Philemon Kurima Kwaramba, Jameson Kurasha and Lighton Dube
This paper shares the research-industry synergy index developed through 212 expert responses from academia and industry in Zimbabwe. The findings were part of results obtained after DPhil studies (2017-2022) under the topic “Towards moral synergy between research and industry in developing countries: a case study of Zimbabwe”. The perceptions were captured through Likert Scale responses (LSR) from experts and researchers in both academia and industry. The LSR responses had a scale which ranged from 1=lowest to 10=best. Twenty (20) techno-business parameters were covered under the quantitative component of the case study. This culminated in indices for those in research/academia; those in industry and a third embracing both research and industry sides. The overall R-I synergy level at the time of the study was estimated at 40%, confirming the widely held view that R-I among developing economies like Zimbabwe was limited. The resistance to R-I synergy emanated from; among others; skills shortage, under-funding, limited mentorship, limited exposure to international best practices, poorly equipped laboratories, weak alumni, absence of professional networks depriving idea sharing and training systems that do not match current technology trends. What gets transferred from research to industry is limited. The paper shares aspects that needed serious policy attention for informed intervention by stakeholders. It also argues that developing economies face similar circumstances and urges developed nations to assist in equipping laboratories and needed capacity building.
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