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R. Castro1, J.P. Garcia-Sabater2

1Research Unit on Competitiveness, Governance and Public Policies (GOVCOPP) - Universidade de Aveiro / Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana (UEFS) (PORTUGAL)
2Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
Universities play an increasingly important role in achieving economic growth and social progress (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 1997; Jongbloed, Enders & Salerno, 2008). Beyond traditional missions of teaching and research, an economic development- oriented mission based on University-Industry interactions has become a relevant, strategic and challenging issue for universities, organizations and policy makers and researchers in Spain (e. g. Manjarrés-Henríquez, Gutiérrez-Gracia,, Carrión-García, & Vega-Jurado, 2009; Sánchez-Barrioluengo, 2014) and a round the world ( Lebeau, & Cochrane, 2015; Molas-Gallart, Salter, Patel, Scott & Duran, 2002; Santoro & Chakrabarti, 2002).

Taking into consideration the socio-economic effects of the crisis in the European context, more precisely, unemployment and decrease of public investment in HE, the development of this mission is a current and relevant issue. Recent EU strategic initiatives and official data statistics can support this statement.

Education and employment are key areas to socio-economic development as well as two of five ambitious objectives on Europe 2020 in the EU's growth strategy. This strategy established a goal of labour market participation of 75% for women and men aged 20 to 64, by 2020.

According to EUROSTAT reporting, the overall employment rate for Spain in 2015 is 62% (women and men aged 20 to 64) and the employment rate of those who have completed a tertiary (short-cycle tertiary, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels (or equivalents)) education is 65,2 %.Hence, considerable institutional initiatives and efforts are required in this context.

In this paper we explore the collaboration between the Reegineering, Operations Management, GroupWork Logistics Excellence – Rogle Research Group of the Universitat Politècnica de València UPV in Spain and business companies of the region, and analyze their contributions to the improvement of academic quality, employability of the recent graduates, and Companies’s performances.

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