Title: The role of university-industry collaboration in the development of a knowledge economy: case study of universities in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Ali Bhayani

Addresses: University of Wollongong Dubai, P.O. Box 20183, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: Countries around the globe are emphasising the development of a knowledge economy to drive growth by encouraging universities to be entrepreneurial. Towards this end, universities in Europe and the USA have pursued university-industry collaboration. This paper presents empirical results from case studies of five United Arab Emirates (UAE) universities to identify underlying drivers and the current state of university-industry relations using in-depth, qualitative and multiple case studies to assess the relevance of university-industry relationships and the underlying barriers and opportunities. UAE universities possess some inherent qualities necessary for university-industry collaboration. These include steerage and concern for economic surplus as well as operating in a performance driven environment which allows quick response to a dynamic external environment and capitalises on opportunities. However, there are some areas that require further development such as: encouraging a culture of innovation, the provision of incentives to take risks and, targeted support from the state.

Keywords: higher education; entrepreneurship; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; knowledge economy; university-industry cooperation; industrial collaboration case study; UAE universities; United Arab Emirates.

DOI: 10.1504/WRSTSD.2015.073839

World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.12 No.2, pp.173 - 191

Received: 09 Oct 2014
Accepted: 19 Oct 2015

Published online: 23 Dec 2015 *

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