Alongside conducting research and providing teaching, valorisation is the third key task of universities. All universities work hard on valorisation on a daily basis. Some of their activities are visible to the outside world, such as the incubators used by students and researchers to start up new businesses, or the professional departments for valorisation operating in all universities these days. But some valorisation activities, particularly the ones anchored in teaching and research, are much less visible to the outside world. These include student placements, public lectures, double positions held by researchers in the business sector or research commissioned by public organizations.
Although valorisation is nothing new, it has only been one of the designated key tasks of universities for the past ten years. We have now reached the stage when we are finding ourselves increasingly answerable to society with regard to this task . This does not only apply in the Netherlands. Many of our neighbouring countries are currently developing valorisation initiatives based on indicators, which make them more visible and easier to measure.
In an outline agreement signed by the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) and the Dutch State Secretary for Education, Culture & Science, Dutch universities have agreed to introduce a set of indicators by 2016, which can be used to measure the efforts they make and results they achieve, and to ensure that valorisation is more visible to the outside world. This is a pilot, the first step towards making valorisation quantifiable, and therefore designed to be adjusted and improved as time goes by.
For this pilot, every university is free to choose a set of indicators that it thinks suits the profile of the institute and gives a good impression of all its valorisation activities, in terms of both dispensing and applying knowledge. The University of Groningen has selected 12 indicators for the experiment. The activities are being coordinated by R&V and the first results will be published shortly by the VSNU in the shape of an e-zine.
In the next editions of Catching Innovation the selected 12 indicators for the experiment will be introduced.
Please contact Ineke Ganzeveld, Strategy & Quality Assurance team,
Research & Valorisation
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