Zim researchers should offer industry solutions

MASVINGO-Academic researchers fail to attract funding from the private sector because their research is purely academic and falls short of the sector’s needs.
Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Munhumutapa School of Commerce lecturer Dr Watson Munyanyi told other lecturers and delegates at a two-day workshop last week that there is a need to bridge the gap between academia and commerce.

He presented at the economic and business sciences conference in Masvingo last week. The Munhumutapa School of Commerce falls under the Finance Department.
Munyanyi said the private sector would only sponsor or fund research to increase their productivity, proffer solutions to economic challenges and increase their profits.

The conference ran under the theme: Strengthening Sustainable Economic Development through Entrepreneurship, Science and Innovation.

“From the private sector perspective, the sector is profit-oriented and they want research that generates money. The challenge that we have with the nature of research that is dominant among us as academics is paper research. The moment we start moving towards research that is tangible and brings money to the private sector, chances are that we will also start attracting funding,” he said.

Munyanyi also said that researchers should move away from doing paper research when they want to get promoted or when they are due for tenure.

His sentiments were supported by the Director of the Graduate Business School, Dr. Munyaradzi Mutsikiwa, who said academic institutions and the industry have a loose relationship. There is a need to bridge the gap between the two.

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development adopted the heritage-based Education 5.0 model that seeks practical solutions to challenges.

Graduates are expected to be equipped with theoretical and practical competency skills.

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