Search

Halmstad University ends ten years as a Knowledge and Competence Centre and looks to the future

The past ten years, Halmstad University has been a Knowledge and Competence Centre with special support from the Knowledge Foundation to develop the University's profiling. The Knowledge and Competence Centre period has had many positive effects, including the two interdisciplinary focus areas that are now the core of the University’s research strategy.

“The Knowledge and Competence Centre has meant a lot to our research. Thanks to it, we have been able to focus on strengthening our profiling on innovation. We have also increased our multidisciplinary co-production with strategic partners around the world.”

Stephen Hwang, Vice-Chancellor

“The Knowledge and Competence Centre has meant a lot to our research. Thanks to it, we have been able to focus on strengthening our profiling on innovation. We have also increased our multidisciplinary co-production with strategic partners around the world. Now we use the lessons we have learned from the Knowledge and Competence Centre period and look ahead. We will continue to profile the University towards our two focus areas, Health Innovation and Smart Cities and Communities, for example through the work on multidisciplinary research programmes that began last year”, says Vice-Chancellor Stephen Hwang.

Two men in suits.

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Hwang and Deputy Vice-Chancellor with specific responsibility for research and doctoral education Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson. The photo is a collage.

Strategies for research

On January 1 this year, several changes were made to the University’s structure for research. The responsibility for the research was transferred from the previous research environments to the University's four schools, and as a result the research environments were phased out as organisational units. A Deputy Vice-Chancellor with specific responsibility for research and doctoral education was appointed, Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson, Professor of Computer Science and former Programme Manager for the University's Knowledge and Competence Centre. The basis for the change was the work of developing strategies for research carried out during the years 2020–2021.

”The University’s research has had a very good development in the last ten years. At the same time, the work with research strategies showed that there is room for development and improvements to be able to maintaining success. For example, the University's research environments and the Schools’ research have for the most part been overlapping, which has created confusion. The expert panels involved in the strategy work also pointed to the need for clearer visions and increased focus. The connection to the University’s focus areas needs to be developed and become even stronger, as well as the connection between research and education”, says Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson.

”The University's research has had a very good development in the last ten years. At the same time, the work with research strategies showed that there is room for development and improvements to be able to maintaining success.

Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor with specific responsibility for research and doctoral education

Positioning, profiling, quality, and relevance – now and in the future

The time as a Knowledge and Competence Centre has been characterised by an effort towards positioning, profiling, quality, and relevance. During the ten-year period, the University has strengthened its scientific position, not least thanks to the two focus areas' contribution to the University’s profiling.

“In terms of positioning, it is mainly the development within the focus area Health Innovation that stands out. Here, a close collaboration has been established with, above all, Region Halland and the business community, concerning the area of ​​information-driven care, with a Research Profile from the Knowledge Foundation, a graduate school and several research projects with funding from Vinnova and the Swedish Research Council, among others. It is doubtful whether the University would have succeeded in focusing on a cross-disciplinary area if we had not had a Knowledge and Competence Centre”, says Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson.

“The last ten years have been important for the University, and the next ten years will be at least as significant and rich in content”

Stephen Hwang, Vice-Chancellor

The quality has also increased during the Knowledge and Competence Centre period, both in education and research. In addition, the culture around quality has been strengthened, and a new system for quality work has been developed. Today, quality is integrated into all activities at the University.

The University has strengthened its societal relevance by being a strategic partner for business and the public sector to develop competence and competitiveness, something that becomes clear in the strategic collaboration agreements that the University has with the companies Stena Recycling and Getinge Sterilization AB.

“The University has taken great strides forward during the period as a Knowledge and Competence Centre. The result has been, among other things, an increased dialogue and in-depth collaboration across Schools. We will continue to build on the consensus that has already been established, not least through our two focus areas and the research programmes that we are now developing and starting. The last ten years have been important for the University, and the next ten years will be at least as significant and rich in content”, Stephen Hwang concludes.

Text: Christa Amnell
Photo: Dan Bergmark

Footnote. A Research Profile is one of the Knowledge Foundation’s initiatives that aims to give higher education institutions the opportunity to further develop a designated strategically important research area with good potential to become internationally prominent.

Halmstad University’s Knowledge and Competence Centre Research for Innovation

The University was awarded a Knowledge and Competence Centre in 2012 after an application made two years earlier by the then Vice-Chancellor Romulo Enmark. The Knowledge and Competence Centre, which was called Research for Innovation, was formed around the three areas where the University had recently applied for the right to award doctorates: Innovation Science, Information Technology and Health and Lifestyle. The intention was to build a strong and multidisciplinary profile for the University. Vice-Chancellor Mikael Alexandersson, who took office in 2011, was the one who started the Knowledge and Competence Centre and set goals, working methods, as well as management and decision-making structures.

Between the years 2012 and 2021, Research for Innovation had three programme managers: Professor Bertil Svensson (2012–2014), Professor Magnus Bergquist (2015–2017) and Professor Thorsteinn Rögnvaldsson (2018–2021). The external evaluation of the Knowledge and Competence Centres in Sweden made in 2020 states that Halmstad University has had a clear goal for its Knowledge and Competence Centre from the beginning, and a stable and consistent management compared with other Knowledge and Competence Centres in Sweden. The Knowledge and Competence Centre at Halmstad University has also been the most subject-wide of all Knowledge and Competence Centres in Sweden and thus involved a larger part of the University.

During the period as a Knowledge and Competence Centre, Halmstad University’s development has been very positive in both research and education at the advanced level. The Knowledge and Competence Centre has led to broadened research funding, a large number of merit services, more strategic collaboration with external parties and a sharply increased offer of education at the advanced level for professionals. Above all, the Knowledge and Competence Centre has led to the two interdisciplinary focus areas around which the University's current research strategy is shaped: Health Innovation and Smart Cities and Communities. Many of the results from the Knowledge and Competence Centre are reported in the latest follow-up report for Research for Innovation.

PUBLISHED

Contact

  • No valid user selected.

Share

Contact