News: Teknikens ekonomi och organisation related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 26 Feb 2021 14:18:27 +0100örn Sandén new member of the Climate Policy Council<p><b>​Professor Björn Sandén at Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers, has been appointed a new member of Sweden’s Climate Policy Council from 1 July. The mission of the Council is to evaluate the Swedish government’s overall policies, including the bases and methods on which they are built, as well as promote the debate in society on climate policy.</b></p>​The Climate Policy Council is an independent, interdisciplinary expert body tasked with evaluating how well the Government’s overall policy is aligned with the climate goal of no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.<br /><br />In order to strengthen the Council's independence in relation to the government, the Council itself proposes new members. The government then decides to appoint members of the council. On 25 February, the government appointed two new members: Annika Nordlund from Umeå University and Björn Sandén, Professor of innovation and sustainability at the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers. They will join the Council on 1 July 2021.<br /><br /><strong>Congratulations Björn on the new assignment! How does it feel? </strong><br />“It feels good, but also as a large responsibility.” <br /><br /><strong>What made you say yes? </strong><br />“It is an interesting and very important assignment and I have come to the conclusion that I like it when I can combine research and teaching with more direct contributions to society.”<br /><br /><strong>What can you add to the Council? </strong><br />“I hope that I can contribute with useful perspectives on the climate transition based on a broad view of sociotechnical change. At best, my experience of studying industrial change processes from social, natural and systems science perspectives can contribute with both constructive advice and helpful critique.”<br /><br /><strong>What do you consider to be the Council's most important task?</strong><br />“To coach the current and future governments, and the political system in general, to develop policies that help reaching long-term climate goals.” <br /><br /><strong>You succeed Tomas Kåberger, whose appointment expires at the same time. What will you bring into the work from Tomas' previous effort? </strong><br />“In a way, Tomas is irreplaceable with his international outlook and unique experience from various parts of society. But I think that Tomas and I share a positive insight that a rapid transition is both physically possible and economically desirable. Likely, we also share the perspective that technology and industry are critical for a successful outcome.”<br /><br />More about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/bjorn-sandén.aspx">Björn Sandén</a> <br />More about <a href="" target="_blank">The Climate Policy Council</a> <br /><br /><em>Text compilation: Daniel Karlsson</em>Thu, 25 Feb 2021 12:00:00 +0100 inventors to launch their app in the US<p><b>Their invention boosts the mathematics education in over 130 Swedish cities. The former Chalmers students are now gearing up for a launch in the United States.</b></p><span></span><div>Chalmers alumni, Henrik Appert and Arvid Gilljam are the founders of Matteappen, an app that will soon launch in the US as Magma Math. Their invention enables teachers to identify knowledge gaps and allows them to understand their way of thinking.​</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The founders studied the bachelor’s programme in Industrial Engineering and Management at Chalmers. Even back then, the two childhood friends dreamed of developing something that would make a difference and benefit society.</div> <div>&quot;At Chalmers, we learned how to improve systems through different types of processes. We also got to know how modern companies make their decisions based on data”, says Henrik Appert. </div> <div>He then went on to the master's programme in <a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Entrepreneurship-and-Business-Design.aspx" target="_blank">Entrepreneurship and business design </a>at Chalmers and Arvid Gilljam finished his master's degree at London Business School. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The results of the international PISA survey in 2015 worried the founders since it showed that mathematics was a great challenge for the students, both in Sweden and internationally.</div> <div>Currently, almost every fifth primary school student in Sweden doesn't pass the national tests in mathematics in the ninth grade. A worrying societal development where the founders immediately saw great potential for improvement.</div> <div>”We had to try to find new solutions, both for the sake of the students, but also from an economic point of view. We applied the system thinking that we had learned at Chalmers to solve the problem&quot;, says Henrik Appert.</div> <div>The founders both believed that valuable data on how to improve education got stuck in the students' notebooks and worksheets. If the teachers could easily access that information, they would make better decisions based on the data. With Magma Math, the teachers can see the difficulties students face and exactly how they solve problems, so they can lead the best math class.​</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Solving the problem in real-time</h3> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Matteappen%20-%20elev-vy%20räknar%20för%20hand%20rättar%20automatiskt.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:305px;height:238px" />That was the starting point for their invention Matteappen which was first developed for mathematics education in Swedish primary school. After an analysis of what digital solutions were available on the market, the founders realized that there were not many options to work with mathematics digitally. </div> <div>“The available digital tools were either click-based or meant that you could enter answers with your keyboard. But mathematics is best done by hand, where you have as high a degree of freedom as to when you work with paper and pen. Therefore, we developed a technical solution where you can show your calculation with a drawing tool on a tablet or the computer.”</div> <div>The app corrects the answer automatically and sends the information to the teacher in real-time. </div> <div>“Teachers can project different examples of calculations on the whiteboard and use their student's work as an example. They can also clearly see which students that may need additional support. <span style="background-color:initial">According to Henrik Appert, the response from both teachers and students has been overwhelming so far. In various surveys, teachers feel that </span><span style="background-color:initial">the service reduces their administrative work and provides more time and space for individualized teaching.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Fast-forward into the future</h3> <div>When the global pandemic flared up at the end of March in 2020, the company quintupled its growth rate within only a few weeks.</div> <div>“We have fast-forwarded into the future due to the pandemic. Corona has been a catalyst that has accelerated digital development and forced people to go beyond their usual comfort zone to find new solutions.”</div> <div>Today, their company is valued at 90 million <span style="background-color:initial">SEK </span><span style="background-color:initial">and the plan is to grow with about ten employees within the next year. Several European countries have shown interest in the service, but the company has set its sights on expanding in Sweden and a launch in the US after a successful test run at a school fair.</span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div>&quot;We received a fantastic response at the fair. About a hundred teachers signed up to test our app and told us that it was exactly the product they were looking for. Mathematics is a global language and we can see the same needs and challenges in other markets. The US has come a little further in terms of digitalisation in education and there is a larger market there than in Sweden.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Used in the Bahamas</h3> <div>The US version of the app is called Magma Math and is currently being tested as a pilot project in several different US states and will initially be used as a complement to school teaching. The service is also used by several schools in the Bahamas.</div> <div>“It feels unreal that what once started as a simple idea is now a product that is used by students and teachers on an island in the Caribbean.”</div> <div>In parallel with the launch overseas, continuous development of the original idea is underway.</div> <div>“The service we offer will never be finished. There will always be ways to simplify the learning process. We can develop the app for high school students - or even for studies at the university level. It is only the imagination that sets the limits.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Vedrana Sivac</div> <div>Photo: Matteappen​</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank" title="Magma Math"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Magma Math​</a></div>Wed, 10 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0100 contributes to a sustainable food sector<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology’s contribution to research and development of new solutions for a more sustainable food sector is growing. Through three national centres − FINEST, PAN Sweden and BLUE FOOD − Chalmers researchers will be involved in developing the food of the future.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The Swedish Research Council Formas give 192 million SEK to four national centres for food research and innovation – and Chalmers is participating in three of these. In close collaborations researchers, industry and other actors, will develop new sustainable food systems in Sweden. This means an increase in production of more nutritious food, while the environmental impact decreases.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">BLUE FOOD</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">BLUE FOOD, centre for the seafood of the future, will result in completely new Swedish seafood products that could play an important role in the ongoing protein shift. This shift means leaving red meat as the primary source of protein for more sustainable and healthy alternatives. Ingrid Undeland, Professor of Food Science at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, will, as the research coordinator, have a central role in BLUE FOOD.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I hope that BLUE FOOD will contribute to more of our Swedish blue raw materials being processed nationally <span>−</span> and that this will positively influence new job opportunities, competence level, self-sufficiency and profitability in the Swedish fishing and seafood industry,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">One goal of the centre is that a larger proportion of the wild fish caught in Sweden will be used as food – another is to expand Swedish aquaculture, i.e. the cultivation of, for example, fish, mussels and algae. Today, as much as 85 percent of the wild Swedish-caught wild fish is not used for food, but for low-value products that are later used in animal feed. This includes both small fish species such as herring, and sprat, but also the parts of the fish that remain after the fillet is removed. These species and cutting details need to be better utilised. But technological development is required to succeed.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“My research group has extensive experience from processes that can be used to refine both residual raw materials and small fish species. For almost 20 years, we have used complex marine raw materials to isolate functional proteins, i.e. proteins that can provide structure to food at different levels. This knowledge will be used in the doctoral student project that Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers will supervise in the centre. When it comes to seafood quality, we also have extensive experience, not least on how to avoid oxidation of the unsaturated marine fats, which otherwise leads to the food becoming rancid and losing nutritional value,” says Ingrid Undeland.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Mehdi Abdollahi and Ann-Sofie Sandberg from the Division of Food and Nutrition Science and Robin Teigland from the Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME) also participate, as artificial intelligence,  AI, and digitalisation in the blue sector are important focus areas in BLUE FOOD. The latter will also form the basis for a PhD-student project in a later stage of the centre.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FINEST</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">FINEST is a centre for future innovations in a sustainable food system. The centre brings research on sustainability and nutrition, food technology, consumer behaviour, innovation management and system change together. In addition, there is a joint development of methods through the Food Transition Lab run by Rise, and a co-creation platform that will be created within the centre formation.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre wants to contribute to innovation in the Swedish food sector by involving actors from all parts of the value chain – to jointly create the best conditions for innovation, contribute to system change and support concrete projects, including berries as raw materials and experimental value chains.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Professor Maria Elmquist at TME, on Chalmers' involvement in FINEST:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I will lead a work package together with RISE where we will work with innovation management and study how established players can find new paths to innovation by collaborating in new ways and with new parties. We will recruit a doctoral student with a focus on innovation in the food sector, who will, among other things, work closely with ICA and the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (Hushållningssällskapet). The activities in the centre will constitute an exciting research arena and lab environment for us, as we will be able to collaborate and study the participating actors, and easily test new models and tools.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">PAN SWEDEN</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Efforts to limit the environmental impact from animal-based food are needed to meet the goals of Agenda 2030 but innovations within plant-based proteins options are lagging. Evidence-based knowledge within food processing, consumption and health benefits of plant-based proteins is currently scarce, which limits the necessary further development.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre PAN SWEDEN (plant-based proteins for health and wellbeing) will in collaboration with universities, research institutes, the Swedish industry and public sector partners, develop new knowledge and new methods to examine how increased consumption of plant-based proteins affects health and well-being. PAN brings together a unique set of interdisciplinary competence and creates a new infrastructure that integrates research on food, nutrition, technology, medicine and social sciences. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Marie Alminger, Professor of Food and Nutrition Science, is part of PAN’s management team and she will participate in the research with focus on characterisation of plant-based proteins. Among other things, the researchers want to clarify the relationship between processing, structure, bioavailability, digestion of proteins, and how the proteins can affect the intestinal flora and health. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “We will compare selected plant proteins (model proteins combined with fibre components) with animal foods, in this case chicken. We want to identify raw materials with promising properties that work well in food processes − but also gain knowledge about possibilities and health effects, or risks, that come with increased use of plant-based foods,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Anna Ström is Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She is also part of the management of PAN and is responsible for the focus area &quot;Biomolecular signatures in a precision nutrition perspective&quot;. Here, the researchers will work mainly on how plant-based nutrition is absorbed by the body and investigate the processes for uptake of different vegetable proteins in the digestive systems. As a chemist, Anna Ström contributes with the physical chemical aspects and she is particularly interested in exploring one idea with an exciting focus:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The idea is to develop a sensor that makes it possible to follow how we degrade various plant-based proteins, which could enable us to look directly into the intestinal system. We see a great need for such technical solutions. With the help of AI, the information can be translated into new, important knowledge on the functions of different proteins in our digestive systems,” says Anna Ström.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Another research area to be explored is how the combination of different proteins, and high and low fibre levels in the diet affects us from a nutritional and health perspective.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the press release from Formas:</strong> <a href="">Multi-million investment in Swedish centres for food research and innovation​</a></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Tue, 22 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100 the audit service can add value beyond assuring compliance to standards<p><b>​In his doctoral thesis, Jan Lenning shows how auditing of quality management systems can be improved by viewing auditing as a service, in what is called the &quot;Augmented audit service model&quot;. One way of improving the value is to add functional experts to the audit team.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​What challenges do you focus on your research?</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;ISO management system standards such as ISO 9001 have gained widespread attention, and ISO 9001 is now implemented by more than 1.2 million organisations worldwide. Following this diffusion of the ISO management system standards, internal and external audits have become a universal activity among certified organisations. However, audits have been reported to have had a negative association within many organisations, as they are perceived as an inspection activity, focusing on compliance and documentation, and adding disputed value. As a result, management have started to ask for return on investments for the non-negligible cost associated with certification and auditing of management systems. Therefore, I have focused my research on how auditing of quality management systems (QMS) can be improved to support value creation beyond assuring compliance to the requirements in ISO 9001.&quot; </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How do you address the problem with your research?</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">&quot;The mentioned challenges are addressed by studying changes in practises for auditing quality management systems and results of those changes. Challenges are also addressed by allying earlier suggestions for what to change in auditing with research on service management.&quot; </p> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are the main findings of your research? </h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;The main findings address the key elements of a service augmentation, that is: accessibility, interaction and participation. First, several short- and long-term changes of audit practices for improving auditees accessibility of the audit service have been presented, such as being more knowledgeable as auditor or adding functional experts to the audit team. Being more knowledgeable as audit team also supports a change in focus of internal auditing, from a focus on auditing specific organisational units to a focus on elements such as processes or organisational strategies which is found to be value-adding.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Second, auditors being more adaptable to the operational context supports an improved interaction during the audit. Not being adaptable to the QMS context may impact management view on the QMS; for example, an audit focusing on documentation will fortify a management view that QMS is cost-driving, and lacking in strategic importance, which will result in management being likely to show little respect for quality management and related activities such as auditing.&quot; </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Third, to improve auditees’ participation in the audit process, practices such as spending more time in the preparation phase of the audit and adding an audit sponsor from management improve the participation and enable a continuous involvement of management throughout the audit process. Having this participation from management also supports an early discussion about the content and focus of an upcoming audit and creates possibilities to align audits to strategic plans.&quot;</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> What do you hope your research will lead to? </h3> <div>&quot;I hope that the results of my research, i.e. suggestions for improved audit practises and the augmented audit service model, will support managers and organisations responsible for different types of auditing, in their efforts to improve their auditing practises to support value creation beyond assuring compliance.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><em><br />Text compliation: Daniel Karlsson</em> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read the thesis: <a href="">&quot;The augmented audit service: Supporting value creation beyond assuring compliance&quot; </a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 11 December at 13.15, <a href="">see link on thesis’ page</a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span></span> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>More about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/janle.aspx">Jan Lenning</a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div>Mon, 07 Dec 2020 10:00:00 +0100 informatics - An area on the rise<p><b>​During the autumn, Chalmers started a Tracks course in Transport Informatics. At the same time, one of the first books on the subject with a focus on Maritime Informatics was released. A key person in the development of the book is Mikael Lind, visiting researcher at Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.</b></p>​Mikael Lind is a senior strategic research advisor at the Swedish Research Institute, RISE, focusing on digital innovation in sustainable transport. Since 2018, he is also a visiting researcher at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. He has been highly involved in shedding light upon the area of Maritime Informatics.<div> <div>It's about using digitalisation to support decision-makers in the maritime industry. This emerging field unites practitioners and researchers in helping to improve the efficiency, safety, sustainability and resilience of shipping. Digitization is an opportunity to ensure maritime supply chains being conducted with higher predictability and transparency. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Decision support for a self-organizing ecosystem</span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The maritime industry is unique because it is a self-organizing ecosystem, without any operational coordination body, constituted by many autonomous actors acting in competition. Therefore, it's important to address maritime informatics as an independent part, but a subset, of informatics according to Mikael Lind. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Nyheter/Mikael%20Lind.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Mikael Lind" style="margin:5px" />“By an applied science, both engaging researchers and practitioners joining forces in providing insights, experiences and opportunities for something that is a big concern for everyone; to secure value-added service to the clients of the sector” says Mikael Lind. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The applications of the research within maritime informatics are many. Mikael Lind exemplifies some of them through enhanced supply chain visibility for the clients of maritime transport chains, enhanced resource optimization for actors across the supply chain, conduction of maritime transports with high capital productivity and energy efficiency, protection of the planet and supporting reliable humanitarian deliveries such as food and medicines. It also means new markets and open innovation as well as third-party initiatives associated with supporting the above. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">With the recently released book Maritime Informatics, Mikael Lind, who acts as editor and co-author of 12 of the book's 23 chapters, wants to offer maritime industry leaders an understanding of the potential of maritime informatics so that they can improve their capital productivity and energy efficiency. The book can also be a support for improving decision-making and provides data analysis staff in the maritime industry with tools for learning to handle, report and analyze spatial time data. It will also be a suitable textbook for students studying maritime informatics. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The book is co-written by 81 people, out of 47 practitioners and 34 applied researchers, from 20 nations. From Chalmers, Fredrik Olindersson from the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences and Carl Sjöberger from the Department of Technology Management and Economics participates. </span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Tracks course in Transport Informatics </span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">At the same time as the book was released, Chalmers started a new tracks course in Transport Informatics. An initiative that Mikael Lind applauds. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“I think it is fantastic that Chalmers has taken a prime move to deliver capabilities of digitalization to tomorrow’s needed competencies in transport informatics. This is something that will be required by people that are working within or improving maritime transport operations. As we also know is that 90 percent of the products that we see has been in some transport chain leg been transported by the sea why the enhanced improvement of shipping is something that is of great concern for the many people in the world.” </span></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Read more: </span></h3></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">The book – Maritime Informatics </a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">Tracks course – Transport informatics </a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span><br /></div> <div></div></div>Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0100 data as a driver for customer focused quality management<p><b>​With an increasing number of firms offering services, either digital or human, quality as a concept moves from being decided by the provider firm to being subjectively perceived by the customer. As a result, the ability to understand your customers and their experiences is becoming even more important. In her doctoral thesis, Andrea Birch-Jensen reconceptualizes quality as &quot;quality-in-use&quot; and highlights the prerequisites and organizational capacities needed to capture and transform customer feedback into improvements and organizational knowledge.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​What challenges do you focus on your research?</h3> <div>&quot;Customer focus has been a central principle in quality management for a long time. With digitalization and increased service delivery fundamentally changing the customer offering, understanding how customers perceive the quality of an offering is becoming increasingly complex and difficult. Empirical research points to how quality management has failed to adapt to these changes, often remaining product focused rather than customer focused. Firms often put a lot of resources into developing these new, complex digital services or service-led business models, but the questions is whether they also have been able to respond these changes internally, for example by developing processes, competencies and capabilities which can manage and improve these subjective customer experiences in a way which drives customer satisfaction.&quot;</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How do you address the problem with your research?</h3> <div>&quot;Understanding your customers is key in order to be customer focused. In my research, I identify the structural prerequisites needed to be able to acquire and make use of different types of customer feedback. I also explore the organizational muscles needed to transform customer feedback into quality improvements and organizational knowledge, by using the concept of absorptive capacity. For quality management to be able to respond to the challenges of increased subjectivity in customers’ assessments of quality, my research also explores and outlines the evolving role of quality management in the age of digitalization and increased service delivery.&quot; </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are the main findings? </h3> <div>&quot;First, I elaborate on how the concept of quality itself is changing, from a static and binary 'pass-fail' construct, to a construct which is subjectively perceived and experienced by the customer. As such, I propose the reconceptualization of quality as quality-in-use, highlighting the increased focus on the in-use phase of the offering as firms are increasingly offering digital and human services.&quot; </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Second, in order to be able to manage the elusive concept of quality-in-use, I outline two roles which quality management needs to fulfill: the capturing role and the converting role. The capturing role responds to the emphasis on the offering’s use-phase which requires the quality management function to possess the interfaces, customer feedback processes, and capacities that allow it to acquire and assimilate customer feedback generated throughout the use of the offering. Depending on the type of interface, for example if the interface is digital-to-digital, digital-to-human or human-to-human, different types of customer feedback processes need to be developed, which channel the customer feedback into the firm’s work with improvements. I propose the converting role of quality management as the prerequisites and capacities needed to transform and exploit the acquired and assimilated customer feedback on quality-in-use. The converting role contains three main elements: action, which entails reacting to customer feedback by converting the feedback into quality improvements, knowledge, which entails the ability to convert customer feedback into knowledge regarding quality-in-use, and integration, which entails the continuous integration and interplay between the conducted improvements and organizational learning.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Third, I highlight the importance of ‘small data’ when aiming to understand customers’ experiences of quality-in-use. Frontline employees often become valuable knowledge carriers regarding customers perceived quality experiences, but in my studies I find that these frontline employees often lack formalized interfaces and customer feedback processes where this valuable information can be channeled back to the central quality management function. In contrast, firms employ an array of highly developed and mature interfaces and processes for codified customer feedback, such as big data or warranty statistics. Ultimately, this risks leading to firms remaining focused on managing technical product quality rather than managing and improving the whole customer experience.&quot;</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What do you hope your research will lead to?</h3> <div>“I hope that my research will lead to improved understanding regarding how firms can become more customer focused in their quality management work by developing their customer-firm interfaces, customer feedback processes, and absorptive capacities needed to turn customer feedback into both concrete improvements and increased customer knowledge. Since my research also highlights the importance of small data as a guiding light in the ocean of big data and as a means of understanding perceived quality-in-use, I hope that future research will continue to unveil how to integrate big and small data to truly unlock customer understanding.” </div> <div> <br /></div> <div><em><br />Text compliation: Daniel Karlsson</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the thesis: <a href="">&quot;The evolving role of customer focus in quality management: Using customer feedback to mobilize quality improvements in the age of digitalization and increased service delivery&quot;</a></div> <div> </div> <div>The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 4 December at 13.15, see link on <a href="">thesis’ page</a> (pwd: 818623)<br /><br /></div> <div>More about <a href="/en/staff/Pages/bandrea.aspx">Andrea Birch-Jensen<br /></a></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/bandrea.aspx"></a>  </div>Mon, 30 Nov 2020 12:00:00 +0100 energy solutions key in accelerating the transition towards sustainable electricity systems<p><b>​Electricity systems around the world are undergoing a transition from fossil-based to renewable production of electricity. The transition can, however, be accomplished in radically different ways. The results of Kristina Hojcková’s doctoral thesis indicates that decentralised solutions, such as Smart-grid and Off-grid systems, could outpace the global Super-grid system.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​What challenges do you focus on your research?</h3> <div>&quot;The actual design of an electricity system powered by renewables remains unknown – and opinions on the direction of change differ greatly. Some believe that the renewable electricity system will be dominated by centralised global transmission (Super-grid), some imagine a future of local electricity distribution (Smart-grid), while others argue for self-sufficiency without the need for a conventional electricity grid (Off-grid). As a consequence, high-voltage transmission lines are being extended to supply electricity from large-scale remote wind parks; in parallel, local communities are building self-sufficient microgrids supplied by small-scale renewables and storage. The main challenge addressed in my research relates to the development of a diversity of competing system designs that make policy and investment decisions increasingly uncertain, hindering the pressing need to de-carbonise the electricity supply.&quot; </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How do you address the problem with your research?</h3> <div>&quot;I improve the existing knowledge by conducting in-depth case studies of real-world projects that promote alternative ways of building a de-carbonised system: the global high-voltage transmission Super-grid, and Smart-grid experiments in the shape of local blockchain-based peer-to-peer trading in Australia and the US. These case studies reveal the drivers and barriers for alternative electricity system designs and hence for the overall direction of the electricity system transition.&quot; </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are the main findings? </h3> <div>&quot;The main findings of both the Super- and Smart-grid systems is that from the technological perspective, solutions already exist, though mostly in the form of conceptual and computational models. The real challenge in both cases is to turn technological novelties into real-world solutions, to trial and improve their performance. My research shows that the most significant hurdles are political and regulatory and highlights the particular bottlenecks and strategies that differentiate these cases, indicating their chances of becoming the new dominant configuration.&quot; <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The research in this thesis suggests that the main point of difference lies in the ability to overcome regulatory lock-ins and enable experimentation to de-risk investment and guide the changes necessary for all low-carbon solutions. The results indicate that with their comparatively smaller sizes and capital requirements, Smart-grid and Off-grid systems could outpace Super-grid system development. Given the possibility of implementing and testing distributed energy technologies behind the meter and in regulatory sandboxes, these solutions are currently undergoing faster trial-and-error cycles that accelerate learning, advance performance, and decrease costs.&quot;<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What do you hope your research will lead to?</h3> <div>&quot;I hope my research can challenge narrow-minded and siloed thinking about the future of the electricity system and invites collective action in addressing the transition-related unknowns and trade-offs. For practitioners and policymakers, the map of alternative futures and the empirical findings can guide communication and negotiation on the complex path towards a low-carbon electricity future.&quot;<br /><br /><br /><em>Text compilation: Daniel Karlsson</em><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Read the thesis: <a href="">&quot;Emerging networks of power: Exploring sociotechnical pathways towards future electricity systems based on renewable energy technologies&quot;<br /><br /></a></div> <div>The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 26 November, at 10:00, see <a href="">link on thesis’ page</a> (pwd: 349829)<br /><br /></div> <div>More about <a href="/en/staff/Pages/hojckova.aspx">Kristina Hojcková<br /><br /><br /></a> </div>Mon, 23 Nov 2020 12:00:00 +0100 winning idea for an electric and sustainable society<p><b>​The new start-up Compular (formerly Svala Technologies), based on research from the Department of Physics at Chalmers, has been awarded the scholarship “Tänk: Om” by Göteborg Energi.</b></p>​The start-up develops a computational tool for analyzing molecular dynamics trajectories. The tool can be used in the development of new and better materials, such as electrolytes for the next generation of batteries, and thereby accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable society. <div><br /><div>The company is built upon the doctoral thesis work of Rasmus Andersson and Fabian Årén in Professor Patrik Johansson’s group at the Division of Material Physics. <span style="background-color:initial">Compular </span><span style="background-color:initial">is a Chalmers Ventures supported collaboration between the three researchers and three students at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship: Emil Krutmeijer, Sirikun Loetsakwiman and Johannes Henriksson. </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br />The “Tänk: Om” award acknowledges sustainable ideas and projects. In total, six projects share SEK 702 000.​<br /><br /><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10px"><span style="font-weight:700">Text:</span> Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​​</a><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10px"><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the six winning projects</a> (In Swedish)</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10px"><a href="/en/departments/tme/school-of-entrepreneurship/technology-venture-creation/Pages/Current-Projects.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more on the project </a></p> <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/750svalacollage.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />Compular's founders: Rasmus Andersson, Fabian Årén, Patrik Johansson, <span style="background-color:initial"> Emil Krutmeijer, Sirikun Loetsakwiman and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Johannes Henriksson​.</span><br /></div></div>Wed, 11 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100 with nanorobots must be investigated<p><b>​We live in a society permeated by technological development. We have everything from self-driving cars to AI tools assisting in medical assessments. So should we worry about the development of microscopically small nanorobots that could potentially do great good for health and the environment? Yes, says Chalmers researcher Rickard Arvidsson who has reviewed what we know about this new technology.</b></p><div>&quot;The research may be in its infancy, but there is every reason to act now when it comes to investigating risks. Why make the same mistakes that we have seen in previous medical and technical development?&quot;, says Rickard Arvidsson, researcher at the Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <div>In a new literature study, Rickard Arvidsson, together with researcher Steffen Foss Hansen at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, analyses the nanorobot research field. The largest use for nanorobots is in medicine, where they are developed to be able to attack tumors, dissolve blood clots or deliver medicines to a specific part of the body. But nanorobots could also be used in, for example, remediation of polluted water or land. The researchers looked specifically at three different types of nanorobots that have begun to be developed within the research field: helices, nanorods and DNA robots. In terms of the ability to deliver medicines to specific parts of the body, nanorods and DNA robots have come the furthest.</div> <div> </div> <div>Rickard Arvidsson explains that in the early days of nanosafety research, in the 2000s, there were ideas and thoughts that nanomaterials could be used to create self-replicating robots, which could multiply and, in a dystopian future, take over society. Today, however, the research field has moved towards focusing on passive nanomaterials, such as nanoparticles of various kinds.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Active materials, which include nanorobots, have largely fallen out of the radar. We want to resume focus on active nanomaterials with the ability to act independently, even if those that are developed today are not self-replicating&quot;, says Rickard Arvidsson.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Technology carries risks</h3> <div>Based on the study, the researchers identify a range of risks, or issues, that they believe society must explore to avoid that nanorobots may pose a danger or risk to health or the environment in the long run.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;In the intended uses, namely healthcare and remediation, exposure to nanorobots is inevitable. If they are to be used to deliver medicines, they must come into contact with the body and if they are to break down pollutants in the environment, they must come into contact with the environment. In this respect, nanorobots are similar to drugs and pesticides&quot;, says Rickard Arvidsson.</div> <div> </div> <div>The risk of exposure must therefore be taken very seriously, according to the researchers, as some of the nanorobots developed today contain problematic metals such as the environmentally hazardous silver and the allergenic nickel. In the case of DNA robots, extracorporeal DNA is injected into the body, which can potentially trigger immune reactions. At the same time, there is a risk that you may lose control of the robots once they are inside the body. UV light, which is used to propel certain nanorods, can also cause skin damage, and in the worst case, cancer.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Confusion over directives</h3> <div>In addition to more analyses of potential risks with nanorobots, there is also a need for greater clarity regarding which regulations nanorobots should fall under. This is an important aspect because it can determine what the work with risks looks like.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Today, there are basically no dedicated regulations for nanomaterials, and those that do exist usually concern passive nanoparticles. It is unclear whether nanorobots should be seen as a medicine or as a medical device. Depending on the category they fall into, different regulations apply at EU level. This is a key issue because it determines which tests should be done on the nanorobots&quot;, says Rickard Arvidsson.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Great potential with new technology</h3> <div>Do the potential risks outweigh the developments and advances that nanorobots can push for in areas such as medicine and health? In other words, do we as a society dare to continue to develop materials and applications increasingly similar to science fiction? It depends on whether we explore the risks first, say Rickard Arvidsson and Steffen Foss Hansen. The opportunities are great, although the technology must be developed much more. For example, several thousand nanorobots are needed to kill a cancerous tumor.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Our research is not about painting a dark future for nanorobots. We want to ensure that there is a positive use of the technology, based on reflexive and wise regulation, which can detect early signs of danger. We must also reconcile the public's perception of risk with the opportunities that nanorobots can provide&quot;, says Rickard Arvidsson.</div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers hope that their study can initiate a discussion and further research on active nanomaterials, and help initiating a dialogue on how nanorobots should be developed together with experts, researchers, manufacturers, and the pharmaceutical industry.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Above all, we want to avoid the technology becoming one in a series of mistakes that have occurred historically, such as the frivolous use of X-rays to remove hair or measure feet, or the use of the organic pesticide DDT, which is currently banned in many parts of the world&quot;, concludes Rickard Arvidsson.</div> <div> <br /><br /></div> <div>Read the article: <a href="">Environmental and health risks of nanorobots: an early review</a> in Environmental Science Nano<br /><br />More about <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/rickard-arvidsson.aspx">Rickard Arvidsson</a><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><em>The article is written as part of the research programme Mistra Environmental Nanosafety. It gathers six universities and several industrial partners, and aims to develop research, knowledge and best practice on risks associated with nanomaterials and their impact on our environment. It is funded by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. Read more about the research programme at </em><a href=""><em></em></a></div> <div> </div>Tue, 03 Nov 2020 12:00:00 +0100 tool for better resource efficiency in products<p><b>​In her doctoral thesis, Siri Willskytt has investigated how products can become more resource efficient and reduce their environmental impact through various physical measures. Based on these results she has developed recommendations and a tool for product design. She has particularly studied consumables and seen that there is great potential to reduce the use of resources, for instance through the correct use of the product.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​What challenges do you focus on in your research?</h3> <div> </div> <div>“My research focuses on several challenges. Within the concept of circular economy, which aims to reduce resource losses in society through recirculation and extended use of products and their materials, there are many measures that are often prioritized according to a general hierarchy. These general rankings are not always valid, or relevant to all products, and can in some cases lead to increased material use and increased environmental impact. It is therefore important to identify which measures lead to resource efficiency and for what types of product these measures are suitable. The first challenge is to investigate what measures aimed at improving the use of resources and the environmental impact of products actually lead to its intended outcome.”<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“These general rankings of measures can also be found in the world of product design. For the same reason as already mentioned, they are not always relevant or suitable.  To investigate whether a new product design leads to an environment and resource improvement, one can investigate the new product with the help of life cycle assessments. But conducting life cycle assessments is a time consuming and information-intensive method. There is therefore a need for design methods that point to which design recommendations for resource efficiency are suitable for different products, and that inform about potential trade-offs in terms of increased resource use and environmental impact – without having to do a life cycle assessment.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br />“Another challenge is specifically what measures, both in general and in design, are possible for short-lived products such as food, packaging, soap, disposable products and short-lived components in long-lived products. These products have been somewhat overshadowed in research on circular economy compared to durable products.”  </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How do you address the problem with your research?</h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div>”My research contributes by examining for which products, with what characteristics, different measures are suitable for. This was done through analysis and synthesis of lessons learned from a large number of life cycle analyzes of various products and measures for resource efficiency. In addition to identifying measures linked to product characteristics, so-called “trade-offs” were also identified, that is, about potential shifts in increased resource use and environmental impact when introducing a measure. These lessons have also been further processed into design guidelines expressed as a tool. The tool accordingly helps the designer to find relevant design recommendations based on his product characteristics and also informs about possible trade-offs and how these can be avoided.”<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“I have also conducted a life cycle assessment to investigate the potential to improve a specific consumable, namely incontinence products. That study examines four different measures that can be applied to different places of the product's life cycle.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br />“In addition, I have also investigated the extent to which general design guidelines, namely those that should be useful for all types of products to create more resource-efficient products, provide relevant recommendations for consumables.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are the main findings of your research? </h3> <div> </div> <div>”First, by showing that not all circular measures actually lead to improved environmental performance and resource use. Second, the identification of which product characteristics determine which measures are suitable for different products. Product characteristics are about whether a product is durable or consumable, how the product is used or not used during its lifetime and whether the product, for example, requires additional resources when used. These results show that a general ranking of measures is not useful, but it is the characteristics of products that determine what is possible and appropriate. This is important both in general for companies that work with resource efficiency and circular economy, but also specifically for product developers.”<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“Another important contribution from my research is that it has highlighted what is possible to do with consumables. That is, both which physical measures and which design guidelines are suitable for different types of short-lived products and to show that there is great potential for reducing these products' resource use and environmental impact. For example, in the life cycle assessment of incontinence products, I showed that it was possible to improve the resource efficiency considerably by making sure that the user used a product that matched their real needs. This result highlighted that there is great potential to improve resource efficiency by improving the use of products.” </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What do you hope your research will lead to?</h3> <div> </div> <div>“I hope that the dissertation, by pointing out important product characteristics to take into account, can guide companies, for example, in assessing which circular measures could suit their products in order to improve their resource efficiency. I also hope that designers use these lessons in their work through the design tools developed in my research to point out which actions and design recommendations are relevant to their product type. Furthermore, I hope that the thesis’ highlight on consumables will result in more circular economy research on consumables and their challenges.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /><em>Text compilation: Daniel Karlsson</em><br /> </div> <div> </div> <div>The tool REDIG – Resource Efficient DesIgn Guidelines – can be <a href="">downloaded here</a> (see supplementary material)<br /><br /> </div> <div>Read the thesis: <a href="">“Resource efficient products in a circular economy – The case of consumables. From environmental and resource assessment to design guidelines” </a></div> <br />The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 16 October at 10.00, see <a href="">link on the thesis’ page </a><br /><br /><div> </div> <div>More about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/siri-willskytt.aspx">Siri Willskytt<br /><br /></a></div> <div> </div> Mon, 12 Oct 2020 10:00:00 +0200 school in AI within humanities and social sciences<p><b>​Four doctoral students from Chalmers participated in the first meeting of the WASP-HS graduate school when 35 doctoral students from several Swedish universities gathered to discuss and dive deeper in artificial intelligence within humanities and social sciences.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">WASP-HS research tackles the challenges and impact of upcoming technology shifts as well as contributing to the development of theory and practice of human and societal aspects of AI and autonomous systems, and in particular, focus on potential ethical, economic, labor market, social, cultural and legal aspects of technological transition.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Each of the doctoral students hold a position at a Swedish university as a member of one of the 16 research projects that are run in the WASP-HS program. The doctoral students from Chalmers that participated was Alicja Ostrowska, from department of Technology Management and Economics, and Mafalda Gamboa, Denitsa Saynova and Ziming Wang from the department of Computer Science and Engineering.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) is a ten-year research programme funded by the Wallenberg Foundations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about the WASP-HS graduate school. </a></div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 05 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0200 to the EU’s work to electrify the transport sector<p><b>The climate change has long been a driving force for the electrification of the transport sector, but the benefit to the environment has sometimes been questioned.​ “The new EU report shows that the electric car is less harmful to the environment than fossil-powered vehicles, but there are challenges when it comes to raw materials for battery production”, says Anders Nordelöf, leader of the SEC theme Electromobility in society and researcher at the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he European Commission has taken a holistic approach and ordered a life cycle analysis to get answers on the environmental impact of different vehicle types. The aim is to summarize the research situation for the environmental assessment of vehicles in order to provide the Commission with a better basis for decision-making in its work to ​drive the electrification of the transport sector in order to reduce climate and environmental impact. </span><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he compilation includes light and heavy vehicles powered by electric, hybrid and internal combustion engines, and is one of the largest compilations of research literature ever made within the field. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>“Now that the research field</strong> is thoroughly reviewed and important messages from the research field have been assessed, it is appreciated to see that the work I did several years ago during my doctoral studies, is quoted several times”, says Anders Nordelöf.</div> <div>Above all, he refers to an article published in 2014 which was a literature review of the research field until 2013. Anders Nordelöf then studied fully electric vehicles, but also rechargeable hybrids. But just a few heavy vehicles because there were not so many studies at that time.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“My work was one of the major reviews of the research area. These are the same main lines you come back to here in the new report. I compiled and analyzed the research literature that existed based on method choices and system boundaries and outlined the types of LCA studies that answer certain types of questions”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“In the EU's large report, </strong>they have also made their own calculations and methodological choices for different type vehicles. It is a broad compilation with over 300 different literature sources and a variety of actors such as Scania, Volvo Cars, IVL and Northvolt have contributed views”, says Anders Nordelöf.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EU study then used additional parts of Anders Nordelöf’s research – computer models that he developed for driveline components and manufacturing processes within the framework of his PhD thesis. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“You hope that what you</strong> do will contribute to knowledge building. So, it feels great when the work is used in such an important compilation which is then is passed on to decision-makers in the EU”.</div> <div>Anders Nordelöf describes his work as footwork for improved data quality in life cycle analysis on electric vehicles, which others can build on to make better analyzes.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>“This is how you should look </strong>at these inventory data models that I have developed. They are tools for LCA analysts, who then pass on their knowledge to decision makers. My work in this case is a subset of the bottom of the pyramid. I have contributions with some important stones for the foundation. Then, of course, I benefit from these models in my own research too”, he concludes.<br /><br />Text: Ann-Christine Nordin<br />Photo: Ulrika Ernström</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More:</strong></div> <div>The EU: report <a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" />Determining the environmental impacts of conventional and alternatively fueled vehicles through LCA.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EU report cites and uses research described in five articles from Anders Nordelöf's dissertation. The doctoral project, which ended in 2017, was implemented with funding from the Energy area, and the data model development also received support from the <a href="">Swedish Electromobility Center.</a><br /><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/anders-nordelof.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Anders Nordelöf.</a></div>Fri, 02 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200 will but few resources to handle social procurement in the construction sector<p><b>​Daniella Troje has studied how employment requirements, which is a type of social procurement criterion that aims to create job opportunities for long-term unemployed and marginalized people, affect organizations and individual actors in the construction sector. Her doctoral thesis shows that there is a great will to work with interns, but often both resources and proper knowledge are lacking.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​What challenges do you focus on in your research?</h3> <div> </div> <div>“To work with employment requirements and social procurement can spur new ways of thinking and organising; create new roles, actors and responsibilities; create new practices, knowledge and coordination needs; and create new business opportunities. I have investigated how this complex procurement criterion affect actors’ everyday work and what problems might occur along the way.”</div> <div></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How do you address the problem?</h3> <div> </div> <div>“My goal has always been to provide a deeper empirical, conceptual and theoretical examination of this issue. I hope that by doing so I can provide more insight into an under-researched phenomenon, as well as reveal concrete areas where practices need to change to be able to work with employment requirements more effectively and thereby enable maximum social value output.” </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“For my theoretical perspective I have used institutional theory. <em>Institutional work</em> is about the daily, mundane work that is carried out to either preserve old patterns of behavior and old ways of working, or to break them, or create new ones. I hope that my thesis provides some contextualization and empirical examples of how institutional work unfolds in practice and opening a debate of what institutional work really means in practice.” </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are the main findings of your research? </h3> <div> </div> <div>“My findings show how actors’ roles, identities and work practices change when they work with employment requirements and the interns that are hired through the requirements. Many have to go beyond their formal role description to work with the interns, and identities change from being someone who builds to also being someone who takes care of others. Generally, the will to work with employment requirements and the interns is large, but many feel as they lack resources and knowledge exchange with others. To overcome these issues, they create new local practices to be able to handle the employment requirements and the interns.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“I also identified four different areas of drivers and barriers for working with employment requirements. For example, one driver for actors working on a strategic level is that employment requirements can function as a recruitment tool, while for actors on a more operative level it is instead a barrier as many of the interns lack education and experience for the job tasks they are expected to do. I have also found that actors who work with employment requirements conduct different types of institutional work, and that the interns also conduct institutional work because of their ‘strangeness’ in the institutional environment, despite being unaware of doing so.” </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What do you hope your research will lead to?</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> “I hope that my research leads to an increased interest to study social procurement, and to study phenomena which breaks with the institutional environment in general. I also hope that actors who work with or want to work with social procurement see how they must change their work practices so that employment requirements become established and not a fad soon forgotten. By doing so they can hopefully achieve both increased commercial and social value at the same time.” <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><em>Text compilation: Daniel Karlsson</em><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read the thesis: <a href="">“Constructing Social Procurement: An Institutional Perspective on Working with Employment Requirements” </a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 9 October at 13.15, <a href="">see link on the thesis’ page </a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>More about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/daniella-petersen.aspx">Daniella Troje </a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div>Thu, 01 Oct 2020 15:30:00 +0200 circular economy is far from circular when it comes to scarce metals<p><b>​Many of our modern products, not least electronics, contain a large variety of potentially scarce metals. In his doctoral thesis, Hampus André has examined effects of circular measures, such as long-life design, reuse and repair, on mineral resource scarcity. He has also studied how different ways of prioritizing between mineral resources can affect conclusions drawn regarding circular measures and mineral resource scarcity.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​What challenges do you focus on in your research?</h3> <div> </div> <div>“Many modern products, for example electronics, contain a large variety of metals. These metals may be potentially scarce, both in the short term for current generations and the products we produce and demand, and in longer terms, for future generations. There are great expectations on circular measures to reduce potential mineral resource scarcity but very little knowledge on what the real effects actually are. Basically, can they live up to the expectations or not?” </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“Because scarcity of natural resources, such as mineral resources, is a concept which is both environmental and economic, it has been persistently debated what the most relevant problem to assess actually is. For instance, is scarcity most likely caused by geological rarity or extraction cost? Another question is how methods ought to be constructed in order to purposively address the different problem formulations.” </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“Some of my contributions can hopefully clarify some things in such debated questions. This is important in order to be able to address the first mentioned challenge. We cannot reduce mineral resource scarcity if we are not clear with what we mean with terms such as scarcity and if we lack purposive methods which actually assess what we intend to assess.   </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How do you address the problem?</h3> <div>   “I have used a life cycle perspective to investigate the real effects of circular measures on the use of metals and potential mineral resource scarcity. This I have done both through case studies with companies whose businesses revolve around e.g. reuse and repair and by reviewing the scientific literature. “ </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“I have also compared different ways of prioritizing between mineral resources in methods which can be used to study effects of circular measures on mineral resource scarcity, such as life cycle assessment, material flow analysis and criticality assessment. Based on this comparison I have suggested how to make such methods more purposive. I have also taken part in the development of such a method which can purposively assess potential long-term scarcity in life cycle assessment.” </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are the main findings of your research? </h3> <div>“Circular measures do not necessarily reduce mineral resource scarcity. For instance, long-life designs and repair can require more metal use or other, potentially more scarce, metals. Depending on which metal uses increase and decrease, mineral resource scarcity can increase or decrease as effects of circular measures compared to “business-as-usual”. Important aspects to be aware of and consider in assessments are for instance how often components are replaced, for how long use can be extended through, for example, repair and design, and the recycling rates.“</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“The results also depend on which methods are used and their prioritizations between mineral resources. In the short term, the risk for scarcity, and thus prioritizations between resources, depend on aspects such as geopolitics. In the long term, prioritizations between mineral resources rather depend on aspects related to geology. Resources with greatest risk of scarcity in the short term are therefore widely different from the ones with greatest risk in the long term. An important methodological contribution is to clearly distinguish between such different aspects which may cause scarcity in different methods, such as geopolitics in methods with short time frames and geological aspects in methods with long term time frames.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What do you hope your research will lead to?</h3> <div> </div> <div>“I hope the thesis, by pointing to important aspects to consider in these types of assessments, can guide companies and others in assessing which circular measures could fit their products in order to reduce potential mineral resource scarcity. Partly, such important aspects concern product characteristics, such as product lifetimes, and how often components are replaced. It also concerns methodological aspects. Assessments need to use methods which are distinct in terms of their time frames.” </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“Potential causes of scarcity in the short term, say related to geopolitics, ought to be kept separate from potential causes of scarcity in the long term, say related to geology. Ultimately, this allows for identifying which metal uses risk to increase as effects of circular measures, making well-informed prioritizations on which metals to decrease the use of, and conversely, which metals to deliberately increase the use of in order to decrease the use of others.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /><em>Text compilation: Daniel Karlsson</em><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read the thesis: <a href="">“Assessing Mineral Resource Scarcity in a Circular Economy Context” </a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The thesis defence will be online on Zoom, 6 October at 10.00, <a href="">see link on the thesis’ page </a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>More about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/hampus-andre.aspx">Hampus André </a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div>Tue, 29 Sep 2020 10:00:00 +0200 helping new-borns with breathing difficulties praised<p><b>A vital yet simple device in a life-changing situation – Maria Lindqvist receives the Karin Markides Innovation Award, for her role in the development of a unique product for respiratory assistance for new-borns.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Maria Lindqvist describes receiving the award, which this year is handed out for the fifth and final time, as &quot;fantastic and significant&quot;. </span><div>“I was completely shocked when Karin Markides called to tell me. I am proud and honoured to be given such a prestigious award, and the fact that this is the last time it will be awarded makes it even more special.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Helps new-borns with breathing difficulties</strong></div> <div>Maria Lindqvist receives the award for her work with the company Monivent – which she also co-founded – which has developed a product for respiratory assistance for new-borns. It all started in 2012, when she came into contact with external idea partners via the Entrepreneurship Programme at Chalmers together with her group.</div> <div>“I was on the educational track with biotechnology, life science and so on, and wanted to be in the medical industry. For me, working with something that feels meaningful and useful is important,” says Maria Lindqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Simply explained, Monivent has developed a product that helps caregivers ensure effective and gentle care of new-borns who need help with breathing at birth.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200701-20201231/Karin%20Markidespriset%202020/maria%20lindqvist%20340x205%20px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Maria Lindqvist." style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>“Starting the breathing in new-borns is a manual process where the amount of air is adjusted by hand. It is important to supply enough air to give the baby oxygen, but not so much as to cause damage to the lungs and brain. Our product can show what you should actually do during the treatment, and measures airflow to show volume, pressure, ventilation frequency and if there is a leak where the mask closes to the baby's mouth – to avoid air leaking away”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Flexible and smart solutions</strong></div> <div>From the company's side, it was important to find smart solutions on how to measure the flow.</div> <div>“From the beginning, the idea was to simply keep track of what you do. It was then developed into a unique concept of a smart mask. We have developed a module about half the size of a matchbox, which is attached to the face mask. This needed to be flexible and wireless. All calculations take place in the module and are displayed on a screen where you get the data. The most important information is also displayed with a LED on the module itself, so that the caregiver can focus on the child,” says Maria Lindqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The flexibility and wireless nature of the module were important factors in the development.</div> <div>“In a stressed and complex situation, you want your equipment to be stripped down and simple – not lots of wires or cumbersome objects.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Tested at European hospitals</strong></div> <div>In 2017, a training product was released that was used in several European hospitals for training healthcare professionals.</div> <div>“This gave us important help from enthusiasts in the field who have given feedback on the clinical variant of the product. It is the same technology, but there’s a different process to get it CE-marked,” says Maria Lindqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In July this year, the clinical product was released to a number of reference centres in Europe for a three-month trial period, to get a valuable user response and see if instructions need to be changed or clarified. After this, the product will be released on selected markets.</div> <div>“It has been an exciting and long road to get here”, says Maria Lindqvist.</div> <div>However, she cannot say too much about the future plans, as Monivent has recently been listed on the stock exchange.</div> <div>“We were in the right phase for this and it has turned out well. Now we can finance, before market expansion and take advantage of the interest we have seen in the product”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Aims to expand widely</strong></div> <div>Maria Lindqvist started as CEO of the company for four years but is now product manager and responsible for business development.</div> <div>“I now have more focus on the product and at the same time insight into the strategic parts. I enjoy these roles – both to get in touch with customers and to be out seeing how the product is useful. At the same time, I like the work of building companies, having grown from nothing to becoming a ‘real’ company with employees and being taken seriously – it is an exciting process”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Monivent currently has four full-time employees but aims to be able to expand and enter the market widely.</div> <div>“I hope the company grows so we can see our products come out and help healthcare staff. Treatment for new-borns is almost the same everywhere so we can support them in the same way around the world”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Erik Krång</div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Leif Eliasson and Paul Wennerholm</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts / Karin Markides Innovation Award</strong></div> <div>Karin Markides was Chalmers' President during the years 2006-2015. The Award was established when she finished her assignment, to be awarded over the next five years. It must be given to a current or former student at Chalmers who has made a decisive contribution to Chalmers' innovation and utilisation work in research and education and contributed to long-term sustainable development.<br /><br /></div> <div>Karin Markides has been President of the American University of Armenia since 2019 and from 1 January 2021 she will be Chairman of the Board of the Technical University of Denmark, DTU.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Previous winners:</strong></div> <div>2019: <a href="/en/news/Pages/innovation-award-for-new-cancer-method.aspx">Francesco Gatto</a></div> <div>2018: <a href="/en/news/Pages/Innovation-award-goes-to-implant-innovator.aspx">Per Kjellin</a></div> <div>2017: <a href="/sv/nyheter/Sidor/KM-Innovationspris-2017.aspx">Andreas Lehner</a></div> <div>2016: <a href="/sv/institutioner/m2/nyheter/Sidor/Håkan-Richardsson-mottagare-av-Karin-Markides-pris-för-Årets-innovationsutmärkelse.aspx">Håkan Richardson​</a></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 22 Sep 2020 11:00:00 +0200