Interaction between HEIs and SMEs: Greek HEIs Perspective

All GIENAHS partners contacted a questionnaire about the Interaction between HEIs and SMEs: Greek HEIs Perspective . Bellow you will find some results ,based on each question , concerning the perspective of Greek HEIs.

  • It is worth mentioning that applying the research and findings in the industry is the main challenge for HEIs.
  • In fact, most PhD programs conducted in Greek Universities, focus on theoretical results and thus these results are usually unapplied or untrusted.
  • HEIs are also interested in widening the application field of the ongoing research activities within universities.
  • It is also observed that the access to specific technologies and equipment is quite important for HEIs.
  • Most Greek institutions are equipped with expensive and specialized equipment such as vector network analyzers, digital oscilloscopes and real-time spectrum analyzers.
  • That equipment may be applied in SMEs production through test and validation processing. Indeed, the University of Ioannina notes that simplifications of management procedures could help to start cooperation with SMEs.

  • Interviewed HEIs are placing some importance on the test validity and maturity of research results in comparison with the first question.
  • Most individual researchers are interested in applied research areas that are limited in most HEIs.
  • It is evident that both initiatives can serve towards well organized clusters in order to enhance innovation, research and competitiveness.

  • One barrier is the limited university supervision resources dedicated to supporting a PhD student and the lack of academic relevance of the project.
  • In Greece, the specific administration steps for supervising a PhD thesis are assigned to supervisor professors and thus the whole effort is weighed on professors
  • Most PhD programs involve theoretical research activities and exhibit low relevance with applied industrial findings and results
  • The Technical University of Athens notes that SMEs may not be interested in collaborations with HEIs since the majority of SMEs do low tech operations that are supported by the already existing equipment.

  • The main obstacle of the collaboration, based on the HEIs that we interviewed is that there are no appropriate application areas for university needs among possible SMEs.
  • It is also observed and indicated that most Greek PhD programs are focused on theoretical and not applied scientific areas. In Greece, there are also no specific funding procedures in HEIs for supervising a PhD program.
  • Very often the funding is PhD supervisor responsibility. Moreover, Greek institutions have too strict regulations and limited budgets.
  • It is also observed that HEIs have usually very loose time constraints instead of SMEs that need specific and limited time plan.
  • Many Greek HEIs offer PhD programs that have no certain time limitations. The University of Ioannina finds that the research specificity of the industry may not meet the requirements for a PhD study.
  • This is obviously the basis for effective planning under GIENAHS in order to overcome this challenge

  • The main support that the HEIs require in order to support PhD programs with SMEs is the funding.
  • The funding procedures in HEIs are quite limited mainly due to the ongoing economic crisis and in many cases, the PhD student should seek for funding sources.
  • Following the funding, they also require to have the PhD program treated exactly the same way as the academic-based PhDs.
  • In fact, there is no legal frame that could provide a different PhD program for SMEs based applied research.
  • The Technical University of Athens has doubts on how the current model of SME could be based on PhD programs since Greek PhD programs aim to provide new science-technologies while at the same time the SMEs may not be interested for any new technologies.
  • There is a need for structure improvements and also the existence of the appropriate legal frame in order to support new business models for SMEs including motivations for R&D applications and also as regards the legal frame for market oriented PhD programs.

  • The proposed PhD student employment practices are adopted in quite a similar way as the HEIs.
  • The University of Ioannina finds a good practice for PhD student employment to clear distinction between academic requirements and workload/deliverables from the SME.

  • Information website and presentations are the most preferred tools to establish or enforce contacts between HEIs and SMEs.
  • Conference websites are also mentioned but with less priority. When it comes to conferences, it is obvious that they provide an efficient and structured presentation of innovative research results as well as they create and maintain a friendly environment for personal contact experience that is really important for HEIs and SMEs collaboration enhancement
  • An interesting finding is that a key element in enhancing HEIs awareness on SMEs collaboration is the accessibility of HEIs educational staff and professors play.
  • In Greece, it is quite easy to access or to meet personally a professor.
  • The University of Ioannina believes that open days for HEI/ SME interaction organized by HEIs could increase research awareness and SMEs’ interest. This outcome may be considered as a sign that it may be the right time to devise new tools to favor the interactions between the academy and the industry

  • The biggest desire outcome from the collaboration of HEIs – SMEs , according to the results, is the effective knowledge transfer and the New products/innovation/methods.
  • Most Academics do not believe that SMEs could offer job positions to experienced specialists due to the fact that the unemployment rate is high and the offered salary is quite low.

  • Based on the results it could be observed that there is a big difference except from the fact that almost no one seems to prefer to implement something similar to Sweden licentiate exam.
  • In Greece, the lack of collaboration between SMEs and HEIs in PhD programs has no relation to PhD’s candidate productivity since there are no customized and adaptive PhD programs.
  • The research area of a PhD thesis is mainly specified by the supervisor professors for every candidate.