The new organisation at AU secures large research projects

Researchers have much to gain from being part of a large organisation that is good at finding solutions to the practical challenges of large international research projects. This is the opinion of Michael Goodsite, Centre Director at AU Herning, who has recently negotiated a large international research project worth DKK 4 million in record time.

2012.01.19 | Martin Strandby

In the spring of 2011, the basis for a partnership between four Nordic insurance companies and the research community was formed - a partnership which rapidly took shape and will now result in a specific project: the development of a computer tool that will make it easier for homeowners to predict and deal with climate changes.

The insurance companies wish to be better at helping homeowners who have increasingly been experiencing the effects of climate changes on their homes and hence on their insurance. But in order to proceed with the complex project, the insurance companies needed the necessary knowledge in terms of research.

Therefore, they contacted NordForsk, an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers which finances Nordic research co-operation. They referred them to NORD-STAR, the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research, which is rooted at AU Herning. Subsequently, the co-operation gathered speed.

- The insurance companies had heard about our research, which was completely in line with what they needed. The day after the first contact, we gave a presentation. Two days after that we had a meeting with NordForsk and the insurance companies, and merely one week after the first meeting, we received the message: The insurance companies were going to put DKK 4 million in a new interdisciplinary and international research project, says Professor Michael Evan Goodsite, Centre Director at AU Herning and Director of NORD-STAR.

Challenges overcome in one week
Large international research projects involve a large number of challenges. Geographical distances, cultural differences and the many institutions involved in the process could have caused problems, stealing precious time from the research. However, the project avoided these problems thanks to an efficient and professional administration.

- After the idea was conceived, it took less than a week for the project to be initiated. This indicates that the companies had confidence in the professional competencies of the researchers, which is also due to our organisation and administration. The framework for an international project was already in place and therefore we were able to concentrate on the substance, says Michael Goodsite.

One entrance prevents double work
There are often well-established contacts with colleagues within the same field of research - also on the other side of the planet. But the global challenges increasingly require that researchers co-operate across professional fields and nationalities.

- Due to the fact that we had one entrance and a well-developed administrative structure, we did not have to reinvent the wheel, which we would otherwise have to have done every time a company offered its services. Therefore, we can quickly sort and initiate the real projects, such as the one we have just started, says Michael Goodsite.

AU Herning benefits from merger
Michael Goodsite says that the professional development process has had a positive effect on AU Herning as well as NORD-STAR. The affiliation with Business and Social Sciences makes a positive difference.-

The fact that we are now a part of Business and Social Sciences has led to greater interest in AU Herning and NORD-STAR among both companies and public authorities, says Michael Goodsite.

He also believes that the administrative mergers will benefit other researchers:

- In the future, researchers will have a better opportunity to initiate interdisciplinary, international and occupational research projects, Michael Goodsite elaborates.


  • NORD-STAR is short for Nordic Strategic Adaptation Research. It is one of three Nordic Centres of Excellence on climate change. The centre has received NOK 30 million from NordForsk, which is an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers.
    Read more about the centre
  • The insurance companies' project will result in a web-based visualisation tool, which is expected to be completed by 2014.
    Read more about the tool


Further information

Michael Goodsite

Professor and Centre Director
AU Herning

Telephone: (+45) 87 16 47 47
Mobile: (+45) 60 11 25 57


Camilla Brevik Rahbek

Adviser to the Secretariat
AU Herning

Telephone: (+45) 61 62 02 09

Aarhus BSS
308561 / i40