Every year, the European commission arranges a competition to give recognition to excellent examples of enterprise promotion. This year, the collaboration between University of Gävle and Dalarna University in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises to improve energy efficiency was selected as one of two top projects in Sweden.
An opportunity for smaller enterprises
Via the Knowledge Transfer Partnership project (KTP), enterprises can bring in new skills in the form of a recent graduate to help them develop their businesses, while the University gains important knowledge for further research.
In this partnership model, a recent graduate conducts an innovation project fulltime in a regional business during two years. During this time, either the University of Gävle or Dalarna University provides a qualified supervisor, a business coach and, if needed, laboratory resources.
“Through KTP, enterprises have been able to conduct rewarding and exciting projects. In the Gävleborg region, we have run KTP projects in smaller places, which might not be recent graduates’ first-hand choice. The fact that we have been nominated for the best project in Sweden is a great recognition of the work all of us involved in this project do,” says Ola Wiklund, coordinator for KTP at the University of Gävle.
The model is spreading across Sweden
On 5 June, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth,Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation agency) and the Swedish Energy Agency awarded another SEK 15 million for spreading the model in Sweden. The existing KTP team will now be complemented with Luleå University of Technology, Mid Sweden University, Mälardalen University, Södertörn University and Kristianstad University.
“It is a fact that KTP gives results and now five more higher education institution will be given the opportunity to join the ride, which feels so right,” Ola Wiklund continues. “Originally, the idea comes from Great Britain, and there the model has been successful for over 30 years; 80 percent of their projects have resulted in closer and stronger relations between academia and industry. We have observed such effects already after three years.”
The KTP project is financed by the European Regional Development Fund, Region Gävleborg and Region Dalarna.