Researchers at IRIS and the University of Stavanger work closely together through our joint innovation centre. One important project during the period 2014-2016 is the VRI innovation project. The project brings together researchers from IRIS/UiS, Agderforskning/UiA, NORUT/UiT and Bergen University College. The growth of new sectors and industry is studied together with international partners. The project has contributed not only to exciting research, but also to a solid joint professional and technical centre for regional innovation research. This has strengthened our joint innovation centre and led to new initiatives, applications and projects.
IRIS Social Science has concentrated for many years on the development of research into Employee-Driven Innovation. This perspective is relevant to both the public and private sectors. For example a research study is being performed into four municipalities and how they work to promote employee-driven innovation and develop a culture and systems that facilitate employee-driven innovation. Actual studies in industrial companies have also been performed as part of the VRI project.
In recent years, social research at IRIS has been involved in research relating to welfare technology. The research is connected to new needs in the public sector (especially the health sector) and the development of new products that are offered by private companies. There are several projects that build competence and knowledge about this path. The researchers have been working on welfare technology from both a municipal perspective (pilots/tests, large-scale implementation and user impressions) and a supplier perspective (strategies, the municipality as a customer). The field is however much wider and is linked to the Directorate of Health’s four categories: 1) Safety and security technology, 2) Compensation and well-being technology, 3) Technology for social contact and 4) Technology for treatment and nursing. The field is characterised by a need for research, demand from various quarters and great potential for research in a number of disciplines.