UIL is regarded as one of the widely used interactive best practices, a tool for creating technological innovations and enhancing global competitiveness ultimately promoting the interests of the firms and academia with the current era of globalization, the university system needs to become more responsive to the current demand by producing graduates with degrees which is relevance to the needs of the country. The university must improve its capacity to cater more proactively to the increasing demands of the economy and society and to strengthen its core objective and mission.
Intense global competition, shorter product life cycle, rising demand for technological innovation unpredictable economic conditions, and increasing cost of research provide firm grounds for the organization to foster collaboration with institutions of advanced learning.
Effective partnership between the university-industry-Government is not only results in mutual gains for all parties but also brings immense benefits for the nation's capacity building and the development of a resilient and competitive economy.
Accordingly, Ethiopian Institute of Technology-Mekelle established a University Industry Linkage (UIL) Office as part of the university reform process to establish a strong and sustainable linkage with industries.
- To be the nation's leading centre for university - industry linkages.
- To bridge information, knowledge and technology between the university and industry by creating partnership that provides benefits to the university, industry and the nation.
- To become a 'one stop center' for information with regards to University - Industry activities.
- Establish sustainable structure for qualified internship system-QIS and acquire sufficient internship places every year.
- To facilitate collaborations with industry in research, development, commercialization and consultancy.
- To create opportunities for University and industry through activities relating to students training and enhancement of knowledge & skills.
What motivates the Industry to Collaborate with University?
- access to human resource, including well-trained graduates and knowledgeable faculty,
- access to basic and applied research results from which innovative products and processes will evolve,
- access to professional expertise not usually found in an individual firm,
- access to university facilities, not available in the company,
- assistance in continuing education and training and
- Being good local citizens or fostering good community relations.
For a company the main motivational factors are early access to scientific or technological knowledge, risk reduction, access to unique research. In addition to all these, such collaboration might also reduce the recruiting and selection costs and increase efficiency.