Ten years as a Knowledge and Competence Centre has given very good results
A large part of Halmstad University’s research is gathered in the University’s Knowledge and Competence Centre called Research for Innovation. The Knowledge and Competence Centre, which is a ten-year initiative supported by the Knowledge Foundation, is now in its final year. A recent external evaluation gives Halmstad University’s Knowledge and Competence Center a good grade – the results show a very good development with, among other things, increased research funding and scientific publication.
”I am proud of all employees who have worked methodically and goal-oriented and made our Knowledge and Competence Centre so successful.”
Stephen Hwang, Vice-Chancellor
”The Knowledge and Competence Centre has meant a lot to our research. Because of it, we have been able to focus on strengthening the innovation profiling. We have also increased our multidisciplinary co-production with strategic partners in our surrounding society. I am proud of all employees who have worked methodically and goal-oriented and made our Knowledge and Competence Centre so successful”, says Stephen Hwang, Vice-Chancellor at Halmstad University.
253 percent in increased funding
In 2020, a major analysis and evaluation of the development of three Knowledge and Competence Centres was carried out. The results indicate that Halmstad University’s development with the Knowledge and Competence Centre Research for Innovation has been very good. The perception within Halmstad University is also that the Knowledge and Competence Centre has developed very well, as 95 percent of the researchers surveyed believe that the Knowledge and Competence Centre has been a success.
“Halmstad University has been particularly successful in attracting external public funding, which is clear from an increase in public funding by 253 percent between 2014 and 2019”, says Stefan Östholm, in charge of analysis and evaluation at the Knowledge Foundation.
The University’s new research strategy
Last year, Halmstad University began a process to develop research strategies for the coming ten-year period, including evaluation from external experts. One conclusion from that process is that the choice to focus on the profile areas Health Innovation and Smart Cities and Communities within the Knowledge and Competence Centre has been good. Overall, the research environments that are part of the Knowledge and Competence Centre received good reviews for their strategies from the external assessors.
“Halmstad University will build on the experiences from the way of working with the Knowledge and Competence Centre, for example in terms of quality assurance, communication, follow-up, and joint development and strategy work”, says Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson, Programme Manager for Halmstad University’s Knowledge and Competence Centre as well as responsible for the process around the University’s new research strategy.
The profile areas, which will be called focus areas in the future, will continue to be the framework for the University’s strong research after the ten-year period as a Knowledge and Competence Centre. In the next few years, several special research programmes, inspired by the Knowledge Foundation’s profile initiatives, will be established at Halmstad University to strengthen profiling and development in the focus areas.
Text: Louise Wandel
What is a Knowledge and Competence Centre?
Halmstad University is one of five universities in Sweden that has qualified to be a Knowledge and Competence Centre by the Knowledge Foundation. The other Knowledge and Competence Centres are at University of Skövde, Mid Sweden University, University West and Jönköping University. The Knowledge and Competence Centres receive funding from the Knowledge Foundation through yearly plans, instead of applying in separate calls.
Through the Knowledge and Competence Centre, the Knowledge Foundation provides support for research efforts that are gradually developing an increasingly profiled educational and research institution, with the highest quality, clear positioning and with activities that have a strong relevance for the development of industry and society.
Halmstad University’s Knowledge and Competence Centre was inaugurated in April 2012 and runs for ten years, until the end of 2021. The Knowledge and Competence Centre is called Research for Innovation to reflect the University’s profile. Crucial to all research projects within the Knowledge and Competence Centre is the close collaboration with industry, known as co-production. This means that companies are engaged in research projects together with the University’s researchers, and make important contributions to the research at their own expense.
About the evaluation
The evaluation was carried out by the company Damvad Analytics, on behalf of the Knowledge Foundation, during May to December 2020. The results have been summarised in a report presented by the Knowledge Foundation at a seminar on May 21, 2021.
The three Knowledge and Competence Centres that have been evaluated are Transformative Technologies at Mid Sweden University, Research for Innovation at Halmstad University and INFINIT at Skövde University. The evaluation includes studies of documents, data analysis, bibliometric analysis, qualitative interviews, questionnaires and workshops. The evaluation analysed the Knowledge and Competence Centers strategic and organisational ability, their ability for scientific profiling and impact, collaboration and co-production with business, resource security and the development of a balance between research and education.
The purpose of the evaluation is threefold:
- in-depth understanding of goal fulfilment for the Knowledge and Competence Centres, including how effectively it has been implemented by the Knowledge Foundation
- analysis of the three Knowledge and Competence Centres ten-year development journey
- recommendations of possible adaptations and changes for further development of the program