Håkan Simonsen, new Fundraising Director at Chalmers

Some keywords for our mission are transparency, clear goals, long-term and relationships

Chalmers – for a sustainable future. That is the stated vision which will permeate the technical solutions presented by Chalmers, both short term as well as long term.
We are linking this to our strategic objectives. Chalmers will be attractive due to ...
• its professionalism and drive for sustainable development in the world
• its world class education
• its internationally renowned research
• its creative work environment
This will primarily be made possible by the personnel at Chalmers, a total of 2,838 full-time equivalences and about 10,000 full-time equivalent students. But that is not enough, effective and stimulating collaboration must be created with the surrounding world, society, its universities, and of course the industries and businesses. All seen from a global perspective.
Creating Resources
One of the central persons assisting in this is Håkan Simonsen, appointed as the new Chalmers Fundraising Director. He’s not a Chalmers alumnus, but has a background from Handels and is a Corporate Council. He worked his first 20 years for SE Bank where he was focused on corporate clients. In the end he was responsible for the SE Bank’s mid-sized corporate clients in western Sweden. 2008 – 2014 Håkan was the CEO of the Gothenburg-based international investment company Christian Berner Invest AB. It’s easy to see that the common thread in Håkan Simonsen’s career is working with business.
When approached by Chalmers, he tried to define what Chalmers meant to him without having been a student there. It boiled down to 5 points for Håkan, who’s from Gothenburg.
• Strong brand.
• Lots of traditions.
• Quality.
• Innovation.
• Clearly forward looking.
Håkan realized that it isn’t clear areas of focus have been developed an easy assignment he accepted. Being able to realize Chalmers vision and strategic objectives requires resources at many levels and Håkan Simonsen is convinced they will be able to create these.
Fundraising, a part of Chalmers operations
About 20 years ago Chalmers was a pioneer in fundraising among universities in Sweden. Initially, focus was on single carefully specified projects requiring cash and many successful projects have been implemented with the help of donations.
Chalmer’s Management now want Håkan Simonsen to integrate fundraising into Chalmers’ everyday operations. Keywords are Long/Term Perspective and Relationships.
7 have been identified and we are highlighting 4 of them here in an attempt to make these areas clearer.
1: ”Sports Technology”. Making athletes go faster, higher and longer.
2: ”Energy on Campus”. Read the article on page 8 about HSB Living Labs which is a part of this.
3: ”Strategic recruitment”. Getting the esources for recruiting the best researchers, even from an international perspective, to ensure Chalmers’ place on the world map.
4: ”Scholarship for international students”. Ensuring that Chalmers takes in a flow of excellent international students who increase our quality and allow us to participate on the international plane.
For information about remaining points and more in-depth information visit www.chalmers.se
Important work by alumni
However, money isn’t everything. Of outmost importance is the functional collaboration between Chalmers and other universities, nationally and internationally as well as society, business and industry in order for Chalmers to achieve their ambitious objectives.

In order to get there, the Chalmers brand must be further strengthened before we can claim to provide world class education and research. One important parameter is to make Chalmers better known abroad.
Chalmers Management and Håkan Simonsen  realize that as Chalmers Alumni we can contribute in many different ways.
For example the Chalmersska Ingenjörsföreningen by means of all our local chapters in Sweden and abroad. By assisting with opening doors and providing contacts. A happy and proud Chalmers Alumnus is automatically an excellent ambassador for our alma mater. And our systematic efforts for maintaining and strengthen the Chalmers
spirit among alumni with all our activities are of outmost importance. The partnership with us as alumni is incredibly important if Chalmers is to reach its goal to become a world class university.
Money is a necessity
But of course it all falls back on cash when we discuss resources. A simplified break down of Chalmers funding over a year reveals about 45% of the total input comes from the outside. Naturally, large investors like the state-owned Vinnova are included in this group, but still, this is almost half of Chalmers’ budget. The group includes everything from smaller private donors to large foundations and corporate donors.They all work together.
Håkan Simonsen points out it is important for many donors to be able to choose what their money is used for. That’s where the 7 areas of focus come in. Håkan wants to highlight the Chalmers Foundation in this context, since they help with both managing donation efforts and managing capital.
In order for Chalmers to achieve the ambition of world class education and research, the need of and necessity for external funding will increase. Håkan Simonsen, Chalmers Fundraising Director, has a tough, stimulating and challenging job ahead of him, and a good reputation in Sweden is not enough. Chalmers has to become an actor on the global stage.

Most importantly, in conclusion: Today’s Chalmers would not exist were it not for William Chalmers private donation, which resulted in the Chalmers start-up in 1829. LRN
Avançons 3/2014

Published: Thu 02 Oct 2014. Modified: Mon 08 Feb 2016