PALAST has convened a workshop in partnership with Ministry of Education and Higher Education MEHE) and Ministry of National Economy (MNE). The workshop was hosted and partially supported by the Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU). Dr. Mustafa Abu-Safa, the PPU vice president for academic affairs, has opened the workshop addressing the PPU and welcoming the participants stressing on the need for enhancing academic-industrial partnership for the sake of benefiting the community as what the PPU is currently doing. Dr. Abu-Safa added that PPU will be ready to implement the recommendations raised in the workshop.
The first session was chaired by Dr. Fahoum Shalabi, the assistant to deputy minister of MEHE. Dr. Shalbi presented Dr. Afif Hasan, dean of college of engineering of Birzeit University, Dr. Khaldoun Najem, from Hebron University, Dr. Ibrahim Afaneh, from Al-Quds University, Eng. Ayman Sultan, vice president for community services at PPU, Eng. Raed Hijawi, from An-Najah National University, and Eng Said Zeidan, from ULTIMIT Integrated Solution Company. Each participant has presented a success story of academic-industrial partnerships. The level of cooperation showed the high potential in both sectors, which when properly managed would benefit all.
The second session was a panel discussion which was lead by Eng. Ziad Jweiles, the director general of vocational training at the MEHE. Panelists were: Dr. Maher Jabary, director of Industrial Synergy Center at PPU, Mr. Marwan Tarazi, director of continuous education at Birzeit University, Dr. Suleiman Khalil, dean of college of sciences at An-Najah national University, Mr. Tareq Abu-Alfilat, head of the Federation of Leather Industries, Mr. Hassan Arman, from NABCO Company, Mr. Nafeth Herbwai, head of PALTRADE, and Mr. Robin Joulani, head of Federation of Metal and Engineering Industries. Panel discussion was very fruitful with potential initiatives.
In the last session, which was chaired by Mr. Ziad Karablieh, the director general of industrial policies at MNE, the recommendations were raised by the participants and after thorough discussion the followings were the most important:
- PALAST is required to convene an expert team from the university that is required to prepare a study based on their interaction with Palestinian industrial federations to identify means for linking academic programs to the industrial needs. The team could propose actions that bridge the gabs between both sectors.
- The Palestinian Standards Institute is required to act actively regarding the protection and development of Palestinian industries in order to be able to competing imported goods.
- A fund should be secured to encourage and enhance the partnership, and the Science Fund Initiative (SF) that was established previously by PALAST and has gained the moral support of the Palestinian prime minister, should be activated by financially supporting its mission.