Honors and Awards

Honors and Awards28

เนื้อหาหน้า Honors and Awards

SECRA – Strengthening University-Enterprise Collaboration for Resilient Communities in Asia79

The overarching aim of SECRA is to contribute to more resilient communities in Asia through institutionalized, systematic, monitored, innovative, and inclusive university enterprise collaboration in disaster resilience.

The overarching problem targeted by SECRA is the often ad hoc, episodic quality of university-enterprise collaboration (UEC) in the field of disaster resilience in the project’s partner countries, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines. By ad hoc, we mean that UEC is neither systematic, nor institutionalized or monitored. This is a pressing problem, because the knowledge and skills transfer through entrepreneurial, triple helix processes within UEC have the potential to increase disaster resilience, as, for example, in better and more efficient agricultural practices (Ankrah and Al-Tabbaa, 2015). In turn, disaster resilient societies are more likely to better respond and adapt to consequences of climate change, to which the partner countries are vulnerable. SECRA concomitantly addresses gender equity as a means of achieving better UEC. There is not a simple answer to the wickedness of climate change consequences or in resilience thinking; we are claiming however, that facilitating systematic, institutionalized, and monitored UEC is part of a solution.
SECRA has identified a number of specific, interlinked objectives as a means of parsing this overarching aim and focusing the work or each individual WP.

  • Our first objective is to trace, delimit, and map the lacunae in UEC collaborations broadly identified through (i) work preceding SECRA and (ii) the needs analysis conducted together with the program countries of the Philippines, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Bounding these lacunae will, inter alia, provide the foundation for the work conducted in the development WPs.
  • Our second objective is to foster a better alignment between the interest of enterprises with the national public interest, especially in the field of disaster resilience.
  • SECRA’s third objective is to create the prerequisites for, and establish a community of practice (CoP) involving university and enterprise actors in the field of disaster resilience, both in physical and in virtual network terms.
  • SECRA’s fourth objective is to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the selected HEIs by creating opportunities for collaboration with enterprise actors; support the transition of ideas into practice, and support start-ups and scale-ups while making use of existing knowledge resources at these HEIs.
  • SECRA’s fifth objective is to develop and launch a monitoring and assessment tool that can feed into evaluations of UEC collaborations in a broader effort of evidence-based policy in the program countries.
  • Our sixth objective is to foster appropriate, inclusive solutions for the promotion of gender equity and diversity.

Notably, SECRA's aim and objectives are not only in line with the EU2020 strategy and the cross-cutting and regional priorities, but also with a number of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely 5 (gender equality), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 13 (climate action), and 17 (partnerships for the goals).
SECRA deals with the problem at hand in a sequential fashion. The indirect, larger issue is fostering disaster resilience communities in Asia. SECRA's contribution to more resilient communities is through increasing the capacity of HEIs to initiate, manage, maintain, and benefit from UEC.
As a capacity building joint project, SECRA’s activities will provide a framework of structured collaboration promoting understanding between people. It will also contribute to the sustainable development of higher education in partner countries, mostly through an enhanced cooperation between academic communities and societal partners (EU, 2013), items articulated as part of the broader objectives underpinning the 2013 regulation establishing Erasmus+. Additionally, SECRA’s aim and objectives are aligned with the broad objectives of capacity-building projects, namely to support the Asian partners in addressing challenges faced by their HEIs, contribute to cooperation among program and partner countries and even among partner countries, and promote people- to-people contact, cultural awareness and understanding (EC, 2019). Notably, SECRA's aim and objectives are not only in line with the EU2020 strategy, and the cross-cutting and regional priorities, but also with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals nos 5 (gender equality), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 13 (climate action), and 17 (partnerships for the goals).
SECRA’s focus on the field on DR aligns with the most recent addition to the cross-cutting priorities, namely that of addressing climate change prevention, adaptation, and mitigation strategies. These strategies are more fruitfully achieved through the pooling of resources and innovation between in triple helix arrangements such us UEC. Additionally, SECRA will contribute to the following Asia Region 6, category 3, regional priorities:

  • University enterprise cooperation (such as support for students’ practical placement, entrepreneurship, employability of graduates).
  • Knowledge triangle, innovation (such as reinforcing links between education, research, and business).
  • Definition, implementation, and monitoring of reform policies.

SECRA will enhance the capacity of HEIs in the partner countries when it comes to UEC in the following ways:

  • WP1 will build on the needs-analyses conducted with the partners already and will produce a detailed map of the collaborative landscape in the partner countries. This will serve as the preparatory foundation for the ensuing WPs.
  • WP2 is focused on the development of a relational framework and policy briefs. We argue that a single-level conceptualization of UEP is inadequate and we thus propose a relational framework that takes into consideration multilevel factors when developing a context-specific approach to collaborations and the support of network arrangements At the macro-national level, the relational framework takes into account the significance of national norms and institutions. At the meso- (HEI) level, we consider the organizational processes, that influence UEC in climate change action and DR. At the micro level, we put focus on relations.
  • In WP3, based on the work on the two previous WPs we foster the capacity of HEIs to foment sustainable networks with SMEs that is, networks that are effective in their actions and may be sustained over time in the form of Communities of Practice (CoPs). WP4 will produce a platform that will serve as a hub of knowledge as well as a meeting place for researchers, teaching personnel, students, and business owners.
  • WP4 will take on the issues of entrepreneurship and innovation, as articulated in the regional policy, head on. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development developed an International Policy Toolkit proposing an ‘ecosystem’ approach with education as its third pillar. The toolkit called for the mainstreaming of entrepreneurial types of education, promoting experiential learning approaches and training teachers, recognizing leadership through an increased level of professorial recognition and supporting networks of educators, which SECRA is also promoting in WP1. Enterprise Education is recognized as a suitable tool to prepare students for life in environments in flux, which is the case in the DR field, especially in the partner countries given the disproportionate amount of disasters that plague them. Enterprise and entrepreneurial education provide further impact through student placements and activities that build connections between academic institutions and private sector organisations (QAA, 2018). SECRA proposes to increase the capacity of HEIs through training in entrepreneurship education, hands on events such as university-enterprise engagement days, all in the interest of raising awareness among students that regarding the benefits of collaboration with the private sector as well as showcasing SMEs as a viable alternative to employment at the public sector, thus increasing their employability. Notably, Entrepreneurship Education and the enhancement of entrepreneurial capacity at the individual level provides competencies towards a rewarding, self-determined working life, adding value to professional life of students (QAA, 2018). This is also in line with Article 5 of Chapter 11 of the EU regulation establishing Erasmus+ (2013), aiming at increasing competencies of people in the labour market and a cohesive society.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of policies are regional priorities, and WP5 will develop an instrument to measure progress in each institution against their own benchmark. The instrument will include dimensions intrinsic to the HEI, such as structural organization and institutional support, as well as the external environment.
  • Though the primary focus of SECRA is not gender equity, we will have a critical approach to the training sessions and materials we produce. Without being naive or culturally blind, we will design the activities and deliverables of this project having gender equity in mind (as well as involving early career researchers) much in the way we were mindful of this in the structure of the consortium itself where key leading positions are held by female researchers. Not only will we include gender equity and diversity training in our material, but we will also employ culturally appropriate strategies in order to attract more women in the training sessions at each partner university. This would contribute to the democratisation of higher education, at least from a gender perspective.
  • Even the management WPs (6, 7, and 8) will contribute to the regional goals, if obliquely. A broad dissemination strategy includes scientific publications, contributions to trade publications, reports, blog posts on the web site, and social media activity. Additionally, a rigorous and professional project management can serve as a way to mentor less experienced partners into effectively running projects and thus in an oblique way, contributing to capacity building. The inclusion of the associate partners ensures access to SMEs and private sector in general.

Finally, we must always remember that the practical goal (or the answer to the “so what” question) of this project is a contribution to resilient communities in Asia. An enhanced higher education sector has the potential to having systemic impact; furthermore, entrepreneurship (Williams, Vorley, and Ketikidis, 2013) and social networks that is, the relations among people and organizations (Jones and Faas, 2017) are connected to resilience in general, and DR in particular.
Based on this rationale, we believe that SECRA is very well positioned to address the regional goals for Region 6 Asia.

University Partners

Ankrah, S., & Al-Tabbaa, O. (2015). Universities–industry collaboration: A systematic review. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 31(3), 387-408. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2015.02.003
Bedi, N., Bishop, M., Hawkins, U., Miller, O., Pedraza, R., Preble, A. and Rico-Rairan, A. (2014) Linking
Resilience and Good Governance: A Literature Review, Anthós: 6 (1) 10.15760/anthos.2014.15
European Union (2013). Regulation no 1288 of the European Parliament and the Council. Official Journal of the European Union.
Jones, E. C., & Faas, A. J. (2017). An introduction to social network analysis in disaster contexts. In E. C.
Jones & A. J. Faas (Eds.), Social network analysis of disaster response, recovery, and adaptation (pp. 3-9). Oxford: Elsevier.
QAA (2018). Enterprise and entrepreneurship education: guidance for UK higher education providers.
Retrieved on 15 January, 2018 from https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaas/enhancement-anddevelopment/enterprise-and-entrpreneurship-education-2018.pdf?sfvrsn=15f1f981_8