CHASE brings antenna research to industry

Staffan Sjödin, manager of research centre CHASE, outlines the experiences and benefits after almost 10 years of operations.

At first glance, the different research projects within CHASE may seem to have little in common, with traffic safety, satellite communication, sensor systems, mobile networks and cancer treatment in focus. However, if we point out antenna technology, all the pieces fall into place.

Chalmers Antenna Systems Excellence Centre, CHASE, is a consortium between Chalmers and 15 company partners. The centre started in 2007, as one of several so-called VINN Excellence Centers, with funding from Vinnova. CHASE has over the years received very good reviews in the evaluations.

Centre manager Staffan Sjödin has a background from both research and industry and has gained a good insight into knowledge transfer between academia and industry.

Staffan Sjödin“Many companies have research and development departments, even though smaller companies might have one person in the position. But research in the industry are generally more applied and they have greater pressure to show quick results from the resources invested. In their collaboration with academia, major companies can take part in research that might have less priority in their own R&D budget, and also – smaller companies are given the opportunity to take part in the research. Frequently, the majority of companies face the same research problems, and we can offer them a distinct structure of collaboration, and it is relatively easy to bring in new partners”, says Staffan Sjödin.

What attracts companies into collaboration, what conditions are required?

“To my experience, it is usually a rather long process to establish collaborations, not least for budgetary reasons. Additionally, we must make sure that we can meet the expectations from the company. The first initiatives comes easier through already well established relationships – when companies are familiar with our setup. Therefore it is also important to spread information about CHASE and awaken curiosity. Then, we have already come a long way to establish new partnerships”, says Staffan Sjödin.

The research projects in CHASE span from basic research to applied research, with the goal to ultimately result in a commercial product.
How do you handle the issue of confidentiality with your partner companies?

“It can be a difficult balancing act. We have managed to deal with the practical issues, but it is still something we have to discuss further at a higher level. The companies have their own strict routines and they are careful not to give up sensitive information, while Chalmers for its part, has an open policy and we publish our results in research articles, often with the industry as co-author.”

What does Chalmers gain through the collaboration?

“Every CHASE research project have industry participants and the fact that we meet and exchange opinions are very important for knowledge transfer. Chalmers has a good sense of the issues that are current in industry and the problems that exist. This leads to utilization of the CHASE projects, and in due course, to further research.”

Contact: Staffan Sjödin

Chalmers Antenna Systems Excellence Center
Chase is a consortium between Chalmers and 15 company partners. The centre is oriented towards applied research within antenna systems, sensor systems, biomedical electromagnetics, communication systems, and signal processing. The research projects are chosen based on industrial and societal needs, and global sustainability. 

Page manager Published: Wed 11 Jan 2017.