How Synergy contributes to the development of Integrated Research and Education Environments (Kompletta miljöer):
Synergy gives environments at universities, and their partners in business, the chance to address an important core question. As the programme is defined by a question that is relevant to the business sector, it also contributes to deeper relationships with several companies.
With Synergy, universities are given increased opportunities to profile their research through developing research competence that corresponds to needs-motivated, multifaceted, and multidisciplinary questions. Universities are also given better opportunities to obtain authorisation to award degrees in higher education for new and specialised knowledge areas
Purpose and objective
The synergy programme aims to serve as a tool for higher education institutions that wish to focus on research based on a defined core question, that would contribute to a research front. The Synergy programme is addressing research questions that may require the competence from different scientific areas.
The objective of the programme is to offer new universities a possibility to carry out research activities addressing a well-defined research question, which is of relevance also for the business sector. A synergy project should facilitate the higher education institution to develop a platform to serve as base for continuing profiling activities.
The programme’s contribution to the university’s development
Research projects carried out in co-production between academia and the business sector lead to scientific results. This is manifested both in publications and in career development, just as it leads to 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 questions. Research that occurs in co-production tends to link research more closely to education.
The programme’s contribution to business sector development
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. International studies indicate the importance of continuity in collaboration on research and education. These studies emphasise that companies who persist in collaborative research with academia have greater productivity, growth, sales and exports per employee compared with those who do not collaborate or who have only collaborated on certain occasions. Companies who participate in Synergy obtain the opportunity for more contacts and a broader network both with research scientists and HEIs, and – especially – 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.