With the Strategy Plan 2016–2020, Science and Technology is paving the way for becoming stronger and more globally competitive in the faculty’s most important areas: research, education, talent development, public sector consultancy and business collaboration.
The strategic focus is on the development of activities at the departments and centres through systematic strengthening of existing and new high-profile research activities that are internationally outstanding and have considerable social impact. Important prerequisites for this are the employment, involvement and retention of the next generation of talented researchers through targeted recruitment and talent development, strengthening internationalisation and business collaboration, strengthening the research infrastructure, and ensuring efficient administrative support and a good work environment.
Central to the strategy is a focus on research of the highest quality, including the establishment of interdisciplinary thematic centres and support for the departmental flagships – increased business collaboration, a strengthening of the engineering area, stronger research-based public sector consultancy, and targeted efforts to educate more and better graduates.
With the ST Strategic Plan 2016–2020 we want to:
Research is the basis for most of ST’s core activities. High-quality research forms the basis for the faculty’s education activities, talent development, public sector consultancy, and a direct and close collaboration with industry on a wide range of subjects. ST has a unique opportunity to achieve global influence by means of synergies between the faculty’s activities in classical science, public sector consultancy and engineering. This provides the potential to identify key societal problems and be a major driving force in the development of knowledge-based solutions that require an interdisciplinary set-up.
Interdisciplinary thematic centres
The Faculty Management Team has identified eight thematic areas that cut across the departments, and where there is a potential for developing research activities that can lead the way at a national level and have a strong international position.
Work is being done on opportunities for setting up thematic centres in areas related to materials, big data, green energy, water, food, environment, entrepreneurship and modern teaching methods.
Strong flagships at the departments
A key element in the strategy is that the departments and centres will continue to give priority to particularly strong academic flagships with international impact. Examples of such flagships can be in areas such as biorefinery technology, molecular neurobiology, biological chemistry, nanomedicine, climate-smart food systems, understanding of the deep earth structure, and space research and technology. Read more in the strategies for the departments.
An important element in ST’s strategy is the ambition to boost collaboration with the surrounding community, with particular focus on industry. This will increase access to research funds that specifically target growth technologies and industrial research.
The collaboration will be strengthened via direct research collaborations, industrial PhD students, and projects and work experience placement for students, as well as providing the business sector with access to the university’s research infrastructure to a greater degree. Closer collaboration with alumni via a special network also forms part of the strategic work.
An increased number of strong research groups will be set up in research areas of considerable societal importance, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary collaborations between engineers, scientific fields and external partners.
An important prerequisite for reaching the goal is more visibility. It must be easy for companies to get in touch with the relevant research environments, and this must be ensured through the departmental business committees.
Growth in new technologies and society’s need for engineers continue to open up for new opportunities within all engineering disciplines. Engineering has therefore been selected as a special focus area up to 2025.
The AU Engineering 2025 plan is generally aimed at strengthening recruitment to BSc and MSc degrees in Engineering, and developing the engineering environments at Aarhus University. The aim is to fulfil the needs of the business sector and society for engineers and technical science research.
ST wants to maintain its position as Denmark’s national knowledge centre for research-based public sector consultancy in food, agriculture, environment and energy. The faculty’s academic structure with the classical science disciplines, applied research and sector-oriented expertise provides a unique opportunity to develop public sector consultancy for the benefit of society. In conjunction with building up new engineering disciplines, the current level of expertise makes it possible to extend and develop this area.
Public sector consultancy must be developed through strategic efforts to identify and exploit new consultancy opportunities. This can boost the number of public sector consultancy services the faculty offers, and will help create a new basis for financing the relevant research groups.
ST will focus on initiatives aimed at new public partners – ministries, municipalities, national and international organisations.
Well-educated graduates are ST’s most important contribution to society. The aim is to educate more and better BEng and other Bachelor graduates – and MSC and PhD graduates – with the knowledge and expertise needed by society. This will take place via continued dialogue with the outside world about what is required, and through strengthened business collaboration during the study period.
Developing degree programmes will take place by reorganising the semester structure, continuing to focus on a good study environment, carrying out quality control of the degree programmes, and establishing special talent tracks. There will also be a focus on effective learning by involving the students to a greater degree and via Educational IT as an important tool.
ST will work with a targeted recruitment strategy that will attract the best and most motivated students. This will be done by continuing to develop recruitment activities for young people who are interested in science and engineering, and via an alternative admission system with a focus on other qualifications than the grade point average.