The research programme Sustainable Growth carries out interdisciplinary research in connection with UCN’s four overall educational areas: business, social education, health and technology.
The focal points of the research programme are changes in the societal value generation and the role of the professions in this. We conduct research within new technologies and markets and how social relations and values are transformed into sustainable solutions. The scientific basis of the programme incorporates all four educational areas mentioned above, and the aim is to evolve and solve cross-institutional and interdisciplinary problems through the research activities within the programme, including unconventional and challenging combinations of professional expertises.
The research programme offers practice-based, application-oriented research taking its point of departure in concrete challenges from the everyday doings of companies, organisations, practitioners and citizens. We bring together all relevant partners – including citizens, practitioners, manufacturers, contractors, public financers, authorities, internal and external experts – with the purpose of establishing new relations and forming, testing and transferring knowledge in an active, interdisciplinary and co-creating forum. This ensures that the results are sustainable and value-generating for practice, research and education as well as for society at large and individual citizens.
Our research takes place within four research environments:
- Exploratorium for the building industry
The research environment ”Exploratorium for the building industry” constitutes a space where experiments within the building industry can be carried out in a research-based environment with a practice-based approach. We work with a wide range of topics, including consumption of resources, environmental impact, the social functions and finances of building, as well as the application of digitisation technologies and innovation of relations and processes within the building industry with the purpose of facilitating sustainable growth and increasing efficiency, productivity and quality in practice.
- Industry 4.0
Within the research environment ”Industry 4.0”, we work with the stress field between the physical and the digital world, including the topics Big Data, Green Apps, robots, 3D printing, Cloud Computing and Internet of Things. Our research is conducted in innovative, co-creating processes in which citizens play a vital role in the development of new technologies and organisational structures, and where we focus on both the development and design of new products and the improvement of the user experience of existing products.
- Network learning and dissemination technologies
Within the research environment ”Network learning and dissemination technologies”, we work on new methods for the development and dissemination of new knowledge. The focus is on co-creating processes in which new relations and new forms of research dissemination are tested, including network-based learning and virtual media that may contribute to bringing new knowledge to the practitioners who may benefit from it in their everyday work.
In addition, we work on establishing new relations to our graduates’ future employers through joint experiments in which we work on a challenge from their practical workday, or by giving the future employers – including companies or public institutions – easier access to knowledge and competence boosts through our further education programmes and knowledge dissemination activities.
- Sustainable growth in a business perspective
This research environment is under development and will be launched in 2017.