Industry collaboration is the key to success

A symbiotic, collaborative relationship between academia and industry generates innovative successes that benefit both the business sector and society as a whole. Researchers and business partners recently met up at LiU for ELLIIT, a strategic research field with a focus on IT and mobile communications.

Presentation by Gunnar Tornmalm, Scania. Gunnar Tornmalm, Scania, gives a presentation on automation in thetransport sector to his ELLIIT colleagues. Photo credit: Stefan Holgersson

Driven by research

“It was the first time we met this way, with the industrial advisory board coming together with all the parties involved. It’s an excellent way to keep moving forward and to advance our collaboration, based on what we’ve already achieved together. We’ve had very rewarding discussions, which now make up the foundation for an exciting advancement of our research-driven collaboration”, says Per Dannetun, director of research at LiU and chair of ELLIIT’s steering group.

Magnus Frodigh, Ericsson.Magnus Frodigh, head of research at Ericsson, sees a huge value in the research collaboration at ELLIIT.

ELLIIT, the Linköping-Lund initiative on IT and mobile communications, is a large, broad alliance, gathering complementary research expertise from the universities in Linköping and Lund, as well as from selected research groups from Halmstad University and Blekinge Institute of Technology. The alliance is composed so as to address future challenges in IT and communications in a unified and wide-ranging manner.

ELLIIT is one of the strategic research centres that the Swedish government initiated in 2010, and which in 2020 expanded dramatically when its strength and resources were increased threefold. ELLIIT's operations are funded by the Swedish state, with funds ear-marked for research in IT and communications.

“The expansion is the effect of high-quality results and of the impact of the research that ELLIIT conducted during its first years. The research has resulted in an entire chain, from academic basic research to results that can be turned into products and processes in industry and business, as well as society”, says Professor Erik G Larsson, director of ELLIIT. He adds:

“The strength is that we have gathered so many different parts from our research field, and each one has a high academic standard. As an organisation, ELLIIT understands the totality of IT and mobile communication, but ultimately it comes down the performance of individual researchers.”

Close collaboration

An important contributing success factor is the close collaboration with the business sector. An industrial advisory board consisting of leading individuals from Swedish industry – including from ABB, Ericsson and Saab – are firmly linked to ELLIIT. During the industrial advisory board’s day in Studenthuset at LiU on 2 June, some 20 people from the business and academic sectors attended. The discussions included what businesses need and how ELLIIT can maximise benefit to industry and society in terms of what can be achieved in the research field.

Shiva Sander Tavallaey, ABB.Shiva Sander Tavallaey, Senior Principal Scientist at ABB, has been engaged in ELLIIT since its foundation in 2010, and is very happy with the collaboration.

Shiva Sander Tavallaey, senior principal scientist at ABB, has been engaged in ELLIIT since its founding in 2010. During a coffee break she explained:

“It has been an interesting journey, where we have discovered many research questions we have in common. I’m very happy with the results of our collaboration in ELLIIT, and I see even more potential since 2020 when the resources increased dramatically. The research conducted today is considerably more relevant at the application level for industry. In the long run, research is driving the development of industrial applications. It includes everything, for instance robots and connected systems. Now we’re getting closer to the applications and I’m trying to find connections with real life”.

IT and mobile communication are developing rapidly, and this will heavily influence both industry and society. Traditional mobile telephony is shifting towards systems and platforms with previously unimagined capacity.

Important field

Magnus Frodigh, head of research at Ericsson, is very conscious of the importance of being at the forefront of development. For the past two years he has been a member of ELLIIT’s industrial advisory board.

“ELLIIT is a very important focus area, with its venture into communications and digitalisation. I feel it’s extremely important for Sweden, for industry, and of course, for Ericsson. The research part has a very relevant direction.”

Magnus Frodigh uses the development of 6G – the finessed generation of communications technology – as a highly relevant example. He highlights the research in advanced antenna systems that is conducted within the framework of ELLIIT:

“We really benefit from this research centre. It is definitely one of the most important collaborations we have. Most of the technology in our products comes from academia. That’s where ideas are born, which can be made a reality. ELLIIT will continue to be one of the main programmes for us at Ericsson”, says Magnus Frodigh.

Translated by Martin Mirko

Group picture.Standing, from left to right: Viktor Öwall (LU), Erik G. Larsson (LiU), Magnus Frodigh (Ericsson), Lars Nielsen (LiU), Fredrik Hertzberg (Axis Communications), Karl-Erik Årzen (LU), Stefan Andersson (SAAB), Petter Bedoire (SAAB), Björn Ekelund (Ericsson), Lars Lundberg (BTH), Fredrik Tufvesson (LU), Richard Pates (LU). Sitting, from left to right: Gunnar Tornmalm (Scania), Nicklas Johansson (Ericsson), Shiva Sander Tavallaey (ABB), Per Dannetun (LiU), Inger Erlander Klein (LiU), Angela Sanseverino (LiU).

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