The University and their new Research and Enterprise Unit
“We are strongly committed to impactful, high quality research — to underpin learning and teaching, to address the critical social (including health and school education), economic, cultural and environmental needs of the Faroe Islands, our wider region, and other similar sized countries and territories, and to contribute to wider scientific progress.”
(from the recently approved Strategic Plan update of the University)
The University of the Faroe Islands is conducting a significant share of the numerous research projects in the destination. The University in Faroese is Fróðskaparsetur Føroya — good to know as education in this academic environment is in Faroese language (currently with very few exceptions, e.g. the summer school, but with plans for more exceptions in the future).
A meeting with Prof. Chik Collins — the new Rector, since September 2019, and Martin Mohr Olsen, a PhD candidate whose project is linked to the new Unit, in February this year was held to shed light on recent innovations and developments at the University, where much wider organizational change is undergoing.
One of the outcomes is the new Research and Enterprise Unit, headed by the newly appointed Pro-Rector for Research and Enterprise, and also Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof. Magni Mohr. The Unit is presently focused on gathering baseline data about past research awards and about research outputs, but the Unit will soon be strengthened and working energetically to support the commitments and priorities laid out in the newly updated Strategic Plan.
An update on progress was discussed recently with Brynhild Thomsen, Communications Co-ordinator of the Faroe Islands University, to check on what has been done since the meeting at the University earlier this year, immediately prior to the onset of the Covid-19 emergency. More reading
Here are some examples of the progress so far:
1) A new Geospatial Centre has been created very recently at the University, in collaboration with key Faroese government agencies with relevant interests in the field – Landsverk and Umhvørvisstovan. The Centre is located in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering.
A first grant has been won from the Faroese Research Council, Granskingarráðið*, by Gethin Wyn Roberts. The grant is for a research project that includes a method to detect noise on ships with the purpose to reduce impact on both the catch and the noise pollution of the marine environment — as well as early detection of anomalies in ships.
On this project, Roberts is collaborating with MEST, Havstovan and the Technical University of Graz, Austria. The 2-year research project investigates the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Fibre Brag Grating (FBG) technologies to measure the flexing and displacements of ships.
2) Also, a new Institute for Legal Research in the Faculty of History and Social Sciences has been established.
The Institute is under the direction of Affiliated Professor, Mikael Marlies Karlsson, and will operate with the support of the private Fund in Memory of Kári á Rógvi. Again, a first grant has been won from the Faroese Research Council for a collaborative and comparative project, examining law and institution building in the Faroe Islands.
3) Sharing knowledge – communication of research results to the local community:
The University is very active in showcasing the results of new knowledge and research to the wider Faroese community — one example is the Faroese Research Night, a public event organized by the University and the Research Council which is planned to happen in early November. The subject for this year’s event is about projects to contain COVID-19 spread and to improve services.
Lots of research programs around the topics of the pandemic have been executed in the Islands and at the Research Night the results will be presented to the public audiences. As the Faroese community is widely spread over 18 islands, the researchers will also be travelling around to present findings to schools and people in the remoter places — so that everyone will have the opportunity to attend and participate.
More interesting events initiated by the University and their faculty professors
a) An important international conference about “PERSISTENT AND EMERGING CHALLENGES IN INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES LAW” was originally planned to happen this September, but has, because of Covid-19 been postponed to next year, 27–29 May 2021.
The Conference is jointly organized by the University of the Faroe Islands and the Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland. More information you can find here
Top-ranking experts from around the globe will be on the panels. The main local Faroese host is Prof. Bjørn Kunoy, of the Faculty of History and Social Sciences, an affiliated professor in international law, who has published many articles in international science platforms
As you can see from Dr. Kunoy’s website, he is chief organizer of this international fisheries’ law conference to be held in the Faroe Islands with the participation of 32 panellists, including judges of international courts and tribunals, prominent professors of international law and well established practitioners.
b) The teachers’ education in the Faroe Islands turns 150 years this year and to celebrate this a Nordic conference was planned (in English) that, again unfortunately, had to be postponed because of Covid-19.
*The Faroese Research Council (Granskingarráðið)
….supports research in the Faroe Islands. They are the advisory body to the Government and Industry and responsible for Public Science communication. On their website you can see the many interesting projects they are funding
On this website you also find a good overview of all bodies that can fund research locally in the Faroe Islands. The list is quite impressive and interesting to all event planners that have to consider proximity to knowledge subjects.
There are many research experts in the Faroe Islands who will be glad to invite and support international conferences — just contact Visit Faroe Islands Meetings, Annleyg and Kristina, they will help you with any questions and contacts! And of course, they with pleasure help all esteemed members and stakeholders in the wider knowledge space of the Faroe Islands in preparing the necessary bids!