Board asks social sciences for big research proposal
The board hopes that the proposal will give them a chance to receive funding from the new investment fund set up by ministers Wopke Hoekstra (Finances) and Eric Wiebes (Economic Affairs and Climate Policy), also known as the ‘Wopke-Wiebes Fund’.
Board president Jouke de Vries came up with the idea after he’d told the university council how the University of the North (UvhN), a partnership the UG has with the Hanze, NHL Stenden, and Van Hall Larenstein universities of applies sciences, was faring.
The UvhN will become, De Vries said, a network organisation in which knowledge institutes, public institutions, and businesses work together to create local and international innovation and increase the impact of the organisations.
A steering group consisting of directors, which De Vries chairs, will convene once a month to discuss the progress the partnership is making. They’ll also formulate a knowledge agenda, which is a kind of guideline for the partnership’s spearhead points. A first version is planned for February.
The UvhN will specifically focus on subjects like the energy transition and artificial intelligence, according to De Vries’ presentation.
The council was generally satisfied with the plans’ progress as well as its objectives, although several council members noted that the current projects are all focused on technology. ‘It all seems a little FSE-centric’, says Lorenzo Squintani with the science faction.
He worries that the law, arts, philosophy and humanities will only play a small role in the plans. ‘I think broader social subjects should be given their own research programme. They shouldn’t just have a consulting position and receive just a fraction of the funds because they fall under the tech umbrella.’
De Vries agreed with the sentiment. ‘There will be more rounds for the investment fund, so I’d like to ask you to write a proposal.’ The proposal would have to be worth more than 30 million euros, he warned, the minimum amount the fund will invest. ‘If we all get together and submit a proposal, we’ll stand a good chance in The Hague.’