Åsa Fast-Berglund and Johan Stahre in Stena Industry Innovation Lab, where a creative and innovative environment is being created using state-of-the-art technology and the latest digitalisation methods, thanks to a generous donation of SEK 21 million from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture - Stenastiftelsen. Photo: Julia Sjöberg
Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture invests 21 million SEK at Chalmers in order to increase the digitalisation and competitiveness of Swedish industry. In Stena Industry Innovation Laboratory, SII-Lab, Chalmers will triple its present activities in the area of smart industry and greatly improve Chalmers’ offer to industry and society.
- I am very pleased that Stenastiftelsen has offered to make such a big effort in the important area of production. This area is highly prioritized at Chalmers. We are working closely with Swedish industry in the field of digitalisation and the SII-Lab will open up great opportunities for research, innovation, and education" says Chalmers’ President and CEO, Stefan Bengtsson.
The development takes place on the Lindholmen campus, which is in the middle of Sweden’s largest industrially focused science park, where more than 20,000 industry employees, researchers, and high-school students work and study. In Sweden, we need world-class research while at the same time demonstrating to our young people how exciting industry can be as a future workplace.
- We believe that this initiative is an excellent opportunity to contribute to the digital transformation of
industry and society. Swedish industry faces major production challenges, especially in western Sweden, says Madeleine Olsson-Eriksson, Chairperson of Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.
- Sweden needs to have world-class research and to show our younger generations how exciting industry can be as a future workplace.
Chalmers is already a leading university in industrial production and digitalisation, and Production is one of Chalmers' areas of advance. As a consequence of accelerating industrial digitalisation and growing interest in Industry 4.0, the need to understand and test possibilities of the new technologies grows. The Stena Industry Innovation Lab provides a unique environment where future production systems can be developed and demonstrated. The SII-Lab, is already a national resource and it is also part of the European Commission's network of digital innovation hubs.
- We offer an open meeting place for industry, society, and academia. Both large and small companies have the opportunity to try out new production ideas, but also to find new business models and innovation opportunities. We expect the lab itself to increase the speed of the Swedish industry's digitalisation, says Professor Johan Stahre, head of the division of Production systems at Chalmers.
Industrial digitalisation is crucial for Swedish companies, but attracting young skills is just as important.
- The SII-lab will allow us to conduct advanced research, but also show collaborative robots, 5G, and Virtual Reality for students, young people, and the public. The future, digitalised workplace has a lot in common with digital gaming worlds, says Åsa Fast-Berglund, Associate Professor in charge of the development of SII-Lab.
Thanks to Stenastiftelsen’s donation, new facilities are rapidly being built. Cooperation with industry is also intensifying. The first students will be able to use the lab in January 2018 while new equipment is being installed. In May, SII-Lab will be officially inaugurated by the Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg together with Madeleine Olsson-Eriksson, Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson, and Doris Schroecker from the European Commission.
About Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture
Sten A Olsson's Foundation for Research and Culture was founded in 1996 in connection with ship-owner Sten A Olsson's 80th anniversary. Through the foundation, the family gives support for research and cultural activities, primarily in Gothenburg and Western Sweden. The foundation promotes scientific research and development, as well as arts and culture, humanities and Christian communities. The first donation amounted to 51 million SEK, which formed the base for the foundation of Chalmers Innovation. The development of a joint center for innovation activities at Chalmers was thus possible.
For more information:
, Professor and head of the division of Production Systems at the Department of Industrial and Materials Sciences, Chalmers, +46 31 772 12 88
, Associate Professor at the division of Production Systems at the Department of Industrial and Materials Sciences, Chalmers, +46 730 34 34 88
Photo: Julia Sjöberg and Bilduppdraget
Illustration: Sven Ekered, Chalmers