Aquasoja calls to reduce the distance between industry and academia
The feed company believes that academia and industry should speak the same language to contribute to the improvement of sustainable animal nutrition.
Aquaculture feed manufacturer Aquasoja, a brand belonging to the Soja Group of Portugal, collaborates intensively with the most brilliant researchers in the different doctoral programs in animal sciences at the University of Porto. This collaboration seeks to involve the different agents of academia and industry in common projects to contribute to the improvement of sustainable animal nutrition.
Sara Magalhães, technical and commercial manager of Aquasoja, believes that for the good development of products, technologies and processes the joint participation of the academy and the industry in research programs, maintaining proximity and speaking “the same language" is essential. In this collaborative framework, the academy would be able to adequately communicate the solutions it can provide, while the industry would be able to better express its needs.
These research programs are a good example of how sponsoring master’s or doctoral students and establishing alliances with research centers or university groups can achieve the desired objective. In this way, the parties will be able to share ideas, needs, goals, limitations and problems in the same collaboration space.
Likewise, the Aquasoja specialist encourages the presence of companies in certain university classes and promotes the visit of students to industrial facilities that would help the academy better perceive the “real” needs and objectives of the industry, its real areas of interest, and possibly help orient students’ academic studies on something of practical and commercial importance in a given area. On the other hand, it would stimulate the creativity of academics to solve an industry need and problem and propose a solution with the resources available at the university.
As the Aquasoja expert points out, there are some ways to reduce the distance between industry and academia and strengthen the relationship between them. “It is very important to speak the same language. For this, it is not only good to have people in companies who know how to act as a bridge between both parties, which is easier for those who have a solid academic background, but also promote management skills in the initial stages of education for a broader, more complete and clear vision on some subject to complement the more scientific and academic vision,” Magalhães concluded.