Jacob Berglund and Tobias Henriksson, students of Industrial Management and Engineering at LTU.

Students increases innovation climate

Published: 19 December 2013

During eight weeks helped two top students from Industrial Management and Engineering at LTU Ericsson and Scania to increase their creative climate by acting as innovation pilots in the research and change program PIEp.

– It has been extremely rewarding and positive to have them here. They saw things that we ourselves do not see, and came in with a toolbox that we are not normally accustomed to use. The Innovation Pilots has really contributed to an improved working environment, says Bernt Gustavsson, Head of Platform & Component Strategy at Ericsson.

– You could say that the students contributed to a good feasibility study. Now we evaluate the ideas to see what we can bring into the daily operations, says Sven-Eric Stenfors, Head of Materials Technology for Basic Engine for Scania.

Training in practical change work

Initially got the students training in different methods that helped them carry out an analysis of their respective companies. Through interviews was everything from the top management to meeting cultures in the lowest ranks investigated. This evidence would identify what was limiting creativity and suggest measures to increase the company's capacity for innovation.

– We never got to be part of the solution. Our task was to start something which they could manage themselves, says Tobias Henriksson, Innovation Pilot at Ericsson.

The students were given training in how to lead workshops, how different personalities should be handled and how to get them to work together to find innovative solutions to problems.

– I think will be very useful in the future, says Jacob Berglund who worked at Scania.

Theories are tested in practice

The LTU students were working close to the management teams at Ericsson and Scania, which gave them a good perspective on how this can work in practice.

– Within Industrial Management and Engineering, we read a lot about organizations and management. This was an application of it, says Jacob Berglund.

Tobias Henriksson says that education in Industrial Management and Engineering has honed his presentation skills, something he really had use of in this project.

– One must be able to present the results, submit it to several people and make them understand what it is about– in order to make them able to work with the solutions.