Building block Applied Research
PPPs working on applied research often develop innovative forms of education, for example in field labs, living labs, or Communities for Development. In these projects, research groups consisting of students, lecturers, teacher researchers and professionals form to address practical issues. This approach goes beyond the search for a solution to a company's specific problem and worlds towards developing broader knowledge. Knowledge development is not an end in itself, instead the primary intention is to disseminate knowledge to even more companies. Within education, practical research should lead to a higher quality of education. Ideally, one research project should lead to another, creating a program.
What’s it all about?
- Vocational education and businesses develop knowledge together and breakthroughs on complex social themes in the region like health care, energy, water, housing, and safety.
- Improve teachers’ and students’ research skills.
- Research results impact education and professional practice.
What happens next?
- Multidisciplinary projects: different types of vocational training work together on practical issues for companies or municipalities, for example.
- Lecturers and contractors often connect partners from education and business, and are catalysts for research questions. They research, describe, and publish new educational models and bring in substantive expertise.
What kinds of partners are required?
- Educational institutions with a network of relevant parties in the region that have sufficient research skills like lecturers or doctoral researchers, professors, or practitioners.
- Working field partners who want to commit themselves to the PPP for a longer period of time and have a strong position in the regional ecosystem and issues at stake there.
- Possibly knowledge institutes: applied research organizations like Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, and research universities
What kinds of agreements do you need to make?
- A clear research agenda that gives projects direction.
- Strategic approach: projects that not only stand on their own but also build on each other, and thus contribute to a larger theme.
- Partner involvement including companies, vocational education, and research universities in education and research content and design. E.g. by participating in knowledge circles and knowledge circulation.
- Flexibility on the part of the educational institution to allow lecturers and students to work on research questions including freeing up lecturers and making space in training programs for research.
Where can I find a good example?
- Delta Platform: complex, multidisciplinary research programs in regional living labs
- Center of Expertise Healthy Ageing: multidisciplinary long-term projects in innovation workshops
- TechForFuture: large portfolio of applied research projects
- PPP Model for regional co-makership aimed at sustainable innovations within themes in the Northern Netherlands, combination of practorate at Alfa-college and lectorate at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences