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New Uni strategy to connect business and research

First ever UCPH business strategy released this month; Will support interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer. Integrity of research will not be damaged, assures Anna Haldrup

Innovation and entrepreneurship in education, dialogue with private enterprise and seamless commercialisation of university developed technology. These are some of the main goals in the first ever University of Copenhagen (UCPH) ‘Strategy for collaboration with private enterprise 2012 – 2016’.

Released this month June 2012, this new business strategy will focus on implementing interdisciplinary research and collaboration with private and public enterprises over the next four years.

According to Anna Haldrup, director of Research and Innovation at University of Copenhagen and developer of the strategy, this initiative is in line with the UCPH 2016 strategy, the EU Horizon 2020 strategy and Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

»There is a big public and political focus on interdisciplinary research which can both be seen in the EU Horizon 2020 strategy and in the Danish ministries. With this business strategy we are making sure, that University of Copenhagen is prepared to compete in a competent way with the current demands«. Anna Haldrup explains.

Big student demand

It is not just politicians that want to collaborate with business, and work with other science areas, she continues.

»We have experienced a big demand from students to integrate business and public collaborations in education,« Haldrup explains. »Through research projects that collaborate with private enterprises, we are preparing students for future employment«.

»Most scientists are also positive towards interdisciplinary research and easier knowledge sharing«.

Current research not affected

The funding for this business strategy will come from the University of Copenhagen savings and will not affect faculties’ current budgets. The university has created a special pool of funds for interdisciplinary research and education named the ‘The 2016 funds’ of nearly DKK 500 million. According to Anna Haldrup, this will ensure that current research projects will not be affected.

»For implementing this new strategy the Health and Science faculties have each hired a new Vice Dean for Private and Public Sector Services« Haldrup explains. »On top of this we have made a new pool of funding for specifically interdisciplinary projects«.

»In this way, we highly encourage interdisciplinary research but the current projects within one discipline will not be affected«.

Working on public collaboration

The focus of the current business strategy lies on natural sciences and collaboration with private companies. However, Anna Haldrup says that social science and humanities entrepreneurship start-ups and business collaborations are also encouraged.

»We support entrepreneurship in social sciences and humanities just as highly« Anna Haldrup assures.

»Currently we are working on a strategy for collaboration with public enterprises. This strategy will be more relevant for social sciences and humanities«.

Scientific integrity first priority

The University Post asked her whether scientific values such as independence and critical thinking will be harmed by business interests. Anna Haldrup argues that the new strategy will not have a negative affect.

»Scientific integrity always comes first place«, Haldrup answers.

»For some scientists, we must give special help to secure that their research stays and is regarded as independent. It is an issue for future development of the strategy«.

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