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The Dynamics of University-Industry Linkage: The Case of Mekelle City, Tigray Regional State, Ethiopia

  • Published : 2018.11.30

Abstract

In the past few decades, the importance of dynamics of University-Industry Linkage(UIL) in strengthening national and regional innovation competency and global competitiveness has been progressively more acknowledged. However, establishing an effective UIL for a better economic development is still a challenging endeavor in Ethiopia, particularly in Tigray region. This study is aimed at assessing the status of UIL and in order to achieve such aim it analyzed the determinants of firms' intensity of interaction with the Mekelle University (MU) and the effect of the intensity of interaction on the relevant firms' innovation performance. The findings of the study showed that the status of UIL between the firms and the university in Tigray region was at an infant stage. The study also found that firm size, firm age (startups) and government supports have had a significant effect on firms' intensity of interaction with the MU. However, the firms' intensity of interaction with the MU did not have any significant effect on the firms' innovation performance. In contrast, cooperation with customers, other groups and suppliers, firm size, firm age, and in-house R&D activities were found to have a significant effect on the firms' innovation performance. In conclusion, the acquisition of knowledge and technology from university does not have an important role in firms' innovation performance in the studied region. Consequently, the government should design effective strategies and assign responsible bodies to implement the strategies, create awareness, and organize both firms and university to meet and work together in order to enhance firms' innovation performance.

Table 1. Sample Distribution of Manufacturing Firms

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Table 1. Sample Distribution of Manufacturing Firms

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Table 2. Sampling Proportion of academics and Researchers

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Table 2. Sampling Proportion of academics and Researchers

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Table 3. age and educational background of Sample Respondents of Manufacturing Firms

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Table 3. age and educational background of Sample Respondents of Manufacturing Firms

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Table 4. academic Rank and educational background of Sample Respondents of Researchers and academics of MU

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Table 4. academic Rank and educational background of Sample Respondents of Researchers and academics of MU

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Table 5. linkage with MU Firm Size Cross-Tabulation

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Table 5. linkage with MU Firm Size Cross-Tabulation

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Table 6. linkage with Manufacturing Firm's engaged in Innovation activities Cross-Tabulation

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Table 6. linkage with Manufacturing Firm's engaged in Innovation activities Cross-Tabulation

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Table 7. Descriptive Statistics for Determinants of Firms Intensity of Interaction with MU

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Table 7. Descriptive Statistics for Determinants of Firms Intensity of Interaction with MU

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Table 8. Regression Results for Firm's Intensity of Interaction with MU

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Table 8. Regression Results for Firm's Intensity of Interaction with MU

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Table 9. Descriptive Statistics for Determinants of Firm's Innovation Performance

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Table 9. Descriptive Statistics for Determinants of Firm's Innovation Performance

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Table 10. Regression Results Concerning the effect of Firm's Intensity of Interaction on Firm's Innovation Per-formance

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Table 10. Regression Results Concerning the effect of Firm's Intensity of Interaction on Firm's Innovation Per-formance

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