Gains Of Research And Development Partnerships

By Obinna Nwodim

Globally, sophistication in intellectual activities and the desire for improved service delivery have dominated technological innovations and development. It has also brought about intense competition amongst institutions and organizations, and the need to engage in mutually-benefiting cross-fertilization of knowledge has become imperative. This is with particular reference to the university system that has research as one of its core mandates. 
The university is a mace where teaching and research geared towards impacting, exchanging and utilizing knowledge are nurtured and harnessed. In achieving these mandates, a university engages in collaborations, both internal and external, that would enable it expand the frontiers of knowledge and enhance its capacity to add value to its intellectual endeavours. In this regard, there are core areas of expertise that stand out universities which equips them to assist one another to benefit from areas of strength.
For the University of Port Harcourt, partnerships with other institutions have become a major strategy to strengthen its capacity-building and service delivery mechanism. The University, over the years, has engaged in various partnerships between industries, as well as other institutions to enhance its knowledge base. This has gone a long way in improving the quality of its output. It is obvious that no university can stand alone in the drive to harness its full potentials as none of them has monopoly of knowledge, irrespective of their prominence. 
It is in this respect that the efforts of successive administrations of the University in fostering beneficial collaborations cannot be over- emphasized. This is significant at this point when the Professor Joseph Ajienka-led administration is repositioning the Institution as an Entrepreneurial University. The authorities have set in motion plans that would ensure that the University gains certification from the International Standards Organization (ISO). The initial step to achieving this goal was the training of Technologists in the ISO 9001 Certification scheme. 
With this development, the University is poised to meet global standard practise in service delivery to its growing stakeholders. It has also brought to the fore the internationalization of academic programmes which is a key driver of the Ajienka-led administration aimed at building a world-class Entrepreneurial University. The rate of partnerships the University is undertaking with other renowned universities is an indication that it has emerged as a Centre of Excellence in diverse fields.
The emergent partnership with the University of The Witwatersrand in Petroleum Engineering, amongst other areas of mutual interest is another welcome development that demonstrates the fact that UNIPORT can stand its own in its core area of competence.  Before now, the Institution had entered into collaborations with Total E&P, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Trend Media, the Nigeria Airforce, University of Mines and Technology, Ghana, University of Pretoria, amongst others in viable partnership agreements. 
The University would certainly benefit from these partnerships as well as other collaborations both with academic institutions and the Industry–all aimed at capitalizing knowledge.
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