Big investment in the education of more researchers in industry

Apr 14, 2016 | Research/Cooperation Education

MDH is starting a new industrial research school with support from the Knowledge Foundation and a number of companies that work with reliable sensor systems primarily for health technology. ”Interacting in this way benefits all parties. It strengthens our various activities and gives us the opportunity together to develop technology that streamlines tomorrow's health care”, says Paul Pettersson, Acting Vice-Chancellor of MDH


The new industrial research school is called ITS ESS-H, has room for fifteen doctoral students and is strongly linked to the University's research within the area of embedded sensor systems for health. The Knowledge Foundation is funding the investment with up to SEK 32.7 million. The project will run over six years and after the turn of the year  the first doctoral students are expected to commence their research studies. During the five years of their research studies they will be employed by the companies, but will do their research at MDH and work with projects that will find solutions to real-life industrial problems.

- We have run several industrial research schools earlier as an important part of the strong cooperation we have with industry. Therefore we are very happy about the news from the Knowledge Foundation. An industrial research school strengthens our research in that it shows us what problems are relevant to focus on. This, along with enhanced skills within the companies, leads to a continued strong development of technology in the health and welfare sector, says Paul Pettersson.

Bertil Hök is the founder of Hök Instrument, a Västerås company that develops alcolocks for vehicles:

- We have had doctoral students at industrial research schools at MDH earlier, and it has worked really well. Therefore we are of course very positive about this new opportunity. Being a part of the academic environment is a valuable element in our company development since it enhances our skills and helps us in our  product development. The doctoral students are allowed to focus on problems that are relevant for us, which leads to concrete improvements of our products.

The Knowledge Foundation at present supports ten industrial research schools, with just over 160 doctoral students:

- We have extremely good experience of the industrial research school as a form of cooperation, says the CEO of the Knowledge Foundation Madelene Sandström. It is a concept that all parties gain by. An industrial research school means a substantial enhancement of skills for an entire or a part of a sector, at the same time as the surrounding community will benefit in the long run from better technology and more competitive companies.

The companies interested in taking part in ITS ESS-H are ABB Corporate Research, Addiva, Bestic, Motion Control, Norrtälje Elektronikpartner, SICS and Hök Instrument. 

– We think it’s very pleasing that there is a great interest from the public sector in this form of professional development, and we look forward to starting ITS ESS-H, says Professor Mats Björkman, Project Manager of the industrial research school.