Working Method Theme

At NHL University of Applied Sciences, students, researchers, lecturers and people from the work field broaden one another's horizons by together developing and revitalising knowledge. The NHL wishes to find answers to social challenges through practical research. At the NHL this mainly involves social challenges in the area of vital regions and a smart, sustainable industry.

Research is an excellent way of coming up with innovative solutions. Topical questions from the field form the starting point for our research at NHL University of Applied Sciences. Working with partners from the work field is essential in this. Our driving force is the interplay between research, the work field and education. We take a look over the boundaries of one another's specialisation and field of work. After all, looking beyond one's one boundaries is essential for practical research and innovation. And so in this way, we can literally broaden one another's horizons.

The benefits of a cross-sectoral approach

At the NHL we work in a cross-sectoral manner, both in our education and in our research. Research is not necessarily connected with a single lectorate, but can encompass several areas of research. Take, for example, the possibilities offered by serious gaming in improving care. This cross-sectoral approach can be carried out at any time and place. We do, however, have two physical locations for our cross-sectoral work. Two places where open innovation can take place through a cross-sectoral approach: the X-Lab and the Frisian Design Factory.

The X-Lab

In our X-Lab, located in the NHL building, we bring students from different degree programmes together to work on solutions to practical issues.

In this way, we prepare students for the future. After all, engineers will later work together with, for example, lawyers and HR consultants. Moreover, this way of working is more likely to lead to quicker and more inventive solutions. It is in this multidisciplinary collaboration where the real benefits of our research lie.

Read more

De Frisian Design Factory

In addition to this, we have an external location, the Frisian Design Factory, based in the Blokhuispoort in Leeuwarden.

The Frisian Design Factory brings education and the work field together. By thinking in terms of opportunities and working with innovative methods such as the ‘pressure cooker’ and ‘rapid prototyping’, we arrive at innovative and, above all, creative solutions for issues from the business world.

More information

Het SiGa-Lab

The SiGa-Lab provides a wide range of simulations and serious games, which study programmes, businesses and (educational) institutes can use for developing and assessing the (inter)personal skills of students and staff.

The SiGa-Lab is the Simulation & Game-Based Training & Assessment Lab of NHL University of Applied Sciences. The SiGa-Lab provides training and assessment, carries out applied research and offers facilities in the areas of simulator learning and serious gaming.

Learn more


The InnovationLab supports NHL concerning issues elated to educational innovation. Related pages are in Dutch only.