University-industry collaborations in Pakistan: current challenges and future opportunities

Khaleel Malik, Tariq Bashir, Tariq Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose – This paper aims to identify current challenges that hinder university-industry (U-I) collaboration in Pakistan and presents future opportunities for promoting such collaborations in developing countries.
Design/methodology/approach – This exploratory study presents new empirical evidence obtained from Pakistan via a questionnaire survey of twenty-four universities, twenty-five interviews with key stakeholders including industry managers and outputs from a high level workshop event.
Findings – Although there is limited evidence of university-industry engagement in Pakistan, our findings show that a lack of coordination between government, universities and industrial firms has hindered knowledge transfer between universities and industry. Such steps as utilising intermediaries to help broker effective collaborations and building trust based relationships can help in socialising these types of scientific activities.
Research limitations/implications – Any overall conclusions drawn from this exploratory study can only be tentative, since the findings represent a snapshot of current U-I collaboration initiatives in Pakistan.
Practical implications – Less stringent policy interventions from government entities, as well as more universities willing to invite industry input on their board of studies might enable co-development of some university curriculums with industry partners. U-I collaborations could also help to boost innovation efforts in developing country firms.
Originality/value - This paper also offers awareness into benefits of teaching activity collaboration with industry partners, which has been an under explored area of past U-I collaboration studies. The findings should be of interest for both innovation policy and higher education policy researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021


  • University-industry, Knowledge transfer, Innovation, Trust, Pakistan


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