For the first time in Sweden, a successful British project is being implemented here at Dalarna University. Fifteen newly qualified students will begin placements at fifteen companies, where they will head strategic development projects. In Britain, this project has led to both increased growth as well as more job opportunities.
KTP Dalarna is the name of this pilot project. It's about an exchange of knowledge between the university and the world of business and industry - a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).
"This project clearly exemplifies what we term co-production as set out in the vision of the university - a concrete co-production that has four winners: the businesses, the students, the university and the development of the region," states Dalarna University's Vice Chancellor Marita Hilliges.
Business Development in the Region
In brief, the project involves a newly graduated student from the university, who is employed to head a qualified development project on a full-time basis for up to two years at a company in the region. This might involve marketing, product development or process development. The university contributes with a qualified supervisor and lab resources. The student receives a wage consistent with market standards, with the company paying half and the remaining half being funded through the project.
Experiences from KTP Great Britain demonstrate the following:
Almost 70 % of students become permanent employees of the company or take on key positions. Each participating business increases its long-term average profits with some 2.5 million sek per annum before tax.
Regional and National Interest
Per Edén of Dalarna University explains that if all works out, then there are plans to develop the concept at a national level. The total budget for the project is 11.5 million sek over three years.
The project is now on the lookout for ideas. Areas of focus are tourism, materials technology, IT and media as well as energy and the environment. Both businesses and students can register their interest by means of the university webpage. Over the course of one year, it is hoped that 15 businesses, 15 students and 5 business coaches will have begun their respective development project.