Don advocates strong university-industry collaboration for sustainable development

Prof. Charles Oluwaseun Adetunji,

Prof. Charles Oluwaseun Adetunji, a TWAS-CSIR scholar and scientist, has emphasized the significance of a robust university-industry collaboration through circular and blue economy to overcome Nigeria’s technological and socio-economic challenges, achieve sustainable development, and witness rapid growth.

During his speech on Monday, 4th March, 2024 at the Second Convocation of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), Okitipupa, Nigeria, Adetunji argued that scientists and industries in Nigeria must identify major innovations that could boost agriculture and the global economy to tackle climate change, health issues rising from agrochemical hazards as well as high rate industrial-environmental pollution among others.

He called for all hands to be on deck to increase the production of safe, quality nutritious food that could feed the geometrically rising world population.

Adetunji posited that exploring several unexplored natural resources including beneficial microorganisms’ biological control attributes is one of the cheapest means of enhancing food production sustainability to improve crop production health while boosting biodiversity.

He maintained that universities need to forge a powerful partnership with industries as traditional boundaries between academia and industries need to disappear for new relationships to evolve.

The synergy between universities and industries has a potential driving force in addressing societal needs and fostering sustainable development.

Circular economy, he expatiated, encourages a regenerative approach where products are designed for reuse, repair and recycling, while the blue economy focuses on optimally harnessing resources in rivers and the ocean.

Adetunji explained that universities can play vital roles in research and education, fostering innovation, sustainable product design, waste reduction and recycling processes.

Collaboration with industries, he asserted, would enable the translation of theoretical knowledge into practical solutions leading to the creation of products and systems, minimising waste and environmental hazards.

Adetunji called on the Ondo State and the Federal Governments as well as institutions engaging in maritime activities to support and partner with OAUSTECH so they could together drive innovations in marine sciences and research, fisheries and aquaculture technology as well as marine energy to contribute significantly to economic prosperity and sustainable maritime practices across Nigeria and beyond.

To foster healthy university-industry partnerships, the international scholar advocates instituting a knowledge-exchange platform, sustainable metrics, impact assessment base, skill development, workforce training, research and development initiative, interdisciplinary collaboration, establishing open lines of communication, and instilling a mindset of social responsibility.

He added celebration of success stories, support of continuing education of industry professionals, encouraging entrepreneurship, and innovation, and establishment of industry advisory boards comprising professionals and experts from academia and industry, providing valuable insights into the industry’s current trends, needs and future demands.

In conclusion, Adetunji congratulated the graduands, urging them to use their knowledge and expertise for societal benefit, continue learning beyond the classroom, engage and embrace research development, stay ethical in their pursuits, explore entrepreneurship opportunities, build strong portfolios showcasing their abilities, stay current in industry trends, pursue practical experiences, collaborate and network with their colleagues in the industry and the academia, and embrace innovation.

Facebook Comments Box