarities and the differences, a positive environment can be created and thus both parties will prioritize the relevant factors when conducting collaborative activities.

Critical success factors; Public research university; University-industry collaboration

Introduction

1.1.      Overview of UIC in Malaysia

In today's competitive and globalized business environment, the formation of UIC research is viewed as essential in building and maintaining companies’ competitive position. In this regard, the government of Malaysia is promoting a R&D and innovation culture (Yee et al., 2009) among researchers because of the benefits that accompany the implementation of UIC between organizations.  With the increasing prevalence of UIC and its importance for the future success of both types of organization involved and for the national economy, it is essential to develop an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and pitfalls involved, and as well as the factors which drive its formation. 

In Malaysia, UIC is a new phenomenon among researchers and is another platform for acquiring research grants.  In the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), it was acknowledged that  there was a need to strengthen the National Innovation System (NIS) by creating and establishing closer links between  universities  and  industry  and  also  to  increase  the  research  &  development  (R&D) funding allocation under both National Plans. Doing this could help public universities to be more actively involved in research.  This situation has occurred because of the reduction in national subsidies to universities, combined with the Malaysian government’s policy of encouraging self-reliance among universities to generate their own income (MOHE, 2007). 

In addition, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia has emphasized the importance of partnerships between universities and industry as a means of creating alternative funding in light of diminishing national subsidies (MOHE, 2007).  The World Bank has also proposed UIC be used as a strategy to improve the relevance of the education system in Malaysia and to offer services to SMEs that do not have a high level of technology adoption and innovation know-how (World Bank, 2006). Moreover, establishing collaborations with universities provides several benefits to business, such as enhanced firm innovations, increased internal resources, and improved processes and product performance.  On the other hand, universities also gain benefits in the form of financial support and academicians’ improved research results (Ramli & Senin, 2015), additional public and private funding, and increased licensing and patenting income as a result of technology transfer activities (Barnes et al., 2002).  Moreover, collaboration provides access to a greater breadth and depth of knowledge and technologies than would normally be possible through internal development. 

Although the introduction of UIC is believed in some quarters to have been beneficial, in reality its establishment in Malaysia is still clearly lacking. Moreover, successful collaboration is difficult to determine because of issues that lead to barriers for partners to establish successful collaboration (Dunowski et al., 2010).  Previous studies undertaken in overseas contexts, such as in the USA, Germany, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Ireland and the UK, were mainly focused on describing successful models, policies, criteria for benchmarking collaboration, managing UIC projects and challenges or outcomes to successful UIC (Yee et al., 2015) because of the different levels of maturity that they have achieved in such collaboration. Therefore, in this study the focus is on the factors that can lead to successful collaboration between universities and industry and reduce the barriers to such a process.

Correspondingly, the research aims to identify the most critical success factors in UIC projects so that both parties will understand their roles and how to manage future collaborative relationships.  This aim is supported by three objectives: to examine the current issues in university-industry collaboration projects in public research universities; to identify the CSFs of UIC projects in social science research at such universities; and to identify the differences and similarities between industry and university approaches to successful collaboration.  The scope of the study covers research work in social science at public research universities involved UIC projects. The industrial collaborators were professional experts in various industries. The boundaries of the work were defined to ensure that the data collected were within the constraints of the investigation.

 

Conclusion

It should be highlighted that this study only focuses on the non-technology research area, which is something that has previously been missing.  Therefore, no physical product that has a commercial value aspect is considered from the academic or industry point of view.  Industry and researchers should endeavor to explore the non-technical and social science aspect value, especially from human and environmental aspects. The symbiosis created among the local researchers in Malaysian universities and professional experts from industry can be progressed based on the CSFs identified in this research.  Obviously, neither party should concentrate on rewards and benefits, which are based on financial value, but instead consider the positive environment and other human and environmental aspects that can be gained when entering into collaborations.   

Supplementary Material
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