EconomyWarnings and contingencies in the relationship between universities and...

Warnings and contingencies in the relationship between universities and companies

(Expansión) – On September 29, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the World Innovation Index, in which Mexico lost three positions compared to the previous year, placing it in position 58 of 132 countries.

Four of the top five science and technology hubs are in East Asia, one in Japan, two in China, one in the Republic of Korea, and the fifth in the United States. These poles are determined by analyzing the filing of patent applications and the publication of scientific articles that offer a documentary reflection of the geographical areas with the highest density of inventors and scientific authors in the world.

For Mexico, it is desirable that the scientific and technological advances already carried out in university environments become opportunities for technology transfer, generating greater strengths in the field of innovation in companies and society, which promotes the creation of technological capacities for face the uncertainties generated by the current environment of global competition.

This requires the involvement of companies and the government, in the generation of initiatives that accompany the maturation processes of the technologies that emerged in the laboratories, so that they can become attractive investment prospects that originate new lines of business or new companies.

The timely maturation of the results of scientific research, developed by universities and research centers, generates great benefits, not only for companies but also for society, as they translate into solutions to problems related to health, the environment, poverty, security, among others.

In this case, joint collaboration between companies and universities becomes relevant for the following:

1. Promote the authorization of Research and Development Centers of a high scientific level, in accordance with the needs of industry and society;

2. Enable the formation of scientific-technological networks with the participation of university researchers in the industry;

3. Establish the thematic lines of co-investment, to support the maturation of technologies that have emerged in university settings, as well as the execution of specific industrial scaling projects that support technology transfer;

4. Build incentives for university researchers, whose objective is to allocate economic resources to those researchers who carry out R&D&i tasks in collaboration with companies.

5. Strengthening the infrastructure and equipment for R&D&i consists of joint investments in equipment for laboratories and research centers.

The country deserves to increase the register of its own innovations, for this it is not only necessary to increase the allocation of investment resources in science and technology, it also requires the creation of highly stimulating cultural environments, as well as clear state policies in science, technology and innovation.

Given this, it is worth asking: is it possible to generate a collective capacity (university-company) to carry out common actions on the basis of a shared interpretation (scientific and business)?

By depending on the production of foreign technology, companies inhibit scientific and technological creativity within the university intellectual field and, in doing so, create highly exclusive labor markets, capable only of fundamentally absorbing a labor force with minimum and intermediate qualifications and only offering productive employment to relatively small nuclei of people with university qualifications or equivalent.

There are success stories derived from the collaboration between the company and the university, for example: in Finland, students on their way to their degree finish their thesis in coordination with a company, creating an energetic flow of ideas and exchange of knowledge, in In this nation, more and more university research is crystallized in spin-off projects carried out through private initiative. Technology transfer centers are already a constant in any university.

It cannot be forgotten that experience shows that it is much easier for a company to be interested in an invention in whose gestation it has participated than in exploiting an invention resulting from research in which it has not been involved.

Likewise, the University must have researchers dedicated to applied research or with knowledge of the innovation management process and with levels of international competence. Statistics show that in the United States, 91% of public universities and 6% of independent Ph.D.-granting universities are related to research-based industry.

Understanding both the role of companies in providing strategic funding and the contribution of universities means understanding that innovation is collective: the interactions between the different actors represent a critical part of the process.

Editor’s note: Juan Alberto González Piñón is the director of Spark UP and an academic at the Faculty of Business at the Universidad Panamericana. Follow him on . The opinions expressed in this column correspond exclusively to the author.

Go from a traditional CV to a digital and comprehensive one

The reality is that a person's CV on paper does not accurately reflect whether that person is suitable for a job, says Guillermo Elizondo.

Inequality as a pending subject

The latent inequalities around the world are presented as one of the debts that we have as a human species, if we aspire to create a future of justice and authentic peace.

ESG and the FOMO effect. The challenge of communicating to the new generations

When thinking about ESG as one of the central pillars in the communication strategy, it becomes essential to carry out a deeper analysis of what it implies, points out Luis Ruiz.

#LaEstampa | Blows to democracy in Mexico and the US

It is evident that there is much to improve in Mexican democracy. But the solution is not the sinister dismantling of the INE.

Technology is a key aspect for the competitiveness of Retail Media

The business sales strategy must be based not only on convenience, but also on ubiquity: being present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, considers Beatriz Núñez.