New business models for digitizing the mining industry

Published: 27 August 2019

This was the theme, when researchers from Luleå University of Technology in collaboration with Boliden, organized a workshop in Ericsson's studio in Stockholm, within the research project DigIn.

– It was a rewarding day, with very productivel discussions with leading experts in digitalization and business development in the mining industry, David Sjödin, says, associate professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Luleå University of Technology.

Appreciated workshop at Ericsson

– We discussed business applications of new technologies, such as 5G, AI, machine learning and smart contracts, but most importantly, we identified what are organizational and relational issues that act as barriers to implementing this technology, Vinit Parida, says, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, at Luleå University of Technolog.

The vision for DigIn is to identify profitable business models within eg ecosystems in the mining industry. Based on digital technologies, DigIn aims to develop, test and disseminate methods for sustainable business models. Digitization has the potential to improve both sustainability and competitiveness in Swedish industry, for example through reduced energy consumption and safer workplaces. However, many companies lack the necessary business knowledge to transform technology into commercially attractive offers.

– The mining industry is a pioneer in Swedish industry when it comes to using digitalization for a more profitable, more efficient and safer work proceses, in their case underground, David Sjödin, says.

To succeed with business models for digitization

During the workshop at Ericsson in Stockholm, there were, among others, experts from companies with that particular experience. The workshop meant that experts in different areas were given a chance to focus on exchanging experiences in an open climate, rather than meeting otherwise in stricter business discussions. What factors are required to succeed with business models for digitization, was an important issue, as well as how to create a common sustainable business model within a network of collaborating actors. One of the participants gave her view on the matter:

– I think the most important thing for a business model of this kind, is the holistic approach, that this is a win-win situation for all players, so that everyone understands what is expected of them and acts after it, Ulla Korsman- Kopra, says, Global Business Manager at Epiroc.

The DigIn project group led by Luleå University of Technology includes researchers and companies in the mining industry, construction industry, manufacturing industry and forestry. Among the participating companies at the workshop were, among others, ABB, Boliden, Ericsson, Epiroc, LKAB, Metso, Mobilaris, Scania, Volvo CE, Zinkgruvan Mining and the Ministry of Industry.

The Project is financed by Vinnova.

DigIn-new business models for digitization in the mining industry

David Sjödin

David Sjödin, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491819
Organisation: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences
Vinit Parida

Vinit Parida, Professor, Chaired Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 492469
Organisation: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences