As part of the programme for quality assurance in higher education, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the British Council in Uzbekistan carried out a project aimed at developing sustainable links between the university-based research and industry and establishing international partnerships in this important area.
The first stage of the programme included a series of scientific and practical seminars for 320 university vice-rectors responsible for scientific work, PhD students and undergraduates from 65 universities of the country. The seminars were held on the basis of three institutes: in Tashkent Financial Institute on 31 January and 1 February, in Samarkand State University on 3 February and in Namangan State University on 5 February 2018. The programme was implemented by a team of trainers from universities in Uzbekistan and UK consultants Jo Chaffer and Martin Penny.
The purpose of the first stage of the programme is to:
• identify the skills necessary to ensure the focus of research work in higher education institutions on economic development, specific practical outcomes and international cooperation
• discuss the international experience of conducting research work, ensuring its close connection with business and industry with vice-rectors responsible for scientific work, undergraduates and PhD students of universities of Uzbekistan
• to look into the models of collaboration between the university research activities and the industry
• to develop the skills of modern research work and to familiarise with the modern research methodology, including what is necessary for working with industry sectors and for international partnership
• study the requirements necessary for the publication of scientific results in prestigious international publications.
The second stage of the programme included the design and development of projects and a competition between universities for the best project proposal. As a result of the competition, six teams were selected representing the following universities and their business partners:
1. Andijan Machine Engineering Institute
2. Ferghana State University
3. Karakalpak State University
4. Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers
5. Turin Polytechnic University
6. The Uzbek State University of World Languages
The third stage of the project was held on 1-2 March 2018 in Tashkent, where the winning teams had the opportunities for further development of their projects through interactive innovative events including the Enterprise and Ideas Bazaar, the Round Table meeting on defining the university's communication strategy with the enterprise, individual consultations with British and local experts in project management, enterprise strategy, project financing, marketing and public relations. The programme was summarised with the national symposium where six teams presented their projects and the winners of the final competition were selected.
Three winning teams were given opportunities for further development of their business plans with the participation of consultants from British universities and the membership in the coworking centre.
As the Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Uzkoboy Begimkulov, stated: "The seminar works to increase the focus of university-based research on addressing practical problems faced by economic sectors, as well as increasing innovative competences, including commercialisation of research outcomes of professors, PhD and Master degree students. We hope that the programme will help develop the skills to publish scientific articles in internationally recognised scientific journals."
The trainer of the TRED programme, Ms. Jo Chaffer, notes: "I am very happy to return to Uzbekistan and to have the opportunity to work with the talented researchers of this country for the third time . The new training was specifically designed to develop entrepreneurial skills which are essential in research works. The goal of the programme is to master successful models of how universities should support team research in collaboration with enterprise. We hope that this programme will contribute to the further development of new partnerships between research institutions and business, and will also play an important role in supporting initiatives and national priorities within the framework of the Year of Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme. I am very grateful for the continuous support of the British Council, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education and our team of professional trainers, thanks to these people the programme "Research and Economic Development" became possible."
Ms. Jamilya Gulyamova, the Deputy Director of the British Council in Uzbekistan, notes: "The programme studied modern models of collaboration between science and economics, discussed and developed practical and relevant approaches which ensured that the research activities in universities, actively involving doctoral and graduate students, could find innovative solutions and address specific issues faced by the industry.”
Please watch our video about the TRED programme round 2.