Practical learning for universities, solutions for companies – SARIO pilot project

In the long term, SARIO has been striving to support the growth of investments with higher added value and to proactively respond to the new challenges companies in Slovakia are currently facing. The low availability of skilled labor is increasingly becoming a barrier to the development of innovative companies and hinders the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Only 13% of employers think that graduates are well prepared for work. [1] According to surveys, investor satisfaction with the quality of academic education is low and has been declining over the years. [2] The skills of graduates do not reflect the needs of the labor market as a result of the lack of cooperation between universities and practice. Following this, SARIO has carried out a pilot project “Practical learning for universities, solutions for companies. Business Solutions”, which, as its name suggests, is aimed at linking universities and companies.
 
Specifically, the agency focused on the topic of diploma and doctoral theses - dealing with real problems of companies, internships in companies, joint research and development projects of companies and universities and creating joint programs of professional bachelors. This pilot project involved two technical faculties of Alexander Dubček University in Trenčín - the Faculty of Special Engineering in Trenčín and the Faculty of Industrial Technologies in Púchov. Both faculties hosted co-operation events with the following companies: COMPAAN, GA Drilling, GGB Slovakia, Kamea Electronics, LEDeco, MERCHANT, REA SLOVTEAM, SKC foundry, and ZLH plus.
The project was received very positively by both parties and at the same time it brought positive results in the form of joint research and development projects, diploma and dissertation topics and internships. In addition, the faculties continue to talk with the companies involved and develop synergies with each other. In addition, SARIO has received positive feedback as well as the interest of other companies from other industries to engage in these activities in the future in case of the expansion of this project. The project certainly has potential for the future and we see it mainly in extending the existing model to other regions, faculties and companies.
 
At the same time, SARIO has already prepared a project that is currently undergoing approval processes and would like to use EU funds to support the linking of universities with practice, with a focus on SMEs. At the same time, the partner faculties involved in this project will be given the opportunity to present their technologies and innovative projects also at the upcoming Slovak Matchmaking Fair Bratislava, where they will also participate in direct negotiations with companies.
 
The Slovak Matchmaking Fair is the largest and most prestigious international event of the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency, which has been connecting Slovak and foreign entrepreneurs already for 13 years. In one day and in one place, it provides the opportunity to expand businesses, establish contacts, network with potential partners, engage in discussions with practitioners, share the latest practice information and then apply new knowledge and present innovative ideas through pre-planned bilateral talks and present new innovative ideas and projects in front of the professional audience
 
 
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  • [1] Source: Automotive Suppliers Survey, 2018, pwc
  • [2] Source: Survey of the Slovak-German Chamber of Commerce among 176 foreign investors. 2017
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