On your own you go faster, but together you can get further. These days a single organisation is not able to develop all the knowledge necessary to take major steps forward. Knowledge, after all, is created ever faster and at different places simultaneously. Collaboration is a must, particularly when it comes to solving complex social issues. To this end, it is necessary to find new ways to gain access to knowledge and to connect disciplines that do not normally work alongside one another.

The Open Innovation professorship of applied sciences wants NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences to develop into the innovation accelerator of the north of the Netherlands. That is why the professorship is developing knowledge and expertise that enables innovative professionals to develop new products and services in a systematic, design thinking manner within their own work environment.

The cross-sectoral professorship itself also works in an open innovation manner within NHL Stenden. Staff, for example, are encouraged to look beyond the boundaries of their own specialisation, as well as work there. This is a skill that is becoming increasingly important within the complex work environment of the modern professional.

Collaboration with businesses and institutions

At NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences we work closely with businesses and institutes that put our simulations and serious games to practical use. Under particular terms and conditions, businesses and institutes may use the facilities at our SiGa-Lab. For more information, please contact the manager: martin.renema@nhlstenden.com.

More information 

If you are interested in finding out about what we can offer, please visit our website Sims & Games for businesses and institues. Alternatively, feel free to contact us to discuss how we can support you in personal development and assessment, by mailing us at: info@sigalab.nl or phoning 058-2511528.

We also have a wide range of possibilities for students. Look for our training courses and workshops with open registration at Sims & Games for students. You can also contact us to discuss research and internship possibilities at the SiGa-Lab.

The relationship of the psycho social learning environment (PSLE) with the physical learning environment (PLE)

The relationship of the psycho social learning environment (PSLE) with the physical learning environment (PLE) is the subject of (doctoral) research, which focuses on the buildings of general secondary schools.

Scientists generally agree that one’s physical environment influences the socio-psychological processes in education. In the last ten years a great deal has been written about the new, innovative form of education for the 21st century and the appropriate physical learning environment. There is, however, a lack of empirical evidence regarding how, why and to what effect the physical environment is used.

The study ‘The relationship of the psycho social learning environment (PSLE) with the physical learning environment (PLE)’ focuses on the spatial requirements and preconditions for school buildings for innovative education. Based on an investigation of the current scientific knowledge, we put together a conceptual model to describe the relationship between the physical learning environment and the psycho social learning environment.

Test and assessment 

We test the practicability of this model at a number of schools for general secondary education housed in school buildings dating from 1969 to 1996. Here we assess whether and how the spatial design of the school buildings either hinders or promotes teaching using changing pedagogical approaches. With this research, which is carried out in partnership with Eindhoven University of Technology, we want to provide a scientifically sound basis for decisions regarding whether school buildings can be reused or have to be demolished.

With whom do we work? 

The Open Innovation professorship focuses on complex issues and so-called ‘wicked problems’ in society. These are important social issues that are difficult to resolve through incomplete preconditions and generally contradictory requirements and interests.

The development of smart grid systems for the decentral energy supply, the implementation of electric transport over water or the introduction of new technology in the care sector or education, are examples of complex issues. These types of processes require close collaboration between governmental bodies, businesses, social organisations and knowledge institutes.

The research of the Open Innovation professorship is aimed particularly at the manner in which the various organisations work together. The knowledge that is developed is translated into designed-oriented tools and methods. These can be used by both professional organisations and projects in education.

In its research, the professorship works closely with universities such as Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and Aalto University in Helsinki. The professorship is co-founder of the national Network Applied Design Research. 


The Open Innovation professorship was born from the realisation that new (technological) knowledge is created increasingly quickly and in ever more places simultaneously. And that applies to the professorship itself, which under the leadership of professor of applied sciences Peter Joore works in partnership with many other knowledge institutes on gaining access to and sharing knowledge in new ways.

At the professorship, researchers work together with the professional field and education in sharing and disseminating innovative solutions and knowledge. The professorship fulfils a connecting role between the current knowledge areas of NHL Stenden. At the professorship, students and lecturers of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences work together intensively with the business sector of Northern Netherlands, the government, social organisations and other knowledge institutes, with the aim of developing successful demonstration projects.


NHL Stenden University of Applies Sciences
Research group Innovation in Higher Education

Sustainable Development Goals

This professorship contributes to...