In different ways, all of the Knowledge Foundation’s programmes are aimed at enabling environments to establish and maintain a strong, long-term, national and international scientific or artistic position which also contributes to the profiling of the university. In the view of the Knowledge Foundation, a strong research and education environment is one that has the capacity to develop its research and education in partnership with the business sector and takes a long-term, strategic approach to its development.
According to the Knowledge Foundation a strong research and education environment is defined by a shared ambition to attain a scientific position and profile. 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. Where the environment is a large one, e.g. containing several research groups, the scientific common denominator needs to be clearly defined, and the way in which the groups will work together set out. The environment comprises the researchers and teachers, courses, research questions, business partners, projects, etc., which play a part in achieving the ambition of positioning and profiling in a selected and well-defined field. How such a field is to be defined is linked to the area of research and education in which the environment has the potential to take a national and international scientific position.
Research and education environments are dynamic, and interaction between different organisational levels is necessary depending on the activity in focus. For example, education programmes will often span a broader organisational entity than research projects. Therefore, it is important that the shared ambition for the environment is supported by all the units involved within the university, including departmental and university management. The environment must be prioritised by the university’s management if it is to become a distinct profile for the entire institution. Prioritisation and a shared, embedded ambition are crucial to establishing a strong scientific position and profile with high relevance for the business sector and society with the help of, among others, the Knowledge Foundation’s programmes.