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Strengthening University-Enterprise linkages in Palestine
Start date: Oct 15, 2012,

Enhancing cooperation between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and industry has become a critical issue to respond to the challenges of increasing employment opportunities and socio-economic growth (in Europe, this was already highlighted under the ‘Lisbon Strategy 2000’ and is now reinforced under the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’).While there is a global economic deadlock, the situation is particularly critical in certain regions. In Palestine, local and political factors notably affect its socio-economic development, with a high rate of unemployment and an entrepreneurial tissue still basic. STEP will contribute to the social and economic development in Palestine by strengthening linkages between universities and enterprises, increasing entrepreneurship opportunities for growth and employability. To offer a nation-wide approach, STEP integrates academic & business experience from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, what will reinforce synergies and social cohesion in the country. The project will concretely stimulate the university-enterprise cooperation culture in Palestine by setting up a nation-wide Network for long-term partnerships and collaborative research with enterprises, by also improving managerial and strategic thinking towards the local businesses, and promoting good practice for establishing business interfaces at HEIs. For achieving its objectives, STEP is built upon a multifaceted & complementary consortium: 5 Palestinian public universities, which will offer the experiences of academia in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Chambers of Commerce from Nablus and Gaza, as the main business intermediaries in the regions to give an insight into local enterprises’ needs, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education, which will provide the policy-making point of view and, finally, 3 European public universities which will translate their expertise in the field and the lessons learned in Europe to the Palestinian context.
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