Smart specialization on the way to the industry of the future


The industry of the future is characterized by rapid change in the world around us, competitiveness and adaptability. Technical competence in their field is important, but is not enough when changes become the new normal.

The increasingly rapid technological development creates competitive situations that place demands on high competence and the ability to change. Global external factors such as the climate issue, covid-19 and changing trade agreements also affect the conditions regionally. Manufacturing companies are often specialists in their field, and the narrower you are, the greater the risk if that specialization is no longer in demand.

– As a specialist, you need to take a broader perspective – smart specialization. As a manufacturing company, it is important to be aware that the conditions for the segment in which you operate can change in a short time. Many small and medium-sized companies are part of a larger value chain, and here the whole basis for what they manufacture can disappear, says Gunnar Bolmsjö, professor at Linnaeus University.

Competence-enhancing projects must meet companies’ needs
At Linnaeus University, mechanical engineering conducts several projects that work to meet the needs for competence and knowledge of manufacturing companies. This meets on several levels – in a workshop environment with laboratory work that provides practical experience, exchange of experience, as well as theory and technology development that affects in the near future and future. An important part of this is to provide an opportunity for a broader picture and support for the development of specialization and expert competence.

In the Smart-IAT and Smart Industri projects, Linnaeus University wants to strengthen the manufacturing companies’ competence and global competitiveness. In the EPIC laboratory, the university builds demonstration environments where advanced technology is used in workshops in areas such as quality technology, robotics and automation as well as simulation-based product development.

– The educations are adapted to prevailing circumstances and what these are intended for. An increasing degree of digitization of courses is ongoing, while we will be able to offer specialized and hands-on customized workshops for different needs of companies. In this way, we ourselves will also work according to the motto “smart specialization”, says Gunnar Bolmsjö.

“We are ready to prepare companies for this journey”
The Smart-IAT project establishes a demonstration environment that will serve as a meeting place for knowledge transfer and experiments. It will also be possible within Smart-IAT to collaborate with other initiatives such as Robotlyftet, regional or national business clusters, other universities and colleges.

The second project, Smart Industri, is within the same area but focuses mainly on the development of methods.

– The content of the courses will be adapted to the needs of the industry and we will collaborate with the companies on the course arrangements. At the same time, we have a responsibility and a role here to develop cutting-edge knowledge but also methods for how professionals in companies can take part in the right knowledge that matches the companies’ needs in different situations, says Gunnar Bolmsjö and continues:

– There is no “quick fix”, but it is an ongoing work to become the best at what you are doing. The world around us is changing, as is technology and the market, and thus the conditions. In the same way, we update our methods and competence to provide both courses and information that meet the companies on the road to smart specialization. We are ready to prepare companies for this trip.

Facts:

The Smart-IAT project

Project manager: Gunnar Bolmsjö, gunnar.bolmsjo@lnu.se
Financier: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Kronoberg Region, Linnaeus University
The Smart Industry project
Project manager: Lars Håkansson, lars.hakansson@lnu.se
Financier: KK-stiftelsen

Read more here.

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