European PhD Summer School on the Role of Universities in Regional Development

European PhD Summer School on the Role of Universities in Regional Development

In June 2017, the department hosted a PhD summer school on the role of universities in regional development. The summer school was part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020-funded project RUNIN.

A group of 14 PhD students of 12 different nationalities, but all enrolled at one of the seven European universities that are part of the RUNIN project, participated at a summer school in Aalborg from June 19 to 23, 2017. The summer school was coordinated by Christian Richter Østergaard and Ina Drejer from the Department of Business and Management.

linkages between AAU and the North Denmark Region

Through lectures and field visits to the incubator for student entrepreneurs in Fibigerstræde 11 as well as to NOVI Science Park, the PhD students studied the evolving linkages between Aalborg University and the North Denmark Region. A guided city walk of Aalborg focussed on the transformation that Aalborg has undergone during the last decades, emphasising the role that Aalborg University has played in this transformation.

Communication with stakeholders and citizens

The summer school also offered lectures on the innovation, entrepreneurship and university-industry relations by researchers from Department of Business and Management and University of Lincoln, but a major theme at the summer school was developing skills related to communicating with stakeholders and citizens in general. Therefore, the summer school included a workshop headed by Didde Elnif, lecturer in journalism at the University of Southern Denmark, where the PhD students learned to produce podcasts and videos presenting their research. Outcomes of this workshop can be followed on the RUNIN project’s YouTube channel.

Joint seminar with CRU

The PhD students also presented individual posters outlining their research to regional policymakers and university representatives in a public engagement session during a joint seminar with CRU (Center for Regional Udvikling). This seminar also included public lectures from Paul Benneworth, University of Twente, and Rune Dahl Fitjar, University of Stavanger, alongside Morten Dahlgaard, acting director of innovation at Aalborg University, and Maria Theresa Norn, head of analysis at the think tank DEA. Check out RUNIN’s Twitter account to see tweets from the joint RUNIN-CRU seminar – and the RUNIN project in general.

About the RUNIN project

RUNIN – The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development is a 3.7 million Euro project funded by the Innovative Training Networks (ITN) scheme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie research programme, which is part of Horizon 2020. The project is embedded within ECIU (European Consortium of Innovative Universities), of which six of the university partners are members. A total of 14 PhD students will participate in the project. Two of these PhD students, Gerwin Evers and David Fernández Guerrero are enrolled at Department of Business and Management. The project runs until August 2020.