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Marita Holst
Marita Holst, Project Manager at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Katarina Karlsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Companies get better access to researchers

Published: 18 December 2018

Companies in Norrbotten and Västerbotten will get access to a better digital and physical meeting place to facilitate collaboration with researchers at Luleå University of Technology. The Cooperation for Innovation and Regional Growth (SIRT) project will lead development. The goal is to increase research and innovation cooperation between the university, business and government - for sustainable growth in the region.

– We want a clearer entry or channel for companies and authorities seeking collaboration with researchers, Marita Holst, says, project manager at the Innovation Office at Luleå University of Technology.

Small and medium sized corporations

The primary target group is regional SMEs in traditional women and men dominated industries that are open to new ways of developing their activities in collaboration with the university. Companies will work within the Structural Fund program's focus areas healthcare, Life Science, technology and service development in industry, testing, sustainable energy and environmental technology, experience industries and cultural and creative industries as well as digital services for smart regions. Initially, the project will investigate the needs of companies and researchers to design and build the collaborative platform.

– We want to create a collaborative structure with different platforms and services both digitally and through a physically creative, modern meeting place. We want a clearer channel to our researchers. It should not be crucial that you have personal contacts to find the right researchers when you want to work together, Marita Holst, says.

The other target groups of the project are university researchers and students, municipalities and other organizations that will be able to interact and benefit from the collaboration system developed within the project. Part of the project will focus specifically on 15 companies that will be offered a thorough review to identify what kind of collaboration with consultants and researchers who can develop the company for increased growth. The analysis is based on research within Product Innovation under the guidance of Professor Anna Öhrwall Rönnbäck.

Digital and physical venues

The project will also focus on collaboration with clusters, for example with the construction industry. The work will largely be about building structures for a clearer entrance to the university and collaboration services, which will be available both digitally and physically - and will continue after the end of the project.

– It is important that we get a win-win situation in collaboration so that both the company and the researcher feel it is rewarding. For the researcher, it is possible that they through empirical cooperation will be given the opportunity for empirical research, Marika Holst, says.

The project with a total budget of 14.7 million is led by projectleader Marita Holst, Innovation Office at Luleå University of Technology and LTU Business is partner in the project. Tillväxtverket finances the project together with the region of Norrbotten, Skellefteå municipality, Luleå University of Technology and LTU Business.