28 November 2023

Christian Kowalkowski and Lars Witell have received 9.5 million SEK from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. The research grant will be used to examine how companies can utilise digital technology and data to create new and useful services.

Photo credit David Einar "It feels great! I think that Lasse (Lars Witell) and I put together a very strong application, but the competition is fierce, and the last time I applied for funding, I was rejected," Christian Kowalkowski says.

The main purpose of a grant from the foundation is to support research that provides new knowledge about the world we live in. Christian Kowalkowski is a professor of Industrial Marketing and works at the Division of Industrial Management. His research focuses on companies and their ability to maintain competitiveness through new services, holistic solutions, and business models.

"Thanks to the grant, we will be able to work on researching long-term questions that we are passionate about and that are also highly relevant to the competitiveness of Swedish industry. We will also hire a PhD student, who will have the opportunity to research this full-time," Christian Kowalkowski says.

Increasing importance of data sharing

The project’s point of departure is that digital platforms, rather than linear value chains, play an increasingly central role in the growth and competitiveness of companies through service innovation. Digital platforms enable new data-driven services, but there is a lack of knowledge about and understanding of what is required by the various actors.
In this project, the researchers will use various qualitative and statistical methods to understand how companies can transform their services using digital technology and new industrial ecosystems. The research will be conducted in three stages.

In the first stage, the researchers will take a closer look at various companies and their new services to see what works and what hinders their development.
In the second stage, they will examine how different companies collaborate and share information. They also want to understand how different parts can work together to create better services.

Close to the companies

In the third stage, the researchers will focus on how the new digital services can benefit customers. They will analyse how the services affect the companies' finances and the relationship with customers.

"We will work closely with the companies throughout the research process to gain a good understanding of how digital technology can help companies grow and become more competitive. This project is important for increasing the knowledge about how digitization can help Swedish companies evolve and renew their services," Professor Christian Kowalkowski says.

 

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