I live in a country that used to be more developed than now (before transformation from socialism to partocracy, civil war, etc). We used to have big enterprises, research and development institutes, laboratories, universities and high schools that were interconnected with enterprises very much, etc. Our products used to be much more complex then now and it all seems to have worked well.
So, now in late 2010’s, we don’t have much left from these big enterprises, but we still do have some fragments of the old system, and some reintroduced with help of foreign development agencies. It’s not as it used to be, but they are there. Thing is, they work just as I said, as fragments, and not as a system. Synergistic effect these fragments produce is very low. Also, many of them don’t actually know what is their role supposed to be. They have a name that tells you approximately what they are suppose to be doing, but they don’t do it.
For example, we have some nice laboratories in one local university in B&H created with a help of one of foreign development agencies from EU. Until recently, local enterprises didn’t know about it, even though that laboratory was something they needed very much. So, we had that laboratory as a fragment, and we had the local enterprises as another fragment, but since they didn’t cooperate there was no synergistic effect. And they didn’t cooperate since level of interactions between all of our “fragments” is low. (My hypothesis is that everyone is afraid of their own lack of knowledge.)
This specific case is now different because interactions were established during a recently completed project, but how many more similar cases are there; hundreds, thousands?
Shouldn’t we work on establishing these interactions first, to create what can be created out of these fragments of R&D institutes, laboratories, education institutions, etc? I believe that, as a result of these interactions, we might get these fragments do what they are supposed to be doing because of demand coming from enterprises, as well as some unexpected synergistic effects.
P.S. SME supporting institutions are also called meso institutions. My previous post was about Mesopartner Summer Academy. This year MSA’s main topic was Role of meso institutions.