Leo Mrsic, Assistant Professor, Vice Dean for Research and Development, Algebra University College, Croatia

Hailing from Zagreb, Leo Mrsic brings to the table over 20 years of team leadership experience as he has been involved in launching three start-up initiatives. Co-author and contributor on several books, scientific and professional papers, he is also a Member of the Croatian Society of Court Experts (HDSVIP), Member of the Board of the Editor in the Global Journal of Technology and Optimization (GJTO), Member of the International Board of Advisors at the International Journal of Energy Optimization and Engineering (IJEOE), and Reviewer with Mathematical Problems in Engineering.

In a digital world, students become active in labour market much earlier than ever before. They become aware of their market value sooner than their mentors, and the current global labour market is making borders and physical space almost irrelevant. Education and science are under pressure to focus on applied knowledge, where students can easily compare themselves with global colleagues, making their education achievements challenged and verified faster than ever.

Technology transfer centers are growing in small forms moving from traditional science to the private and public sectors. In this process, it provides an influx of good ideas, high-quality people and a wide range of digital and business competencies, creating a fertile environment for developing business-technology projects that their partners can take when they reach a sufficient level of maturity and continue their development within their systems. Participating in that process, centers are based on a partnership that adds value to several unique educational, market but also policy advantages.

It is expected from the government to apply only proven technologies, while the industry is severely involved in projects that are likely to make profit. The problem with this is the breakthrough–to have proven technology and profitable business models, someone needs to develop, test, and invest in them. That’s why higher education is taking bigger role as “third party” in those processes, someone who would link it all up. The industry and the public sector can come up with good ideas while high quality educators can create more favourable environment for the development of technology projects. Together with students, they can reach a sufficient level of maturity for selected ideas and continue to improve them in economy. More than ever before, education is enforced by the desire to prove that the academic community can be concrete and competitive when it comes to business. Another motivator is the fact that the industry can provide far more opportunities for the education system but that it needs more quality partners to listen to and are able to understand their needs. Next generation workforce is benefiting from link between the two worlds that today is realized to the satisfaction of all.

We can name this cooperation as “value-adding partnership”, which means that during the projects, industry and policy partner teams will be able to fully control the technology and the projects can be tailored to the needs and development of the company. Many private sector companies and many public sector institutions are not easy to innovate, it is often expensive to independently develop the technological solutions they need to be competitive in their business. Many of them simply lack enough expert human and financial resources to launch their own research and development departments or have no confidence that the academic community can produce solutions within deadlines and according to the criteria of today’s market. Here we higher education can step in as a sandbox that can outsourced easier than to build it alone. In addition to today’s remarkable potential for continuous talent-feeds, it is important to point out that today’s labour market looks at each project through the prism of applicability and creation of society or business value (“applied science” or science that can be applied), so there are business-human-technological problems with which today’s society are faced every day.

By following need for round-up service where students of all ages and expertise can acquire, test, share and prove knowledge, that for a partner results in new ideas to improve their business or policy and later to end up as a project on all of them was working together. Higher education role is to give their partners insight into technology capabilities, present them through prototyping those technologies that can be useful for their business, turn their attention to the skills that it would be good for their teams to gain and enable their partners to be more easily present in the community. Digital age introduces a whole range of topics where high-quality opportunities can be demonstrated.


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