Major investment in new technology to strengthen Swedish manufacturing industry

88 million SEK for new research project at MDH

Jun 17, 2015 | Research/Cooperation

Mälardalen University (MDH) and industry in Västmanland are now making vigorous efforts to strengthen their competitive power, thus keeping the manufacturing industry within the region as well as within Sweden. A few days ago the University was granted an eight-year long research project, half of which is funded by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation (KKS), and half by a group of companies, including ABB, Bombardier and Volvo.

The DPAC project has been granted 88 million SEK, of which KKS is contributing a half, and industry a half. The ambition is to establish a long-term research profile within the area of high performance safety critical electronic systems for autonomous vehicles, robotics and control systems. Among other things a demo for a self-propelled wheel loader and new platform technologies, computer systems which facilitate the use of different sorts of embedded systems, are to be developed, all of this with the aim of improving safety and increasing efficiency in the region’s manufacturing industry.

- Today industry uses advanced technology which their developers need to have a very detailed knowledge about, which makes it difficult to recruit sufficiently skilled staff. Platform technology facilitates the work for the developer, enabling more people to manage to do the job. When we automate certain operations we increase safety for the staff; for example it could mean that they don’t need to go anywhere near dangerous machines. Moreover it gives the staff time to work with things a machine can’t do, such as developing the company’s core activities, says Kristina Lundqvist, Professor of Reliable Software Technology and project manager of DPAC.

The project will strengthen MDH’s research domain of embedded systems, whose research today is ranked as internationally outstanding.

- We are naturally very happy and proud. The research fits well in with the activities we are conducting today; for example it is very close to the new Master of Science in Engineering programme in Reliable Aerospace Systems. It’s important for us that there is a connection between research and first-cycle education, says Damir Isovic, Dean of the School of Innovation, Design and Engineering at MDH.

Kristina Lundqvist is looking forward to building up an entirely new operation.

- It’s going to be very exciting. Today there are 12 of us, researchers and doctoral students, working with this, but the target is for us to be 25, so we’re going to need to recruit. We’re also going to start a new research study programme within the project which will enable us to take in more doctoral students, and that will generate project- and degree-project opportunities for our students, she says.

The co-financiers of the project from industry are ABB AB Control Technologies, ABB AB Corporate Research, Alten Sverige AB, Arcticus Systems AB, Bruhnspace advanced systems AB, Bombardier Transportation Sweden AB, Enea AB, Ericsson AB, Hök Instrument AB, Saab AB Avionics Systems, Volvo Construction Equipment, and Volvo Group Trucks Technologies.