Smart energy nets, energy systems in transition, smart production and maintenance, as well as customer-friendly energy services. Together, Göteborg Energi and Chalmers University of Technology run extensive research projects, in a number of areas and with many different approaches. The research spans several departments, such as Computer Science and Engineering, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial and Materials Science, Technology Management and Economice, and also several Areas of Advance.
The partnership agreement between Chalmers and Göteborg Energi was signed for the first time already in 2010, and is now annually renewed. The partnership entails a long-term strategic commitment, and a joint focus on research and development issues to benefit both parties, and by extension society at large. Also, the collaborations run both smoother and faster as a result of the partnership.
Together, Chalmers and Göteborg Energi identify which development areas need to be prioritised. Interaction is strengthened as the parties today know each other well and understand each other’s competences and needs. A number of different focus areas have been formed, most of them with sustainability and reduced environmental impact as guiding stars. Digitisation and AI have gained an increasingly important place in the partnership in recent years.
The collaboration is ongoing at several levels. A steering group, which includes Chalmers’ President and Göteborg Energi’s CEO, sets long-term strategic goals. An operational management team, with two assigned persons from each party, meets regularly and discusses the way forward, what is happening in the outside world and how this affects research and development, as well as how the outlined plans is to be put into practice.
The path to projects can then take different routes. Sometimes Göteborg Energi’s representatives meets research groups, to present areas with development potential, or needs, after which the researchers may return with idea suggestions. The company also meet management personnel throughout Chalmers, to jointly discuss research and development issues. Workshops, to bring together identified key persons, are sometimes organized. After an iterative process, concrete research projects are formed. Each project has its own reconciliations and meetings. In most projects, Chalmers researchers also work part of their time at Göteborg Energi, ensuring a direct exchange of expertise between the researchers and the company’s employees.
For Chalmers, the collaboration does not only provide relevant input. Researchers also gain access to important data and infrastructure which provide increased research value.
But the partnership is not just about research. Göteborg Energi provides important input to the university’s educational programmes by pointing to the need for competence procurement. In addition, the joint research projects provide important new knowledges that is passed on to the students. From time to time, Chalmers also has the opportunity to welcome guest lecturers from Göteborg Energi. According to the plan, collaboration in the education sector will be further expanded in the future.