Opportunities for Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, and Innovation in the UAE through Academia-Industry Collaboration

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Competition and technological changes continue to increase at a rapid rate which leads to a significant growth in the need for connection between firms and universities, not only to discover knowledge but also to achieve improvements in performance. Universities play an important role in the society as developers and creators of knowledge. Knowledge improvement can be achieved by stable research, innovation, successful knowledge transfer, and knowledge sharing. There are some signs of interest from the industry to cooperate with universities recently in the UAE; however, the majority of the companies are implementing their projects without a relationship with academia. Lack of such relationships may lead to spending more time and money because of lost opportunities to use innovative methods in executing projects. Therefore, it is helpful to explore the status of industries and universities in terms of their awareness about the importance of such collaborations. The overall intent of this research is to explore how academia-industry collaboration can be enhanced in the UAE and whether such collaboration can improve knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, and innovation. A systematic literature review from published studies that focus on academic-industry collaborations was developed to identify the reasons, drivers, and barriers to such collaboration. A number of interviews were conducted based on the information attained from the literature. Interview respondents were chosen from academics and industry personnel in order to attain information from both academics and industry personnel point of view. The results showed that low levels of collaboration between universities and firms take place in the country. Lack of trust, organizational culture, time, intellectual property and confidentiality are found to be important factors that prevent such relationships. On the other hand, financial aspects, knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, and innovation are among the main elements identified in improving academic-industry collaborations. The research findings can help industry personnel and university faculty to reduce the potential barriers to their collaboration with each other and enhance their performance by encouraging stable and effective academic-industry collaboration.
knowledge sharing, United Arab Emirates (UAE), academia-industry collaboration, organizational culture