Delegates from private and public institutions were gathered at the University of Rwanda to discuss strategies that would help to build productive and mutual beneficial collaboration between Public-University and private sector; a Swedish experience perspective. The forum was jointly organized by the University of Rwanda’s Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and two Professors of entrepreneurship from the Swedish organisation Entrepreneurship Forum.
In his opening remarks, Amb. Dr Charles Murigande noted that the forum aims to hear from Swedish experience and discuss ways that research can be fostered in policy making for economic growth and social development while linking the University with industry.
Amb. Murigande's opening remarks
In their presentations, Prof Johan Eklun, the CEO of the Entrepreneurship Forum and Prof Pontus Braunerhjelm the Head of research at Entrepreneurship Forum took participants through their organization, achievements and experienced challenges during the promotion of relevant research on entrepreneurship in Sweden. They also showed a glimpse of strategies to be applied in Rwanda in order to improve the use of research in a Rwandan context and bridge the gap between researchers and policymakers.
Prof Johan Eklun (L) and Prof Pontus Braunerhjelm during their presentation
Among other presenters was Prof Kato Njunwa the UR Director of Research and innovation who made a presentation on UR Policy on research and research dissemination. He noted that from the last three years, the research level has at UR tremendously improved. As a result, UR was ranked the 2nd most influential university in the region in terms of impacts of its publications. Kato acknowledged the support of UR-Sweden Programme that contributed to advance the level of research and ensure that UR becomes a research led university by developing a research culture among staff.
Prof Kato, the Director of Research and Innovation at UR
The panel session of this forum was moderated by Kampeta Sayinzoga, Director General of National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA). She noted that NIRDA looks forward to working closely with academic institutions to identify innovative projects that need support.
Ms Kampeta Sayinzoga (2nd right) moderating the panel session
In the course of the discussion, Murigande who is UR Deputy Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement noted that the University of Rwanda in on the verge of engaging industry to share with students some of the realities and demands on the job market. According to him, this interaction will be organizing during the delivery of entrepreneurship course which is a requirement to every UR student.
One participant sharing his thoughts during discussions
Participants in the forum