The many ways in which academic research is made useful

The generation of new knowledge is by no doubt one of the key elements in developing a sustainable society. Some knowledge is generated through blue sky research, other from investigations made in close collaboration between researchers and practitioners. There are several ways in which knowledge can be generated, as are there ways in which research can be utilised. However, the impact of academic research and development in society is often associated with the creation of patents or venture, or with educating students. Unsurprisingly, the impact is in fact much more multifaceted than these activities. Chalmers Energy Area of Advance brings us examples of many additional activities in which researchers make their knowledge useful.

Creates impact beyond academia

The Energy Area of Advance conducts a wide variety of outreach activities; more than 300 popular science contributions have been made, such as seminars, conferences and communication activities. Also, close collaborations with stakeholders have resulted in success stories of commercialisation. Excellent research facilities and infrastructure enables networking and knowledge exchange, as they serve as meeting places for students, researches and diverse non-academic actors. Engaging in public debates and providing advice to industry and policy-makers, nationally and internationally, are important activities for many researchers within the Energy Area of Advance. Thanks to the organisational structure of the Energy Area of Advance, an increasingly interdisciplinary collaboration has been established, combining technically oriented research with systems analysis that create an ability for addressing complex and societal issues. One example of this is the 2014 ARN 5 IPCC reports that included over 60 citations of Chalmers Energy Area of Advance researchers.

The involvement of the research institutes in the Energy Area of Advance further strengthens the utilisation of the knowledge generated as these actors function as bridging organisations between universities and practitioners in industry, policy, or society at large.

Strategic collaborations

Constructive industrial collaboration facilitates reciprocal knowledge transfer, strengthening the knowledge base and influencing the direction of research. We have summarised some of the highlights with our four strategic industry collaborators, ABB, Eon, Göteborg Energi and Preem.

Published: Wed 28 May 2014. Modified: Fri 15 Jan 2016