Sustainable Innovation in the Regional Knowledge Economy
The Sustainable Innovation in the Regional Knowledge Economy Department is engaged in research into the ways in which institutions of higher vocational education and the business community can work together to bring about sustainable innovations in healthcare, housing and tourism in specific regions. The Department focuses on making connections with regional organisations, establishing creative alliances between vocational education institutions and the private sector, making knowledge available and developing sustainable innovation processes. In doing so, it aims to build a strong regional economy and a solid relationship between the educational community and the field for which we prepare our students.
The Department is concerned with issues such as “older people who continue to live independently longer” and “tourists who spend more time in the region and remain there”. How can these populations best be served and what skills do current and future employees require to engage with them? In this case, a ‘region’ may refer to a city or town, province, or area, as well as a specific district. We started out with our project in the Dutch province of Drenthe, but have since expanded our horizons and are currently working on projects in Groningen province and the German town of Osnabrück, to be followed in the near future by a project in Friesland province.