Thematic collaboration initiatives (Swedish abbreviation, TSIs) constitute an important part of external engagement activities at LU. TSIs involve researchers from several faculties in collaborative projects with external companies/organisations. This approach forms new knowledge, and the researchers and external actors learn from each other during the process. This type of network-building is becoming increasingly important for a growing number of external research funding bodies.
At present, there is a discussion about “profile areas” for higher education institutions and, in addition to research, there is a requirement that education and, not least, external engagement are to be integrated in the environment.
I am very pleased that Lund University is ahead of the curve in its work on thematic collaboration initiatives. The University has gained new knowledge about how different approaches and methods work and can be combined, and the researchers themselves think that working in TSIs really makes a difference! And I totally agree with that. But even things that are good need to be developed and, at the moment, the External Engagement Council is considering how the TSI concept can be developed. There will be more information about this in the autumn.