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  • Mariela Alcaparas

Strengthening University-Enterprise Collaboration: Insights from the SECRA Staff Mobility Program

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Photo: Representatives of SECRA partner universities from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom

In a world increasingly interconnected, finding innovative solutions to complex challenges, such as natural disasters, has never been more crucial. The recently concluded Strengthening University-Enterprise Collaboration for Resilient Communities in Asia (SECRA) Staff Mobility Program, held from October 9 to 13, 2023, at Mid Sweden University in Östersund, Sweden, brought together representatives from the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. The program aimed to enhance the capacity of the SECRA consortium members in the area of University-Enterprise Collaboration.

University-Enterprise Collaboration plays a pivotal role in fostering resilience and innovation, especially when facing natural disasters. Despite its name, the concept opens the dialogue for partnerships among the triple helix of innovation: the academe, industry partners, and government agencies. The SECRA Staff Mobility Program recognized this and convened participants from diverse backgrounds, creating a vibrant environment for knowledge sharing.

Participants included educators, researchers, and professionals from the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. Their varied experiences and backgrounds added depth to the program, creating a rich platform for sharing knowledge and expertise.

Notably, the Philippines was represented by three SECRA partner universities – Ateneo de Manila University, Mapúa Malayan Colleges Laguna, and Philippine Normal University. Their presence underscored the commitment of these institutions to the promotion of resilience and adaptation in the face of natural disasters.

The program's core focus was on the exchange of experiences and best practices in fostering university-enterprise collaboration, particularly with the experiences of partner universities in the realm of collaboration among the triple helix of innovation. Attendees discussed successful case studies and identified challenges to gain a deeper understanding of each partner country’s context and how to enhance these partnerships. Networking played a significant role in the program, and engaging discussions and workshops provided opportunities to establish lasting connections and partnerships. These connections are expected to lead to joint research initiatives, student exchange programs, mentorships, and other collaborations in the future.

Photo: Representatives from the Ateneo de Manila University (L-R: Mariela Alcaparas from the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO), Daniel C Ratilla from the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability (AIS), and Dr Proceso Fernandez from AIPO)

Another important aspect of the program was the presentation of updates on the current status of university-industry collaboration in each participating country. These presentations not only gave consortium members a glimpse of ongoing efforts, but also provided valuable insights into how collective efforts work towards increased disaster resilience, and the gaps that still exist, vis-a-vis the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Participants are expected to apply the knowledge and experiences gained to enhance university-enterprise collaboration efforts in their respective institutions.

With the next SECRA Project Meeting scheduled in the Philippines this November, the commitment to international collaboration and the pursuit of shared knowledge continues to thrive. This collective effort embodies our shared dedication to building a more resilient future in the global fight against natural disasters.


To know more about the SECRA project please visit .


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