On the 19-20th of January a partner meeting in InnoHEIs was hosted by the Swedish partner Mid Sweden University in the region of Middle Norrland. There were about 45 participants from stakeholders in the region as well as representatives from partners from all seven countries. Mid Sweden University's role in regional development was in focus when a large number of experts, partners in InnoHEIs gathered for a digital conference. The InnoHEIs project involves a screening of the Mid Sweden University's collaborative work linked to the European Development Fund.

Initially the pro-vice chancellor Håkan Wiklund welcomed all the guest and the InnoHEIs project was presented by Rima Dijkstra project manager of InnoHEIs, Hanze University. All participants checked in and presented themselves.

First a three minutes short movie was presented to get a feeling of the regional context, then representatives from the two regions Jämtland/ Härjedalen, Maria Kumpula and Västernorrland, Malin Vedin presented their smart specialisation strategies. They highlighted the challenging situation with a sparsely populated large geography. Presentation of the R & D Centers of Mid Sweden University was done by the, Faculty of Human Science Professor and Decan, Anna Olofsson, and the Faculty of Science, Media and Technology Professor and Decan Hans-Erik Nilsson.

In the afternoon the first day, the partners and stakeholders made a peer review on the gap analysis done by the Mid Sweden University. There were great opportunities to create international networks for future research collaborations and gain increased knowledge about how other European environments work to develop the collaboration between regional companies and public organizations for sustainable growth.

On the second day our pro-vice chancellor and one of our Decans got sick in COVID-19 and could not attend the meeting, luckily, we got a very engaged discussions with the representatives from the managing authority, Peter Larsson and Sara Nylund, vice chairman of the Middle Norrland partnership (decision board) for European Regional Development Fund. The managing authorities from our partners countries were very interested in the Swedish set up were so many actors, more than 20 people, both politicians and representatives from other actors in the region are involved in the decision board. It is quite different from other European countries.

Later in the afternoon six good practical examples from the region and the university were presented showing how the cooperation is done in practice and what type of results they create. These presentations were very appreciated and the slides will be available on the web.

With an international view of the work, we can get new ideas and thoughts to take advantage of. There is still a lot to develop when it comes to collaboration between academia and the surrounding society. A conclusion from these days, which we of course already knew, but now even more confirmed, is that all universities and regions have similar challenges, to incorporate the Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) into the regional development but in different ways.

We (Mid Sweden University) also got a unique opportunity during these days to present how we work with innovation and research in Jämtland and Västernorrland counties.

by Karin Nygård-Skalman, project manager for InnoHEIs at Mid Sweden University.