The value chain - opportunities and obstacles for innovation

Chronicle · Petra Edoff, chairman of the Automation Region's research and development group · 30 October 2020

During the pandemic, we have seen great flexibility in production. Industrial companies have switched focus to be able to produce protective equipment when the usual products are not in demand or deliveries fail. In the same way that during the holidays we are more flexible in taking on tasks and responsibilities that we otherwise shy away from or do not feel qualified for, we can during a crisis raise our gaze and adjust - not just because we have to, but because we want to.

This flexibility in what we do, how we do it, and who does what is central to innovation and development. But if we look at something that has been on the industry's agenda in recent years - technology development and digitalization - what does it look like?

Read the chronicle by Petra Edoff

Focus on the internal power of change

Chronicle · Johan Carlstedt, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) · 30 September 2020

A key challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises is to increase the power of innovation and renew the business model with the help of new technology. There are often one or more individuals within their own organization who can drive development and innovation, but it is required that they receive the right support and room for maneuver. At IVA, we are currently looking into how we can support companies' intrapreneurship – namely the internal entrepreneurship.

Read the chronicle by Johan Carlstedt

Create value with AI - bit by bit

Article · 30 September 2020

How can AI be useful in production and manufacturing? What is important to think about and how do you get started? On September 22, Automation Region conducted a webinar focusing on industrial AI applications.

- More and more organizations are investing in AI, but in the traditional manufacturing industry development is not so fast, says Peiman Momeni, business developer at Peltarion. Many who we come in contact with state that they would like to wait for the technology to mature and for the tools to be better suited for their specific business.

Läs artikeln om AI inom industrin

Micro factories - new project for smarter textile production

Article · 31 August 2020

In the textile and fashion industry, a large amount of products are overproduced, which leads to unnecessary emissions of chemicals and resource consumption in terms of, for example, water and electricity. The newly started project Mikrofabriker will make visible and remove waste in the value chain.

- It would be fantastic if we could achieve a profitable Swedish textile production with the help of new technical solutions, says Erik Valvring, project manager at Science Park Borås.

Read more about the project

An opportunity to increase the pressure

Chronicle · Jenny Elfsberg, Head of Innovation Management, Vinnova · 31 August 2020

Swedish industry is globally competitive and known for high competence, innovation capacity and a collaborative climate. For a small, export-dependent country, it is crucial to take a seat and lead technological development. But when we are hit by a crisis, the natural reaction is to slow down - to focus on core business and pause development and cooperation.

The corona pandemic has in many ways shown how dependent we are on global value chains and that the systems we have built are unfortunately not very robust. During the spring, I worked for Volvo in the USA. In my workplace, and in the automotive industry in general, the consequences were clear - when the influx of materials stopped, so did production. In this way, the pandemic has benefited, it has exposed weaknesses that allow us to better prepare for the future.

Read the chronicle of Jenny Elfsbergs

Specialization in digital security

Article · 30 June 2020

At Automation Region's webinar on June 23th, we met the member company PrimeKey, which showed how IT systems can be connected to the operational production environment. Proven technology in digital security is the basis for new applications, where it is possible, for example, to assign digital identities to products already in the manufacturing process.

Read more and watch the film from the webinar

Hierarchies have no effects on complex processes

Chronicle · Mats Tyrstrup, Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Stockholm School of Economics · 30 June 2020

Management strategies with associated hierarchies, balanced scorecards and Lean philosophy work well to lead businesses that work with standardized processes, such as manufacturing products. For some time, however, we have seen that the emphasis in value creation is shifting from physical products to behaviors. New companies can create value through shares, likes and unique visitors. At the same time, the traditional businesses are trying to adjust our behavior - for example, the bank does not want customers to come into the office. When we shifted from agriculture and crafts to industry, we needed management and hierarchies, but when we now shift the focus from things to behavior, a different model and a different leadership is required.

Read the chronicle by Mats Tyrstrup

Where is the new freezer?

Chronicle · Marie Gidlund, Business manager, Sweden Food Arena · 29 May 2020

What is the great innovation of our time around food? Fridge and freezer revolutionized the life of my grandmother. She could store food without having to salt, smoke, preserve, cook - a revolution both in terms of saving time and being able to make use of everything. The entire value chain changed, new logistics chains with freezer transport emerged, the grocery stores received refrigerators and freezers, new products and product segments were developed… All product developers and innovators added enormous creativity. Where is today's freezer?

Read the chronicle by Marie Gidlund

Long-term cooperation for increased growth in Swedish companies

Note · 18 May 2020

Throughout Sweden, innovation environments are established with the mission of promoting increased collaboration between researchers, SME’s and industry. Through meeting places and activities, the innovation environments contribute to faster growth in Swedish companies. Now, four strong innovation environments come together to optimize B2B networking and development in a pilot project.

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Important learning for future resilience

Chronicle · Catarina Berglund and Bernt Henriksen, Automation Region · 30 April 2020

Right now, we are in a completely new landscape with enormous strains on individuals as well as societal functions and companies. The industry - the base for the Swedish economy - is going at a slow pace and no one knows how long it will be. At the same time, in the midst of the ongoing crisis, we see an incredible commitment and a strong will to support and help.

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