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Halmstad University is strengthening its prospects for collaboration and helping to benefit society and industry by creating a new research environment: Rydberg Laboratory of Applied Science (RLAS). Halmstad University is also hoping to have degree-awarding rights on a postgraduate level, linked to the newly established research environment.
The new research environment was formed from two previous research environments, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design (MTEK) and Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS) creating a joint research environment called the Rydberg Laboratory of Applied Science (RLAS).
The reason for the merger is to respond to society's increasing demands for applicable research and create collective skills to meet the future challenges of both society and industry. From an international perspective, there is also a demand for more interdisciplinary research and a strong need for a more integrated approach to science and technology.
To strengthen its position as an integrated research environment even further and create a more complete academic environment, Halmstad University is applying for degree-awarding rights in the field of Applied Science.
– RLAS is now an area of some of Halmstad University's best research with excellent collaboration with external partners and the ability to obtain external financing, especially from the EU and in collaboration with other parties. This has played a major role in our decision to apply for degree-awarding rights. The Applied Science degree complements our other areas well and fits perfectly with our image as an innovation driven university, says Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson, acting Vice-Chancellor of Halmstad University.
Halmstad University already has postgraduate studies in Health and Lifestyle, Information Technology and Innovation Science. Therefore, with the new research environment as a base, a fourth area for postgraduate studies is created.
– Bringing together researchers within the field creates even more exciting and socially relevant research to be developed. RLAS enables research, education, and collaboration that is both extremely important for our society, as well as being innovative in many ways, says Anna Cregård, Head of the School of Business, Engineering and Science, where the new research environment belongs organisationally.
– The expertise found within RLAS is very good, and the capacity for innovation that the researchers possess will have an impact on how we view and handle matters in areas such as health, climate, and industrialisation.
In practical terms, researchers now have the possibility to develop their close collaboration in interdisciplinary research projects due to a joint organisation and management structure, joint seminars and more meeting points to discuss applications, research projects, research plans, scientific works, manuscripts, and publication strategies.
– I feel that all researchers involved in the environment see working together on future research issues as a natural development, says Professor Ann Bremander, head of the new research environment.
– Our interdisciplinary approach to research is beneficial in areas such as functional materials, production of electronics, biomedical health perspectives, green innovation, future energy supplies, and sustainable developments. In a broader perspective, the research we conduct has great potential to create significant added value for society through technological and scientific innovations.
TEXT: INGRID EKSTRÖM
PHOTO: RICKARD WESSBERG