The agreement lays the groundwork for broad collaboration within research, which is now being built up gradually. Chalmers and Ikea Ikea both have the opportunity to utilise each other’s physical environments for research and innovation. Chalmers will also continue to provide training for Ikea co-workers and give them opportunities for closer contact with students.
“I am really happy about this and see many exciting opportunities. Not least, that we can mobilise research from various subject areas around the challenges Ikea is facing. This is a long-term and broad agreement, like those we have in place already with some 15 other companies. It clearly indicates that Ikea should be perceived as a company building on increasing engineering capabilities, with good career opportunities for students from many different programmes,” says Stefan Bengtsson, Chalmers President and CEO.
From Chalmers' side, the Production Area of Advance acts as the host for the collaboration, and the contact for both Ikea and Chalmers. Managing the planet's resources through production, and utilising those resources in as long-sighted and smart a way as possible, is of great importance for Ikea.
“We want to disconnect from the old saying that sustainability has to cost more. If we are really to turn society in the right direction, we must ensure that sustainable solutions are implemented and produced at low cost, so they can be available to many people,” says Jeanette Skjelmose, Deputy Managing Director of Ikea Range and Supply.
Increased utilisation of big data, machine learning, and AI are areas that can be further discussed, as well as digital tools in product development. Other areas of interest are bio-based plastics and recycling of residual production material.
“I really look forward to working with Chalmers. I think we can learn from each other and be able to explore and develop new opportunities within new materials and technologies. The possibility to improve the competence of our employees and attract new talents through our collaboration is also an expectation,” says Jeanette Skjelmose.
Text: Christian Borg / Carina Schultz
Photos: Carina Schultz
On site at Älmhult, from left: Ruth Woie Svensson, Anders Wennberg, Susanne Waidzunas (Ikea), Malin Cullin (Ikea), Ulrika Lundqvist, Stefan Bengtsson, Jeanette Skjelmose (Ikea), Lars Nyborg, Ulrika Rosling (Ikea) and Na Lin (Ikea).