RCR is very active when it comes to collaborating with the surrounding society. This is done through research projects, seminars and conferences arranged by RCR, participation of RCR researchers in expert groups, networks and reference groups.
To achieve success in this area requires cooperation at various levels and with partners both within and outside the academy. Currently, RCR has a close collaboration internally at Mid Sweden University with Mid Sweden University Innovation. Regionally, we interact with a range of public actors such as Trygghetens Hus in Östersund, the police, the County Council of Jämtland, the rescue services and other public safety organizations in a number of counties in Sweden and Norway, power suppliers, private companies such as Combitech and 4C Strategies, national authorities such as the Migration Board and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.
RCR also organizes a series of activities in the form of seminars and conferences, as already mentioned. The strategy is to maintain and expand established contacts and to expand cooperation with relevant authorities, such as the Radiation Protection Authority and the new Public Health Agency, and with private actors, such as the Swedish base industry.
Research projects in collaboration with partners outside of academia
Many research projects include non-academic partners, to a larger or lesser extent. Three examples of projects where the non-academic partners are in majority are Cross-border Collaboration for Safety (GSS), Mid Nordic Green Support, and Enhancing crisis response abilities of the public (PEP). The following is a short description of each project and its contribution to research and the centre;
GSS is a European Union Interregional Programme, a project between Norway and Sweden that aims to develop skills, techniques and procedures for joint crisis management and security-threatening situations in the Mid Nordic national border areas.
Together with our partners we are designing scenarios to perform exercises and evaluation. Our partners participate in the design of the scenario and are the participants in the exercise. The evaluation is performed by researchers but presented to the actors to give them feedback and the possibility to learn for an upcoming crisis. The project is lead by RCR and the University of North Trøndelag (HiNT). Through active collaboration with stakeholders, the research quality is improved since the exercises is better adjusted to the stakeholders’ needs and can be tested in real-life settings.
There are a lot of examples of exercises that are designed based on other perspective than usefulness, and cooperation with the stakeholders helps to adapt exercises to real life situations. The participants have at several occasions expressed that the exercises have had positive effects. During the exercises new communication patterns have been explored, which has later been used by the partners in practice.
Mid Nordic Green Support is a European Union Interregional Programme, a project between Norway and Sweden which will contribute to a sustainable, environmentally friendly Mid Nordic east-west ‘Green corridor’, through the development of transport, improvement of roads and railways and an ICT system for optimization of goods transport in the corridor. The County Administrative Board of Västernorrland is the lead partner in the project. The project also has a strong political support from the national transport agencies in Norway, Sweden and Finland as well as the Nordic Council of Ministers and North East Cargo Link Alliance. The partners involved represent e.g. Transport Authorities, County Councils and County Administrative Boards in Sweden and Regional Councils in Finland, Fylken in Norway, Mid Sweden University, municipalities in all countries and the non-profit cooperation organization Midnordic Committee.
Expected results of the collaboration are for example; close cooperation with national transport authorities and industry, and other related projects and transport corridors, a fully working operational ICT-system for transport operators and cargo owners, and a valuable base for environmental efforts towards a transition from road to rail and marine transport, which will improve the environment.
PEP is an EU FP7 Coordination and Support project with the aim to investigate how the crisis response abilities of the public can be enhanced and to clarify what public empowerment policies are successful in realizing these objectives. The primary goal of the project is to bring together expertise to construct a road map showing promising areas and directions for future research and implementation. The project is lead by Jyväskylä University, and the collaborative partners in addition to RCR and DEMICOM at Mid Sweden University are; the Foundation Global Risk Forum (GRF), which is an international organization based in Davos, Switzerland, Inconnect, which is a strategic crisis communication consultancy (SME) located in Dordrecht/Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the Emergency Services College, which is supervised by the Ministry of the Interior in Finland. The project will implement studies that address current gaps in the research.
To identify the key enablers for public resilience, a broad overview of best practices in how authorities currently enhance public response abilities will be delivered. In addition the project will clarify how authorities can successfully involve social groups and communities in crisis preparedness and response. Promising developments in the use of social network online tools and mobile devices will be identified within a human technology approach, taking preferences and public acceptance into account.