University coop project leads to product launch
The company Nordic Värmesystem needed help in developing a sustainable, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and flexible energy system for residential properties. Through cooperative project SIRT, they accessed a student team at Luleå University of Technology. The student’s product solution is being launched to house manufacturers this autumn.
“This project is a great example of how researchers, students and a company all emerge as winners from a collaboration.”
It was in February earlier this year that Seard Åberg from Nordic Värmesystem contacted Lars-Åke Isaksson, business developer at LTU Business. The company had an idea to create a solution that combined to work as one seamless system, but lacked the time and technical knowledge to develop it. A solution like this could achieve a highly efficient system that provides both heating and ventilation with recycling and comfort cooling.
Nordic Värmesystem provided a contact list with experts and companies from which students could get advice and support. The students started their work immediately and with Gustav Häggström, doctoral student in energy technology, as supervisor and assistant professor Jens Hardell as advisor to the students, they were soon up and running.
“It gives students an extra motivation in their work when the client is an external company, at the same time as the company gets creative solutions to advanced technical challenges”, says associate professor Jens Hardell.
On June 1, the final report was completed and Seard Åberg is more than satisfied.
“I am deeply impressed by their work – an all-in-one system solution that meets the new EU regulations. Fantastic! ” says Seard Åberg.
Jens Hardell, associate professor at Luleå University of Technology is positive:
“As an examiner for the project course M0024T Sustainable Living, I am very happy that we get the opportunity to contribute competence and know-how to companies in the region as well as the country as a whole. It gives students an extra motivation in their work when the client is an external company, at the same time as the company gets creative solutions to advanced technical challenges, ”he says.
Creating industry-university collabs with regional SME’s
Lars-Åke Isaksson, business developer at LTU Business, supports regional small and medium enterprises in developing industry-university collaborations, through regional development project SIRT (Cooperation for Innovation and Regional Growth). Based on a needs analysis, he formed the basis of the collaboration and managed the dialogue between the company and the university leading up to a project plan.
“It feels gratifying and meaningful to be able to create a win-win for everyone by matching our local companies with the right skills and teams at the university. With 69 research subjects and over 15,000 students, having a dedicated contact person is key to success. This is where we come in and form the right team, set up a project and get the collaboration started, ”he says.
Marita Holst, strategist at the university’s innovation office and project manager for SIRT, emphasizes the importance of a clear structure for collaborations that creates benefits for both the university and companies: “The university has three tasks; research, teaching and collaboration with the surrounding society and in this project all these parts are woven together in an exemplary way, where researchers, students and a company collaborate and all emerge as winners from the collaboration. In the SIRT project, we work to develop and clarify a simple and clear path for collaboration so that more companies and organizations can develop and grow in collaboration with us at the university, something we all benefit from,” concludes Marita Holst.
The project SIRT (Collaboration for innovation and regional growth) is run by Luleå University of Technology with LTU Business as a partner and funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Norrbotten Region, Skellefteå Municipality and Luleå University of Technology.