SECRA – Strengthening University-Enterprise Collaboration for Resilient Communities in Asia

The overarching aim of SECRA is to contribute to more resilient communities in Asia through institutionalized, systematic, monitored, innovative, and inclusive university enterprise collaboration in disaster resilience.

The overarching problem targeted by SECRA is the often ad hoc, episodic quality of university-enterprise collaboration (UEC) in the field of disaster resilience in the project’s partner countries, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines. By ad hoc, we mean that UEC is neither systematic, nor institutionalized or monitored. This is a pressing problem, because the knowledge and skills transfer through entrepreneurial, triple helix processes within UEC have the potential to increase disaster resilience, as, for example, in better and more efficient agricultural practices (Ankrah and Al-Tabbaa, 2015). In turn, disaster resilient societies are more likely to better respond and adapt to consequences of climate change, to which the partner countries are vulnerable. SECRA concomitantly addresses gender equity as a means of achieving better UEC. There is not a simple answer to the wickedness of climate change consequences or in resilience thinking; we are claiming however, that facilitating systematic, institutionalized, and monitored UEC is part of a solution.

SECRA has identified a number of specific, interlinked objectives as a means of parsing this overarching aim and focusing the work or each individual WP.

  • Our first objective is to trace, delimit, and map the lacunae in UEC collaborations broadly identified through (i) work preceding SECRA and (ii) the needs analysis conducted together with the program countries of the Philippines, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Bounding these lacunae will, inter alia, provide the foundation for the work conducted in the development WPs.
  • Our second objective is to foster a better alignment between the interest of enterprises with the national public interest, especially in the field of disaster resilience.
  • SECRA’s third objective is to create the prerequisites for, and establish a community of practice (CoP) involving university and enterprise actors in the field of disaster resilience, both in physical and in virtual network terms.
  • SECRA’s fourth objective is to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the selected HEIs by creating opportunities for collaboration with enterprise actors; support the transition of ideas into practice, and support start-ups and scale-ups while making use of existing knowledge resources at these HEIs.
  • SECRA’s fifth objective is to develop and launch a monitoring and assessment tool that can feed into evaluations of UEC collaborations in a broader effort of evidence-based policy in the program countries.
  • Our sixth objective is to foster appropriate, inclusive solutions for the promotion of gender equity and diversity.

Notably, SECRA's aim and objectives are not only in line with the EU2020 strategy and the cross-cutting and regional priorities, but also with a number of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely 5 (gender equality), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 13 (climate action), and 17 (partnerships for the goals).

SECRA deals with the problem at hand in a sequential fashion. The indirect, larger issue is fostering disaster resilience communities in Asia. SECRA's contribution to more resilient communities is through increasing the capacity of HEIs to initiate, manage, maintain, and benefit from UEC.

Learn more and stay updated at SECRA's website


Ankrah, S., & Al-Tabbaa, O. (2015). Universities–industry collaboration: A systematic review. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 31(3), 387-408. doi:


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