Diponegoro University entered its 5th milestone in 2021. Milestone of long-term Undip development at intervals of 2000-2025. This year is the beginning of the 5th stage, namely Strengthening research universities (2021-2025). When milestone was socialized many people doubted that universities in Indonesia could become Research Universities. This categorical university is also obliged to dig funding derived from the transactions of its research results used by the community. Funds come from downstreaming and commercialization of research products.Although many are aware that the results of research conducted at the university have considerable commercial potential. However, turning inventions and innovations into commercially viable products is proving very difficult. The superior product must have passed the stages for commercial. There is a level of technological readiness (TKT) that has reached the highest position. There is also a level of innovation readiness (Katsinov) that must exceed the specified minimum limit.
The issue of bringing research results from laboratories into commercial products and contributing to the economic development of a nation has been researched among others by Lee (Yong S. Lee, 1995). In this study Lee found that academics in the U.S. believe that in economic development, the specific role they can play is industrial innovation. This study conducted a national survey involving about 1000 lecturers who intensively conducted research at the University. The study concluded that U.S. academics in the 1990s believed that university-industry collaborations provided better results in their contribution to economic development than academics in the 1980s. The majority of respondents supported the idea that their universities actively participate in local and regional economic development. Universities are also expected to facilitate the commercialization of research results of academics, and encourage lecturers to provide consultation to private companies.
The role of industrial innovation in the economic development of a country that led Paul Romer to win the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics.In 1990, Romer published what had become the cornerstone of economic thought. Economic thinking related to the role of technology application and innovation in economic growth, productivity and global progress. Lee’s research also successfully revealed that the majority of respondents refused to support the idea of universities engaging directly in close business partnerships with private industry. For example universities provide initial assistance or equity investments. Many are also worried about close cooperation between universities and industry, which is likely to interfere with academic freedom. Freedom to pursue long-term fundamental research. Academics seek the boundaries of university-industry collaboration that is seen as balancing implementation research to aid economic development and fundamental research for scientific reputation.
Discussions about the commercialization of research results produced primarily by research universities continue to grow. Belitskia, et al. 2019, observing that there is a lack of knowledge about this experienced by university scientists around the world. Belitskia et al. identify the role played by Technology Transfer Offices (TTO) and Direct Industry Funding for the commercialization of research products. The research was conducted in Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan during 2015–2017. Overall, the invention has clear implications for college graduates, technopreneurs and TTO. In the sense of invention quality, the value of invention and innovation will imply the excitement of commercialization of research products. Investor interest in exploiting university research products to drive the economy is also determined.
Dynamics of a framework
In 2019, Bazan proposed a way to combine best practices from research team work, research project management, new product development, business development, and established intellectual property management. Merging all these best practices will result in a robust and structured framework (possibly a type of Technology Transfer Offices (TTO)). It is this work that can help university researchers bring their research results to market.According to Bazan’s report, this framework is also relevant to university researchers who may not intend to turn their innovations into businesses. Researchers who want their innovation only come to prototypes that provide special dance power for the industry. It was the industry that continued to develop the prototype into a commercially viable innovation and market needed (Carlos Bazan, 2019).
Strengthening University Research and Teaching Industry
Bazan’s proposal to incorporate best practices from research team work, research project management, new product development, business development, and intellectual property management is ideal. Established best practices are not easy to build. Moreover, it combines all these components with high harmony.Under these not ideal conditions, perhaps the Teaching Industry scheme could be an alternative, while continuing to improve bazan’s components. The Teaching Industry scheme has been implemented in recent years by the ministry of research and technology/BRIN.Diponegoro University has run the Teaching Industry scheme in 2017 and ended in 2019. The program has produced two commercial products that are licensed with partner companies. Teaching industry schemes allow components such as research teams, research project management and intellectual property, new product development and business aspects to be synergized under one roof. This concept is able to help downstream the results of standardized campus research and tested in a real user environment. Teaching Industry if run properly and correctly will be able to give birth to reliable entrepreneurs based on campus innovation. For 3 years Undip Teaching Industry has produced 2 excellent products based on plasma technology innovation.One product is related to indoor air purifiers and is able to eliminate contamination of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. In the midst of the current pandemic, products based on cold plasma technology can be expected to reduce Covid-19 transmission.The second product is an ozone generator and a dedicated ozone cooling chamber that can be implemented in extending the shelf life of horticultural products.A method developed during the Teaching Industry program and produced SNI 8759:2019. The method of transfer of ozone plasma technology application has become the hope of post-harvest management of horticultural products (Nur et al., 2019; Susan, 2018).
Readiness to obtain best practices of the components proposed by Bazan needs to be improved continuously, but in parallel the Teaching Industry scheme should also be a concern in the Strengthening of Research University from the development milestone of Diponegoro University.
(Semarang, 6 Januri 2021, Muhammad Nur is Professor of Undip Physics Department and a leading Plasma technology developer in Indonesia)