Focus area Health Innovation – a diamond in the rough

Health is a vital part of our lives. Both as individuals and as a society, we are interested in having effective, accessible, and relevant ways to maintain or improve health. At the same time, health is challenged throughout life. Developing and evaluating new solutions – innovations – to maintain or improve health is therefore of great interest to many, and highly relevant to society.

This is a personally written text. Any opinions expressed are the author’s own.

“At the University, it is clear that it is when we work together that we can achieve good research that creates value in society."

Ingeborg Nilsson, Focus Area Leader

Two people in a kayak. They are smiling and the sun is setting across the water. Photo.

This year Halmstad University celebrates its 40th anniversary! In a series of chronicles, you get to follow Halmstad University's 40-year research journey, from no research to research for innovation. In this chronicle, Ingeborg Nilsson, Focus Area Leader, tells us about the importance of working togther to create health innovation.

The focus area Health Innovation at Halmstad University is based on challenges that people, businesses and society identify in relation to health and well-being. Together, we develop relevant research and education. The Health Innovation focus area is a good example of a diamond that shines, but with joint efforts can be cut even better.

A brave and innovative decision

The focus area Health Innovation started in 2014. Making the decision to profile research and education at Halmstad University in this way was both brave and innovative. There is something grand and remarkable about a small university that, despite potential challenges, sets out to create a clear vision for its research and education. Halmstad University not only wants to be a generally high-quality university, but also to create a profile and claim an area. Halmstad University does. It shows a leadership with clear ambition and a vision that promotes university-wide collaboration. At the University, it is clear that it is when we work together that we can achieve good research that creates value in society.

But what is the ambition and goal of the focus area Health Innovation? The focus area has a holistic perspective on health, which is why research, education and collaboration with other societal actors are absolutely essential. Ambitious work to develop a distinct and detailed focus was described as early as 2021 in the strategy that was developed within the focus area and that the Vice-Chancellor adopted at the time. A clear plan was outlined for how education, research and collaboration can contribute to, but also benefit from, the focus area. Around the same time, it was decided that it would be possible at the University to apply for the establishment of multidisciplinary research programmes. This meant that the University’s organisation and forms of research were partly redrawn.

Powerful research

Within the focus area Health Innovation, there are currently two good examples of powerful research programmes that produce high-quality research that is in demand nationally and internationally. The research programmes contribute to the academic development and careers of all of us and generate the next generation of teachers and researchers. The programmes – Movement for Health and Performance and Information-Driven Care – are clear examples of how the focus area can be developed. My hope is to soon be able to welcome more research programmes.

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Ingeborg Nilsson finds it important that we all work together.