Conceptualising the Role of the UAE Innovation Strategy in University-Industry knowledge Diffusion Process


  • Mousa Al-kfairy College of Technological Innovation, Zayed University
  • Munir Majdalawieh College Of Technological Innovation, Zayed University
  • Saed Alrabaee Information System and Security, College of IT, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE



University-Industry, Knowledge Spillover, UAE Innovation Strategy, Innovation Management


Universities are considered one of the primary sources of knowledge and an essential component of the triple helix theory. They fuel the industries with the required expertise and pool of resources to operate efficiently. Moreover, entrepreneurial universities successfully contributed to regional development and employment growth by supporting entrepreneurial activities and incubation programmes. Thus, university-industry collaboration is vital for enhancing knowledge-based industries' knowledge diffusion as well as the regional innovation atmospheres. On the other hand, countries and regional authorities strive to stimulate their regional development by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship activities. For example, the UAE announced its 2015 innovation strategy that focused on seven industries: education, technology, renewable energy, transportation, education, health, water, and space. The strategy stressed the role of universities R & R&D, first-class research, and promoting incubation services as one of the country's main innovation enablers. Thus, universities, scholars and industry should concentrate on the identified sectors to achieve the strategic innovation goals. This work aims to conceptualise and test the relationship and collaboration between industry and universities in the UAE and the impact of the innovation strategy on this relationship. Therefore, we critically analyse literature on the university-industry relationship and connect it with the UAE innovation strategy that resulted in a conceptual university-industry relationship model where the innovation strategy and UAE government act as a moderator of this relationship. The initial results show that the conceptual model includes research and curriculum collaboration. Research collaboration includes joint research, research fund, commercialisation of the research output, while curriculum collaboration includes the programmes and courses updates and joint training programmes. The developed model is still in its early stage of development and requires further updates based on interviews with the HEIs researchers and the survey results.