Get inspiration for collaboration with external organisations

Several KI employees were granted the opportunity to conducting a professional internship at an external organization, through the framework of KI:s personal mobility program PAUS. They share their experiences and some inspiration they have gained through this collaboration project. You can read some questions and answers from the participants below.

portrait of four persons inside Aula Medica
Participants in PAUS collaboration project 2019-2020. Veronica Lindström, senior lecturer, Department of Neurobiology, Care, Sciences and Society, Anna Kågesten, assistant professor, Department of Global Public Health, Anna Beronius, assistant professor, the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Sophia Savage, project manager, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Photo: Anethe Mansén

Awardees in mobility for period 2, September 2019 to February 2020

  • Anna Beronius, the Institute of Environmental Medicine. Collaboration with Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI)
  • Anna Kågesten, Department of Global Public Health. Collaboration with “Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning (RFSU)”, a non-governmental organization working with in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).   
  • Veronica Lindström, Department of Neurobiology, Care, Sciences and Society. Collaboration with Crash Course AB.
  • Sophia Savage, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Collaboration with Reach for Change.

Awardees in mobility period 1, September 2018 to February 2019

  • Nina Bandmann, University Administration. Collaboration with Life Science office at Swedish Government
  • Stefano Bonacina, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Collaboration with Swedish Standards Institute
  • Mia von Knorring, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Collaboration with Stockholms läns sjukvårdsområde (SLSO), in English: Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council.
  • Torbjörn Vestberg, Department of Clinical Neuroscience. Collaboration with Derome AB.

Anna Beronius, assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
My research is largely about strengthening the connection between academia and authorities that assess and manage chemical risks. In addition, I teach in the master’s program in Toxicology and at several doctoral courses here at KI on the health risk assessment of chemicals, and the different roles of academia and authorities. Therefore, the PAUS project seemed like an ideal opportunity for me to engage in a longer, continuous collaboration with an authority working with risk assessment of chemicals and decision-making on the policy level.

Where are you doing your assignment?
I am conducting my collaboration with the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI), which is a governmental authority. KemI is responsible for the development of legislation and control measures, risk assessment, and supervision to minimize health and environmental risks from the use of chemicals.

What does your project concern?
My project focuses on improving methods for identifying and assessing chemicals with endocrine-disrupting properties. The project examines methods for evaluating and integrating academic research data in health risk assessment strategies, in a structured and transparent manner. Specifically, this project is based on new EU legislation and guidance on how to identify hormone-disrupting properties of pesticides. The new legislation was implemented in 2018 and requires new competences and new ways of working by authorities in the Member States and at the EU level.

What have you have learned thus far?
Given my extensive theoretical knowledge, I have already learned a great deal about how different aspects of health risk management and chemical regulation actually work in practice. The collaboration has also been useful to gain better insights into the needs of decision makers and how researchers can contribute to meet those needs. My aim is not only to incorporate my new knowledge into research on the health effects and risks with chemicals, and methods for risk assessment, but also on what should be included in the training of new toxicologists at KI.

Anna Kågesten, assitant professor at the Department of Global Public Health

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
Close collaboration with civil society is central to my field of research on global sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). I applied to PAUS because I have a strong interest in applied research and how we can translate evidence into policy and practice in an effective and sustainable way. In order to do so, we need to find new ways of collaborating with non-governmental organizations as they are the ones implementing programs and advocating for policy change on the ground.

Where are you doing your assignment?
The Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning (RFSU) is a non-governmental organization working with SRHR information, education and advocacy both in Sweden and globally. My assignment is at the international department of RFSU, which focuses on global cooperation and advocacy within the field and provides support to 48 partner organizations in countries with restrictive policies related to safe abortion, youth sexuality, and sexual rights.

What topic will your project cover?
The overall goal of the project is to contribute to research capacity strengthening and the use of evidence-based methods in RFSU’s international work The main focus of my collaboration is to follow how the organization’s plan for evaluation, results, and learning is implemented, with a focus on validating basic assumptions in the theory of change.  I am also following the use of evidence in RFSU’s high-level advocacy work, for example in relation to the UN.

What have you have learned thus far?
I am currently assessing the extent to which RFSU’s partner organizations are using evidence-based/informed methods in their work to change social norms related to SRHR. This has made me even more aware about the importance of strategic, long-term perspectives and capacity-building to make research and evidence more “accessible” to non-governmental organizations. I have also learned that processes and strategies to change norms are complex and vary by context, which makes it challenging to measure and monitor effects in real-word situations.

Veronica Lindström, senior lecturer at the Department of Neurobiology, Care, Sciences and Society

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
I am a nurse by training, and engage in research and teaching about outpatient nursing and the pre-hospital care chain, including the emergency 112 call support, ambulance service, and emergency arrival. I applied for the PAUS project because it provided the opportunity to collaborate and cooperate with an organization outside the medical domain, and to learn more about innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development in creating learning support activities and tools.

Where are you doing your assignment?
I am working together with Lukas Berg, CEO at Crash Course AB, a small start-up company within the gaming industry.

What topics will your project cover?
I will participate in the development and systematic evaluation of Virtual Reality / Artificial Intelligence in a simulation environment as a learning aid for practicing triage in case of serious incidents. I will also participate in the development of a mobile application for practicing triage and care processes to deal with life-threatening conditions.

What have you have learned thus far?
How innovation, entrepreneurship and teamwork enable the development of different learning support systems for training many individuals about different rare events. of different rare events. Although technology can be a facilitator for learning, I have also learned how complex it is to develop VR / AI and mobile applications software and the importance of networking outside one's own organization to develop professionally.

Sophia Savage, project manager at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics


Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
The PAUS project was a unique opportunity to develop an ongoing conversation into an active collaboration. We had already been in contact with Reach for Change to gain insights from their incubator process for social entrepreneurs as we have been working to develop support structures for research-based social innovations at KI. The PAUS project enables me to further develop this interaction, and to gain an understanding of how another type of organization is run.

Where are you doing your assignment?
I am collaborating with Reach for Change (RfC), a non-profit organization which is working towards improving the world for children and youth. They focus on finding high-potential social entrepreneurs with high-potential solutions to challenges identified by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They then provide support to help these entrepreneurs refine and scale their solutions by leading them through a step-by-step development process with defined goals, by giving them a platform to be seen and heard, and by broadening their network.

What topic will your project cover?
Through discussions with the RfC organization and their Change Leaders who have interacted with academia (and hopefully some researchers who have interacted with RfC), we would like to understand.

  1. How might RfC engage with KI and other academic institutions to increase the effectiveness of support they offer their entrepreneurs?
  2. How might the Change Leaders engage directly with KI and other academic institutions to increase the effectiveness of their solutions?
  3. How might RfC support KI and other academic institutions to take high potential social innovations that have been developed within academia and deploy them successfully in the world?

Through interviews focused on these questions, we hope to identify meeting points between RfC, their Change Leaders, and KI’s researchers and organization to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration across sectors by understanding what had worked well, and what we could do differently.

What have you have learned thus far?
I have gained a deeper understanding about how and why RfC was started, and how the organization has developed and changed over the last 10 years.

 

Photo of participants in the PAUS project
Participants in PAUS collaboration project 2018-2019. Torbjörn Vestberg, Stefano Bonacina, Anethe Mansén, Jenny Fernebro, departmental secretary Regeringskansliet, Mia von Knorring, Dan Nilsson, head of standardisation, SIS, Nina Bandmann, Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Nina Bandmann, Scientific coordinator at University Administration

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
I thought it was a nice opportunity to both get an insight into and learn more about an organization that is very relevant to KI, and at the same time further develop my own competences.

Where are you doing your assignment?
I work with colleagues from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Industry in the Government's Life Science office. The objective of the office is to promote knowledge development, innovation and quality in health and medical care, with health care providers, at universities and colleges as well as to improve the conditions for life science companies to be established and operate in Sweden.

What topics will your project cover?
The project is about contributing in various ways to the Life Science Office's work on developing a national strategy for life science. Among other things, I have handled feedback on the strategy from external actors and organized a workshop for representatives of patient organizations. In addition to the work in the Life Science office, I have performed other tasks within the Ministry of Education.

Give examples on something new you learnt so far.
I have learned the process of a so-called Regeringkansli decision by participating in the preparation of a case, which included the writing of decision concepts, joint management and presentations for non-politic and political representatives.

Stefano Bonacina, researcher at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
I have applied to the PAUS call for project proposal to concretize the opportunity to collaborate with the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS). In autumn 2017, we (HIC–LIME-KI) had a meeting with SIS “Vård och omsorg/Healthcare & Social care”, and identified some common themes of interest, e.g. evaluation of the quality of health apps. The PAUS project offered me the opportunity to apply for a collaboration programme between the industry and university.

Where are you doing your assignment?
I am doing my assignment at the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS), at the department of Healthcare & Social care, and as a member of two technical committees - for “Hälso-och sjukvårdsinformatik” and for mobile health applications . In addition, I have been registred as an expert in the two working Groups (ISO/TC 215 Health Informatics and CEN/TC 251 Health Informatics Technical Committees).

For more information and the value of standardization

What topic will your project cover?
The topic of the project is how to define reference standards for evaluating health app quality, safety and reliability. At SIS, the working group 8 "Apps" (SIS/TK 334/AG 08), within the technical committee SIS/TK 334 - Health and Medical Informatics, is currently working on a proposal for the evaluation of health apps quality, safety and reliability. In addition, the CEN/ TC 251, the technical committee of Health Informatics is leading new work on the same topic (start date in December 2018/January 2019).

Give examples on something new you learnt so far.
As for new things, I have learnt how to give feedback on documents according to the procedures in the standardization domain; compare the topics of standards and how standards are related to each other. In October 2018, I attended the ISO/TC-215 meeting in Paestum, Italy. There I learned how proposals evolve into standards according to a consensus process on all the development phases.

Mia von Knorring, researcher at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
Because I am passionate about strengthening our collaboration in practice and to highlight the importance of what was previously viewed as "the university's third task" but now should be seen as something to be integrated in research and education! In my field of research (leadership), we need to find forms of collaboration whereby the collective knowledge from research can be made more useful at all levels of health care. We have long known that leadership is important for the employees' work environments. More and more studies now show that leadership has also significance for patient outcomes. This means that we need to start seeing leadership as an important part of care and treatment. This is something that KI can and needs to contribute to.

Where are you doing your assignment?
At SLSO (Stockholm läns sjukvårdsområde, in English Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council).

What topics will your project cover?
Together we will find forms for a leadership in healthcare that rest on a scientific basis and that contribute to a good work environment for the healthcare staff and good care for all of us. Leadership research is today quite diffuse, poorly synthesized and difficult to translate into practical use. We academics need to take a much greater responsibility in highlighting what aspects of leadership are important for good healthcare.

Give examples on something new that you have learnt.
That genuine collaboration requires trust and that does not arise by itself. Creation of trust requires people to set aside time and to create and build together in order to define a common purpose. Why are we doing this? What do we want to achieve together? It is only by asking such questions that one can begin to achieve real results in collaboration. I have learned that it is more about co-creation than about collaboration.

Torbjörn Vestberg, doctoral student at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Why did you apply to the collaboration project PAUS?
I like to do research that can be quickly transformed into practical application and thereby more directly benefit society. Through close collaboration with a company, it is easier to see what the corporate world is currently struggling with, and whether such challenges can be more directly addressed with the knowledge from my research area.

Where are you doing your assignment?
My exchange is with Derome, a family business in the wood products industry with 2,100 employees, and an annual turnover of 7.5 billion SEK.

What topics will your project cover?
The purpose of the project is to clarify whether / how different cognitive / executive functions profiles of different occupational groups in the company, affect the employees' work results and cooperation climate.

Give examples on something new you learnt so far.
Having visited one of the company's sawmills, I was able to follow and understand directly on site how vulnerable their business is due to recurring random stops in production, where only the employee's ability to remedy the crisis is crucial for the company's profit. Another thing that struck me in meeting with employees is how important the employee's drive is to succeed. Such drive may perhaps be more important than knowledge.

The PAUS programme (Personrörlighet för akademin med utbildningsfokus och studentmedverkan), is partly financed by VINNOVA and is a sub-project within the overall project SKISS (Stärka KI:s Strategiska Samverkanskapacitet).