Development of University-Business Linkages in Sri Lanka

iN4iN cooperated with GOPA Consulting to implement on behalf of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), within the framework of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Development Programme, a consultancy project on strengthening University Business Linkages in Sri Lanka.

Strengthening University-Business Linkages (UBL) in order to enable more technology transfer to SMEs was not a focus of previous development projects or university agendas. However, the Government of Sri Lanka has started to emphasise its importance. Nevertheless, UBL promotion and UBL initiatives are still at an initial stage in Sri Lanka.

In order to reach the next stage of Sri Lanka’s economic and social development, strong UBL are essential, as well as regional innovation systems, which will foster the competitiveness of (local) SMEs.

iN4iN contributed in this project to create conducive conditions for establishing such innovation systems and developing UBL. The consultancy projected included capacity building and consultancy for universities; consultancy on strengthening chamber links with universities, consultancy for the University Grants Commission (UGC), corporate involvement, among others.

Besides, iN4iN worked with the UBL Units of four Universities in Sri Lanka to conduct workshops on “Business Model Innovation” for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These events were part of the identified UBL initiatives to promote the relationship between universities and SMEs.

One of the most important results of the project was that the University Grants Commission (UGC) in Sri Lanka decided in 2016 to introduce a fresh set of reforms to incorporate University Business Linkages (UBL) as a structural component of university curriculum. This decision was based on the extensive work done by UGC together with our consultants, who support them to develop an agenda with a set of guidelines for national universities of Sri Lanka on UBL implementation.

The workshop was attended by the Acting Vice Chancellor and other senior staff and members of the University.

The activities of iN4iN Africa have effected a new thinking at the KNUST Business School. There is a proposal to form a partnership with the KNUST Business School in Ghana to train members of the Association of Small-Scale Industries (ASCI) in Ghana to enable them export their products.

To learn more about the project, here you can find some news:

  • “University Grants Commission introduces new reforms to formalise University Business Linkages in all universities” (Daily FT, September 9th, 2016). [+ Read More]

  • “Towards a promotive University-Business Linkage System in Sri Lanka” (Daily FT, September 17th, 2015). [+ Read More]

  • UBL program develops SME`s (Daily News, March 14th, 2016). [+ Read More