Happy New Year: The RESINNREG PhD programme held its very first dissertation defences in 2022

Since its inception in 2020, the interdisciplinary PhD programme RESINNREG has now admitted 32 candidates and held its two very first dissertation defences.

The first dissertation defence for the Responsible Innovation and Regional Development (RESINNREG) PhD programme was held at HVL’s Bergen campus on the 8th of February 2022. The candidate, Ridvan Cinar, delivered the thesis "Towards an engaged university in the periphery: Innovation, regional development and institutional change". The defence was an excellent performance with good and challenging opposition from Dr. Fumi Kitgawa, University of Edinburgh Business School, and from associate prof. Maribel Guerrero, Northumbria University Newcastle. This very first defence for the RESINNREG programme was led by the dean at the Faculty of Engineering and Social Science, Jens Kristian Fosse.

From the left, Stig-Erik Jakobsen (head of comittee), Lars Coenen (supervisor), Ridvan Cinar (canidate) og Jens Kristian Fosse (dean, FIN).From the left, Stig-Erik Jakobsen (leading the defence committee), Lars Coenen (supervisor), Ridvan Cinar (canidate) og Jens Kristian Fosse (dean, FIN).

The second RESINNREG dissertation defence was held in Bergen on the 16th of June. Nora Geirsdotter Bækkelund defended her thesis “Agency–context interaction in industrial path development – a multidimensional approach”. The opponents, Prof. Markku Sotarauta from Tampere University in Finland and Prof. Lise Lillebrygfjeld Halse from Høgskolen i Molde, contributed to a very interesting defence and dialogue with Nora.

Markku Sotarauta (1. opponent), Stig-Erik Jakobsen (supervisor), Lise B. Gundersen (prodean of research, FIN), Rune Njøs (supervisor), Nora G. Bækkelund (candidate), Lise Lillebrygfjeld Halse (2. opponent) og Arnt Fløysand (head of comitee).
From the left: Markku Sotarauta (1. opponent), Lise B. Gundersen (prodean of research, FIN), Nora G. Bækkelund (candidate), Lise Lillebrygfjeld Halse (2. opponent) og Arnt Fløysand (leading the defence committee).

Award for best paper

In addition to her successful dissertation defence, Nora also won the Best Paper Award in the prestigious international Journal "Regional Studies" in 2022. She won the award for her very first published paper which is a very rare and impressive accomplishment.

In total 32 candidates have now been admitted to the PhD program. Their PhD projects contribute to developing innovation as an interdisciplinary research field and are tied to each of the three pillars in the program: responsible industry innovation, green innovation, and innovation in the public sector. The candidates are spread equally across the three pillars, and several candidates are connected to more than one of the pillars. The list of candidates and some information on their projects can be found here 

Popular PhD courses

The RESINNREG programme provides candidates with knowledge of responsible innovation: innovation processes that balance economic, social and environmental goals and, consequently, face dilemmas and trade-offs in different regional contexts. Seven PhD courses have been established in the programme.

All of them have been run at least once, and some of them will be run for the third time this year. Four of these courses are mandatory for the candidates of this PhD-programme and therefore run once a year, while there are three additional elective courses that are run only every second year. For now, two of the courses have been open for participation from external PhD candidates. The PhD course in “Innovation and Sustainable Transition” (PHDINN908) and the introduction course Understanding and exploring innovation (PHDINN903). The first of these two courses (PHDINN908) is also part of the course portfolio of the research school NORSI (Nordic research school in innovation and entrepreneurship). This course was particularly popular this year, and RESINNREG received approximately 80 applications for this single course.    

Being a PhD student under and after a pandemic, by PhD representative Kelvin Ivankovic

The RESINNREG PhD group has grown rapidly over the past year. Although many candidates joined the programme during the confines of the global pandemic, we were able to adapt to the trying times and find innovative ways to interact with each other through platforms such as digital coffee breaks and student-run seminars.

However, there is certainly no perfect substitute for good old physical interaction. It has been inspiring to see how the group has flourished since the COVID restrictions were lifted. There has been a flurry of activity over the past several months. Candidates finally had the opportunity to attend courses and present their research at conferences across Norway, Europe, and the globe. International research projects finally resumed activities and several of our candidates are pioneers in our group as the first RESINNREG candidates to embark on international research stays.

During 2022 we celebrated 2 successful PhD defences and several publications in high-ranked journals. I feel privileged to be part of such a diverse and enthusiastic research group and I look forward to watching the continued growth and successes of the RESINNREG group in 2023.

Contributing to the establishment of a new Journal in Public Innovation

RESINNREG collaborates with research networks, research schools and other PhD programmes, and naturally has the ambition to further develop such external collaborations. In addition to NORSI (Nordic Research School in Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and AFINO (Responsible Research and Innovation Network in Norway), RESINNREG is also involved in the INNOFF (Norwegian Research Network for Innovation in the Public Sector)  research network. INNOFF is the initiator and owner of a brand new journal called Nordic Journal of Innovation in the Public Sector (NJIPS). Besides contributing in the editorial team, HVL was also, together with 7 other higher education institutions, contributing with some financial support to establish the journal. Two of the PhD candidates at RESINNREG participate in these networks as part of their duty work: For instance, Susanne Eriksen contributes to the communication in the INNOFF network and Hannah Rønhovde is the editorial secretary of the new journal.

Annual seminar and new members

The RESINNREG programme was established in 2020 just before the start of the Covid pandemic lockdown. For the 32 candidates that has now been admitted to the programme, they started as PhD students primarily through digital platforms, and without getting to meet the other students face to face.

A social highlight for everyone involved in the PhD programme is the annual internal Solstrand-seminar, to which all of the PhD students are invited, as well as their supervisors and some of the leaders at HVL. In 2022 the seminar was held just after the opening up of society after the pandemic, and therefore the seminar was the very first physical meeting for many of the participants. The Solstrand-seminar in March 2022 was a very welcomed and cheerful gathering of approximately 60 participants being able to socialize and get to know each other after two years of digital meetings. The planning of the next seminar in March 2023 is underway with the following heading: “Beyond principles for responsible innovation: practice and experimentation in RESINNREG”.

During 2022 there has been some changes in the composition of the RESINNREG programme committee. Ole Andreas Brekke has replaced Silvia Encheva as pro dean for research at the Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences (FØS), and therefor also as the deputy chair of the programme committee. Laila N. Berg is the new representative for FØS. Christine Øye has become new dean for research at Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (FHS), and chair of the programme committee at the PhD programme for health and participation, and Gudmund Ågotnes has taken over this representation of FHS. Finally, Lars Coenen has become new chair of the RESINNREG programme committee, replacing Arnt Fløysand who has become assistant center manager at the Mohn Centre at the Faculty of Engineering and Science (FIN). 


Happy New Year from RESINNREG!

Jill M. Loga (head of the programme), Lars Coenen (chair of the programme committee), Eva Leirbæk (administrative coordinator) and Kelvin Ivankovic (PhD student representative)