Today, there are Knowledge and Competence Centres at the University of Skövde, Halmstad University, Mid Sweden University, Jönköping University, and University West.
A Knowledge and Competence Centre provides the university with the opportunity for long-term systematic work on strategy-driven development of Integrated Research and Education Environments, in which research and education at the master’s and doctoral level interact. All programme formats at the Knowledge Foundation can be used to strengthen both research and education within the Knowledge and Competence Centre. During the programme period, the university responsible for the Knowledge and Competence Centre is expected to develop a high level of ability to strategically select and use the Foundation’s programme formats based on their contribution to the development of a complete environment.
About the programme
The programme is directed at universities that have made considerable progress in establishing co-produced research and educational environments, and have ambitions for the continued profiling of their operations. Knowledge and Competence Centres are to support the development of profiled universities and the establishing of Integrated Research and Education Environments with scientific strengths and good co-production ability within the universities’ prioritised fields. The purpose is also to strengthen the ability of universities to work strategically, using quality assurance, on the development of research and education together with external partners. The focus of the programme is to create a long-term, structured development process for the university and its partners.
The programme entails a ten-year development process based on a framework agreement and, more precisely, a three- to four-year stage agreement between the university and the Knowledge Foundation. The agreement relates to strategy and goals for development of the Knowledge and Competence Centre, and also regulates the programme process and the parties’ roles in it. The work will then be carried out in an annual process in which the university submits proposals for an action plan for the coming year’s activities in the Knowledge and Competence Centre. Based on the action plan, the university can propose ventures with funding from the Foundation according to any of the Foundation’s programme formats. The Foundation will fund ventures after the action plan has been assessed by the Foundation’s expert group. The university will be responsible for quality assurance of strategy and ventures, as well as follow-up of ventures in accordance with the quality assurance system of the Knowledge and Competence Centre. The university will account for development within the Knowledge and Competence Centre in an annual follow-up report to the Foundation.
How do the universities work in the programme?
The universities carry out the work on developing the Knowledge and Competence Centre together with their business partners; the elements they are responsible include the following:
• Defining areas of activity and long-term strategic direction for the Knowledge and Competence Centre (ten years) that support overall profiling of the university
• Establishing a quality assurance system with the ability to develop and follow up on a strategy for the Knowledge and Competence Centre and to select ventures, review them for quality, and follow up on them
• Designing multi-year plans, with goals for development of the Knowledge and Competence Centre that can be followed up on
• Describe and justify planned activities in annual action plans, and submit proposals for ventures with funding from the Knowledge Foundation
• Implement ventures according to the action plan, and follow up on these
• Follow up on the development of the centre relative to strategy and goals, and annually report its assessment in a follow-up report to the Knowledge Foundation
• Submit final reports for implemented ventures that received funding from the Knowledge Foundation
The Knowledge Foundation’s role:
The role of the Foundation is to maintain the programme process, to assess and provide feedback on the work of the university, and to contribute funding for ventures within research and graduate education. The Foundation is primarily responsible for the following elements:
• Assessing and providing feedback on the strategies and plans that form the basis for the framework and periodic agreements.
• Annually assessing action plans from the Knowledge and Competence Centres and conducting dialogue meetings at the management level, based on follow-up reports.
• Funding ventures that meet the conditions for any of the Foundation’s programme forms, after review in the expert group and a decision by the Board.
• Assess the development of the Knowledge and Competence Centre based on the agreed-upon strategy.
• Conduct special reviews of the Knowledge and Competence Centres’ quality assurance systems, and ability as co-producing research and educational environments.
Who can apply, and how it works
• Management of Sweden’s university colleges and new universities with the prerequisites for establishing a Knowledge and Competence Centre may declare their interest.
• Application after dialogue with the management of the Knowledge Foundation; no particular calls for proposals or points in time.
• Preliminary qualification process – the university first applies to begin qualification for a Knowledge and Competence Centre.