Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova is investing SEK 387 million over the next five years on 11 new competence centres around Sweden. The goal of the new research environments, where universities and companies work in close collaboration, is to develop new knowledge and technology for sustainable industry and the faster digital transformation of society. A new competence centre, SEDDIT (Sensor Informatics and Decision-making for the Digital Transformation), is to be established at LiU.
“Extremely gratifying! A lot of work goes into an application and it’s nice when that work bears fruit. It’s important that LiU can be involved and compete in these contexts,” says project leader Svante Gunnarsson, professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering (ISY).
In the centre, the Divisions for Automatic Control and Vehicular Systems at ISY will work with the Division of Signals and Systems from Uppsala University. The research groups will work closely with ten companies – from major brands such as Scania, Saab, Volvo Cars and Väderstad to smaller and medium-sized enterprises such as Linköping companies Sensorbee and UMS Skeldar.
The initiative is being co-financed by the companies. ISY has worked with some of them before, while others are new contacts. In addition to increasing the competitiveness of companies, SEDDIT has two focus areas: climate change and global security.
Clear links to sustainability
“Having such close collaborations with industry is very stimulating. There’s a wide range in the size of the companies and the products produced, but there are common issues that concern all. At SEDDIT, we are to produce good research, it’s to be relevant to the companies, but also have clear links to sustainability,” says Svante Gunnarsson.
In similar constellations, three keywords have been used; people, processes and products, to describe the desired results of the projects. The ambition is that this will also apply to SEDDIT.
“By People, we mean that we should train competent people at the doctoral and licentiate level and at the master in engineering level. The project is about research, but we also have a great commitment to the educational programmes here at the Institute of Technology.
“By processes, we mean methods that are introduced into the companies’ product development that can make it better, faster and more efficient. It may be simulation models, calculation models or similar.
“By products, we mean that solutions from the research can be implemented that make the products better and more competitive through efficiency and reduced emissions,” says Svante Gunnarsson.