EARMA Conference Oslo


European developments as catalyser for advancing EU research support

Example of UASNL


Dr. Maren Pannemann


  • I
    Ivo Schrijer, M.SC


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight


Practice based research, next to education and innovation, has become an important pillar of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS). Accordingly, development of EU strategy and research support at UAS has picked up the pace. Over the last decade, UAS have started to contribute to the European research landscape, establishing valuable research collaborations with international partners in order to tackle societal challenges together.
In this context, we would like to share our experiences with establishing a national network of UAS, which affected different levels of research support. Our main observations are a) that this external organisation accelerated also internal support processes in each organisation, and b) collaboration rather than competition has advanced the EU readiness of all partners.
Background: Universities of Applied Sciences Netherlands (UASNL) is a collaboration of 16 Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS), who work together to strengthen their European research profile. In 2019, the UASNL partners formalised their collaboration and founded an EU office in Brussels with a UASNL liaison officer. Through the EU office in Brussels, UASNL contributes to policy developments, builds European partnerships and shows the value of applied research in answering the challenges Europe faces. In this process, UAS do not compete with research intensive universities, but bring in complementary added value by addressing higher Technology Readiness Levels with practice-based research. In addition, UAS bring with them rich regional networks with public and private stakeholders adding value to research consortia by addressing all levels of the knowledge chain. Each UASNL partner has a liaison officer serving as contact person -Linking Pin- for the Brussels office.
This “external” process of establishing the UASNL network has interestingly worked as a catalyzer for the research support process at several dimensions:
1. Knowledge exchange on national level;
2. Communication and public affairs;
3. Internal organisation of support.
We will describe the developments and insights that have been derived at these different dimensions. The success of the organisational EU strategy strongly relies on community building, visibility and awareness of actors at different organisation levels. We will illustrate these first results of the internal learning process based on the case of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Important learning outcomes of the session will be:
- Factors playing a role in the process of creating visibility of the organisation.
- Examples for cooperation between organisations, targeting different levels of research support.
- Collaboration rather than competition as an important factor of EU Readiness.
- Reflection on the professional profile of the Linking Pin.
- The role of Universities of Applied Sciences in European research consortia.