How to Succeed with Co-production – MDH researcher behind new handbook

Jun 08, 2018 | Research/Cooperation Global

During her time as an externally employed doctoral student at MDH, Anna Sannö and a few colleagues had the idea of writing a handbook for how academia and industry can succeed in conducting research projects together. Now the handbook “How to Succeed with Co-production” has become a reality.


Anna Sannö.

– In the book we have collected opportunities, challenges and solutions that can facilitate for and guide researchers, universities, university colleges and companies who are conducting research projects together. Our experiences are in there, and we would like to pass them on to others who will be making a similar journey together, says Anna Sannö, who recently took her PhD at the Innofacture Research School at MDH, and who is one of the authors of the handbook.

The purpose of the new handbook is to guide researchers, HEIs and companies who are conducting research projects together and are thus streamlining their cooperation. A lot of what is taken up in the book builds on Anna Sannö’s own experiences from her time as an externally employed doctoral student, where she researched into how companies, above all factories, ought to work towards succeeding in converting to more sustainable production. The research project

The handbook: "How to Succeed with Co-production".

“Time to change – zipping sustainability into operations”, which was conducted in collaboration between MDH and Volvo CE, worked well in many ways, but Anna Sannö and her colleagues – both within academia and industry - noticed that there were a number of challenges attached to conducting joint research projects. 

 – First of all, the organisation at an HEI doesn’t work in the same way as at a company. For example they don’t look at time and knowledge in the same way. By understanding the various organisations it will be easier to lead research projects. Project management in particular is another important part in succeeding with a collaboration project, says Anna Sannö.

The new handbook has been produced in cooperation with several colleagues from the Innofacture Research School, other HEIs and Volvo CE, as well as with support from the strategic agreement, Academic Partner Program, which MDH is conducting with the Volvo Group.

– Co-production is something that the research funding agencies are asking for increasingly more. Therefore I hope that the handbook will prepare the parties concerned for the obstacles that can be found along the way. By increasing the dialogue concerning these issues there is a potential to improve the exchange between the private sector and academia even more, which is needed to meet the rapid rate of change in the surrounding world, says Anna Sannö.