Despite the challenges of reorganisation CIRCLE has landed on its feet and 2019 was a year of growing; in number of members as well as in productivity, say directors Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand and Markus Grillitsch.
CIRCLE has been a leading centre for innovation research for 15 years. In 2018, CIRCLE was reorganized to ensure a long-term financial and operational structure, with the aims to:
- develop as an internationally leading and renowned research centre in innovation studies with the capabilities to attract successful researchers and PhD Candidates,
- provide excellent opportunities for dynamic and inter-disciplinary research activities, and
- disseminate research results and engage with decision makers and society.
As all reorganizations this was a challenge for CIRCLE. Yet, we are growing again. End of 2019, we counted 47 members and affiliated members from Lund University and 10 other partner universities around the world. CIRCLE’s members are employed at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH), the School of Economics and Management and the Faculty of Social Sciences. All three faculties have committed to contribute to the development of CIRCLE.
New recruits, publications, and valuable contributions
Highlights in 2019 include 95 research publications presented during the year – substantially above the 81 research outputs in 2018. This includes 49 papers in international scientific journals and 1 edited book. CIRCLE has continued to build its network and recruit new senior researchers, including two Associate Professor positions. New externally funded projects in 2019 will help to finance these recruitments.
CIRCLE was highly active in disseminating research results and engaging with decision makers and society. CIRCLE researchers wrote 13 policy reports and contributed to 31 policy workshops. CIRCLE interacted with a wide range of policy makers and practitioners at the regional, national (e.g. the National Innovation Council, VINNOVA, Swedish Competition Agency, Tillväxtverket) and international (European Commission, OECD) levels.
Education and collaboration across boarders
CIRCLE members contribute actively to Master and PhD level education across faculties. In 2019, CIRCLE researchers supervised 31 PhD students. CIRCLE is part of NORSI (Norwegian Research School in Innovation), which is a joint Research School managed by BI, Oslo, and NTNU, Trondheim, where several of CIRCLE’s PhD students are active. CIRCLE is also an active member of EU-SPRI, which is a European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation linking leading research institutes in Europe.
Moving forward in 2020
After leading CIRCLE successfully through the turbulent times of reorganization, Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand handed over the responsibilities as Director of CIRCLE to Markus Grillitsch, effective with 1.1.2020.
– We are both thankful for the support received from the leadership of the faculties and Lund University, as well as all members and affiliated members of CIRCLE. We see great potential in CIRLCE further strengthening its position as leading international centre for innovation studies with a strong focus on interdisciplinarity, research excellence, and outreach, say Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand and Markus Grillitsch.