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Halmstad University’s Knowledge Foundation Environment, Research for Innovation, has a new program director. Magnus Bergquist, Professor of Informatics at the School of Information Technology, is looking forward to the assignment of continuing to take the University’s research forward.
Magnus Bergquist is, since August 1, the new program director for the Knowledge Foundation Environment, after Bertil Svensson. Magnus Bergquist mentions the University’s strong profile as an important reason for accepting the new position:
– Halmstad University has a very interesting profile with the health innovation focus, which is one of the reasons I wanted to come here. I hope that I, with my multidisciplinary background, can see possibilities for how the different parts of Research for Innovation can collaborate to solve problems in our society.
Bertil Svensson stays in Research for Innovation as a Strategic Advisor during the autumn of 2015.
Magnus Bergquist has been a guest researcher at Halmstad University since 2013 and was appointed Professor of Informatics in January 2015. Magnus Bergquist has an interesting background as a PhD in Ethnology, an Associate Professor of Informatics and Vice Dean at the IT Faculty at the University of Gothenburg. His research is primarily about how IT changes people's work and everyday life.
– It is important to understand the different organisational, social and cultural phenomena and expressions in society. The digitalisation of our daily lives requires both the technology itself and its applications to benefit the users, says Magnus Bergquist.
One of Magnus Bergquist's ongoing research projects is about how social media changes official communication.
– We are studying how social media as a digital platform changes the Social Insurance Agency (Förskringskassan) and the police. The social channels make it possible for the authorities to communicate in new ways, for example without being filtered through mass media, explains Magnus Bergquist.
– The effort that has been made so far with our Knowledge Foundation Environment is fantastic. There is a clear strategy for the future, and my responsibility is to continue working after that plan, says Magnus Bergquist.
He emphasises the importance of collaboration – both with the industry where concrete issues can be addressed, and within the University's various disciplines.
– For successful research, a diversity that allows different perspectives on the same issue is required. The challenge ahead will be to both profile the University, and to maintain this diversity, says Magnus Bergquist.
– New ideas grow from below, they bubble up. In my role as director, I have to see these new ideas, take advantage of them and develop them.
Text: LOUISE WANDEL
Photo: JOACHIM BRINK