The Faste Laboratory is a VINN Excellence Center for innovation in the Functional Product area. The centre is named in honour of late innovator Rolf Faste, who for many years was a faculty member of Stanford University, California, USA
The vision of the sustainable society forces industrial development into new ways of making business. One important way forward is to provide functions rather than the product (i.e. the physical artefact) itself. This means that the product provider will be responsible to deliver the function throughout the life-cycle of the product. The product provider will then own the product and be responsible for all costs to develop, manufacture, support and continuously upgrade the product. In doing so, a large risk is transferred from the customer to the function provider. A trend is for the customer to also want to buy larger solutions provided by many companies in a network, forcing companies to cooperate as early as possible in the product development phase to minimise the risks. The concept phase will be critical with a development process supported by very fast simulation tools to achieve many iterations and the possibility to optimise over the total system. This new development process will be performed in a distributed engineering methods and tools environment.
This business trend is typical for heavy-duty industry, transportation industry and process industry. Also the medical and life science industries are moving in this direction. The first three industry areas are partners in the Faste Laboratory, and the two other areas of industry have shown interest in this research as well.
The concept of Functional Product Innovation will be the main contribution to sustainable growth in that the function provider will have the responsibility of the physical artefact throughout the life-cycle and by innovations also have the capacity to continuously improve the customer value. Hence, the provider will be able to reengineer, reuse and recycle the physical artefact. This total life-cycle commitment facilitates the ecological, economical and social sustainable growth.