Students at Luleå University of Technology helps companies accelerate their innovation ability. Companies learn how to analyze problems, find the root cause of them and not go directly on the solution. This means that a process that can take months, can be solved much faster.
- It was really fun to see how they received the new methods, says' innovation pilot "Tanya Alvarez who are studying final year engineering design, specializing in product design at LTU.
PIEp is a research and development program where five universities in Sweden combined. Peter Törlind, head for the department of innovation and design, is the leading person from LTU. The association wants to strengthen cooperation with the community and industry and enhance the climate for innovation. One step in this is that students are trained in the change processes that is needed for organizations to increase their capacity for innovation. The so-called innovation pilots then go out on the companies where they put their knowledge into practice.
- The students are thrown out in the reality and may work directly with the management teams. It is an effective way for us to get the tools and methods out in the organizations, says Peter Törlind.
Concrete methods and long-term thinking
In total four LTU students worked as innovation pilots at PIEp. The project lasted for eight weeks. Jakob Holmgren was working with a company in the steel industry together with a student from technical design. He may, as a result of his commitment as an innovation pilot, have a forthcoming thesis at the company.
- It does not matter which company it is. The methods are general and everyone needs them. We started a process of change that will permeate the entire organization's innovation efforts in the future. They had the opportunity to know where they are today, what they need to do and how to begin the work, he says.
Innovation need not be complicated
Tanya Alvarez understands the importance of working with innovation in business and how important it is that everyone in the organization sees their own role in development. That all of them work together towards the same goal.
- Only then development and improvement can be achieved. That I want to take with me to my future workplace. Many see innovation as something enormous. But it can often be a matter of combining existing solutions in a new way, she concludes.