Development of Strong Research and Education Environments
The Knowledge Foundation seeks to support the development of strong research and education environments that create value for academia, the business sector and society. An environment might start out as a group of researchers, and later develop into a larger entity such as a research environment, an institution, a centre or similar.
Objective and Purpose
The objective of the Synergy programme is that researchers at the university together with business partners address an integrated research question that contributes to scientific development, focuses the research in the environment and creates benefits for the business partners.
The purpose of all the Knowledge Foundation’s programmes is to build strong, business-relevant research and education environments. The specific purpose of the Synergy programme is for the environment to integrate and develop its research towards a scientific profile.
The synergy programme serves as a tool for universities that wish to focus on a scientific orientation based on a defined core question of relevance also for the business sector, and that will contribute to the research front. A Synergy project enables the university to develop a platform for continued profiling. The programme opens for research questions that may require the perspective and competence from different scientific areas.
The programme’s contribution to the university’s development
Research projects carried out in co-production between academia and the business sector lead to competetive scientific results. This is manifested both in publications and in career development, as well as an increased chance for broadened funding. When companies are taken in as a research partner, new ideas, additional projects, and collaborations are created. Through its design, the Synergy project provides unique conditions to renew directions in research. With Synergy, universities are given increased opportunities to profile their research through developing research competence that corresponds to needs-motivated, multifaceted, and multidisciplinary research questions. Research that occurs in co-production tends to link research more closely to education.
The programme’s contribution to business sector development
Några exempel på varför företag väljer att medverka i forskningsprojekt i samproduktion är företagens behov av kunskap, kompetenshöjning, effektivare verktyg, behov av externa idéer eller möjligheten att vara först med en unik teknik. Företagen framhåller att samproduktionen med lärosätet ofta har varit en viktig del i utvecklingen av deras verksamhet; i form av en ny produkt, ny metod, högre effektivitet, nya processer, eller en breddning av företagens marknad. Genom ett synergiprogram får företagen möjlighet till nya kontakter och nätverk vid lärosätet, och inte minst, vid andra företag.
Why companies choose to contribute to research projects in co-production are often explained by their need for know-how, for competence enhancement, and more effective tools as well as their need for external ideas or the opportunity to be first with unique technology. Companies point out that co-production with universities has often been a part of the development of their operations in the form of a new product or method, greater efficiency, new processes, or a widening of the companies’ markets. Companies who participate in Synergy obtain the opportunity of new contacts and a broader network both at HEIs, and not at least with other companies.
A Synergy project should span over 3 to 4 years, and the maximum grant is 10 million SEK. Total funding requested from the Knowledge Foundation must, at least, be matched by business sector contributions. However, each individual subproject in Synergy does not need to meet this requirement.
Who can apply, and how it works
• Sweden’s university colleges and new universities may apply.
• Calls for proposals within the programme are issued annually, in autumn. Applications must be registered via the Ansök & rapportera portal.