Innovationssystem Gotland (Innovation System Gotland) is an exciting example of how successful collaboration can be achieved, in this case between academia, the healthcare sector and Science Park Gotland. Region Gotland does not have any established research activities. However, they have many employees with ideas for innovative ways of working who welcomed the chance to work with researchers at Uppsala University on a part-time basis. Collaboration occurs when the University works with an external party on equal terms.

The Innovationssystem Gotland project has been run by Uppsala University, Region Gotland and Science Park Gotland with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERUF) and from Region Gotland.

Innovation pilots found the ideas

Within the project, there have been two innovation pilots who have been working on outreach to identify healthcare workers with ideas that could become research studies, operational development or new businesses. Naturally, the pandemic put a damper on the outreach activities as well as the availability of workers, who have been very understaffed. The project has nonetheless identified more than 80 different ideas from some 60 staff.

Matching researchers and practitioners

Anna Sarkadi, Professor at the Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, has served as senior advisor to the project, helping to match staff with a research idea with the right researcher at the University. This has resulted in as many as eight research pilot studies being funded by the project. The research studies cover a wide range of perspectives on healthcare:

  • The transition of healthcare towards good and local care.
  • How can we increase physical activity in people with low socioeconomic status?
  • How can we prevent sexualised violence and coercion (especially by men)?
  • Structural brain imaging in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • How can sleep monitors be used in clinical sleep study work?
  • Physiotherapeutic interventions in the school environment – identifying early risk behaviours.
  • Experiences and preferences of care, interviews with children with autism and their families.
  • Operational benefit in the implementation of a Patient Data Management System (PDMS) in the intensive care unit of Visby Hospital.

As part of reporting of the Innovationssystem Gotland project’s results, a longer video was produced and published on youtube to describe the process and the model used. The video offers a lot of collaboration inspiration for those who are in a collaboration or are curious to try one out.