Centres of Excellence and impact agenda

The creation of competence centres specialized in thematic areas addressing societal challenges has been guided by an effort “to build bridges between science and industry in Sweden by creating excellent academic research environments in which industrial companies participate actively and persistently in order to deliver long-term benefits” (Vinnova 2016). This analysis of centres of excellence examine closer collaborative efforts involving researchers from university and industry, which helps us to better understand how research centres define and create and impact and how their knowledge translation processes are put into practice in interaction between academia and industry. Some key questions are:

“What challenges are centers addressing when balancing the ambition to achieve broader societal impact alongside academic excellence?”

”What are the key management strategies and organizational mechanisms in use to create impact in material science research centers?”

The broader implication of these questions is concerned with heuristics of academia’s societal impact and academic excellence in the context of the technical university with a long tradition of collaboration with industry. The study examines the impact agenda of Centres of excellence through analysis of assessment reports, interview material combined with analysis of scientific publications from centres. Particular attention is paid to analysis of VinnExcellence centres, created between 2005 and 2007, existing alongside other initiatives, such as strategic research areas (SRAs), challenge driven innovation and societal challenges.

Scientific output from project includes: publications in international scientific journals, conference presentations (Triple helix Beijing 2015, SPRU 2016) and seminars (KTH, ABE-school 17 June 2016).

Time period: 2015-2016

Funding: Vinnova, KTH Impact 3C: Create, Capture, Communicate

Participants: Katarina Larsen (project leader), Susanne Nilsson, Johan Blaus, Folke Snickars

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Last changed: Aug 22, 2017