Industry-Academia Alliances Boost Export Capability and Add Jobs
Collaboration between schools and companies facilities is allowing companies to enhance their production, design, and technology skills while allowing students to find jobs.
Export-oriented companies in China are entering into collaborations with colleges, universities, and research institutes to improve R&D and manufacturing capabilities, but also to improve their workforce.
The relationships exist in both sunrise and mature industries, which include furniture, apparel household appliances such as LED lighting, PV, and electric vehicles. Most of the companies that enter these alliances are midsize or large companies that produce more significant than one million dollars annually in export sales, and of that, the minimum of 3 percent of that is committed to R&D.
Local governments support joint ventures by releasing grants to both firms as well as research institutions. Every year, for example, Zhejiang Jinfei Machinery Group Co. Ltd, as well as Jinhua College of Vocational and Technology Jinhua College of Vocation and Technology, receive funds to conduct research through the Provincial Government.
The most frequent form of partnership is a research center that is constructed in collaboration between the manufacturer and the university, the latter using any innovations or breakthroughs in manufacturing.
Professional massage product manufacturer Zhejiang Haozhonghao Health Product Co. Ltd cooperated together with the Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University to establish the Shengli Research Center in 2006. Zhejiang Haozhonghao provides the funding for the Shengli Research Center that develops the technology used by the company for manufacturing. This alliance also helped the company to rise in the ranks both in the domestic and international markets. It is now among the leading five manufacturers of products for massage within China and is one of those companies chosen to create standards for China’s national product line.
In certain partnerships, attracting talented students is the primary goal, rather than increasing R&D or manufacturing capabilities. Businesses sign agreements with universities and then offer courses and research topics in accordance with the needs of the university. A provider of electronic machinery for tires made of rubber Mesnac Co. Ltd sends its rubber and tire machinery experts to teach in the Qingdao University of Science & Technology. Internships, scholarships, and job opportunities for graduates of the university are also offered. In this way, the company can help recruit top graduates to join the business.
Neo-Neon LED Lighting Intl Ltd, which is a provider of lighting fixtures for decorative purposes, is a partner with universities like Wuyi University, the South China University of Technology, Fudan University, and Wuyi University. The company has allowed its production facility to be used for Wuyi University students’ practical instruction. The university’s applied physics department and materials department, in turn, has launched a series of LED lighting courses that are designed to meet the needs of Neo-Neon. The university’s graduates who have completed their studies are given priority.
It is believed that the Jinhua College of Vocation and Technology offers a unique machine and equipment manufacturing class that has been in operation since 2002. The class is dubbed”the Jinfei class; the lectures are designed to meet the Zhejiang Jinfei’s requirements. The technical team members of the company often offer lectures in the form of a guest lecturer. Students are also able to use Zhejiang Jinfei’s automotive accessory production workshops to receive practical education.
The school, in turn, offers its teachers as well as research equipment and instruments together with the business. The school offers short-term education to Zhejiang Jinfei’s employees and employees. Additionally, some of the instructors have the opportunity to be part of the managerial and production teams.