Cegrell Center Collaboration Industrial IT
Founded by Professor Torsten Cegrell in 1989, the Department of Industrial Information and Control Systems is built on the conviction that academic-industrial collaboration is the key to academic relevance to the greater society. Benefits are multiple, including knowledge transfer, innovation, and increased relevance of academic research. Therefore, inspired by Professor Cegrell (now emeritus), the department has launched a dedicated activity aimed to further interaction with Swedish companies and organizations within the area of Industrial IT. The goal of the center is to promote cooperation between the academic and industrial communities within the area of Industrial IT in order to guide academic research, further knowledge transfer and support innovation.
Academic-industrial collaboration activities are carried out with many Swedish organizations. Collaboration is realized through a set of different activity types.
Think tanks are fora for academia and industry to build long-term relations. Oftentimes it is a challenge to fully understand how and when research results can be used in practice. In many cases, results can be used in slightly different ways than they were originally designed for. With a long-term cooperation, the participants get to know each others’ work: academics get a thorough understanding of the key challenges (at the time) in industry, and industry get a thorough understanding of how the research results and researchers can help. By meeting in think tanks, it is possible to plan e.g. series of case studies and thesis projects so that they are adapted to current needs capabilities of all parties. With think tanks it also become much easier to get started with concrete collaboration.
Think tanks meet on a regular basis. They can be enterprise specific or gathering several enterprises for instance in the same trade or with some specific focused interest. They typically serve as steering groups for a set of PhD and master thesis projects.
Adjunct and affiliated faculty constitute a strong link between industry and academia. These are senior corporate employees tasked with the explicit task of technology transfer between academia and industry.
Industrial PhD students
Industrial PhD students spend several years in the service of industry-academia cooperation. PhD studies bring individuals to the cutting edge of scientific knowledge. During and after the studies, this knowledge can be put to good industrial use. The combination of industrial and academic work ensures the practical relevance of the research studies.
One of the most common forms of cooperation is case studies. In case studies new research ideas and products are tested in real-life conditions. Case studies can be research driven where matured research concepts and products are tested but it could also be more tailor made research where industry is the leading partner on developing the case study topic and setup.
Case studies can be carried out in the form of master thesis projects. In thesis projects, the topic and setup are planned in cooperation between researchers and industry, potentially as a part of some larger research or industry projects. The master thesis project is performed by a final-year engineering student.
The department holds courses aimed directly at experienced practitioners from industry that would like to deepen their knowledge of industrial IT. These courses not only provide the participants with new insights, but also with a valuable network of likeminded domain experts.
KTH Gold Medal in Industrial Collaboration
The center provides funding for the KTH Gold Medal in Industrial Collaboration, awarded at the annual KTH promotion event. The KTH Gold medal aims to highlight the field of industrial systems engineering. Recipients include Mats Leijon, Carl Bennet, Hasse Johansson, Olle Wijk, Billy Fredriksson, Bernt Ericson and Johan Schubert.
One of the most important impacts of technical research comes from the invention of new technology that subsequently is made available to society through commercial companies. Innovation and commercialization are therefore key components in the interaction between research and the greater society. In the commercialization process, many companies become involved, as speaking partners, as early adopters, as reference customers and as partners.
Student interaction and mentoring
As a way to enable an effective transition of newly examined students, the department involves enterprises in undergraduate courses. With enterprises engaged in education, students learn the practical challenges of the field and see the relevance of their studies, which is highly motivating. Ways for companies to interact with students are case studies, guest lectures in courses, study visits, mentorship and introduction of students to professional associations.
Seminars and conferences
Seminars and larger conferences are organized where research results and industrial experiences are shared. These events gather the practitioner community to provide inspiring presentations, excellent networking opportunities, marketing possibilities, and an update on the latest trends in the field.
The director of the center is Associate Professor Mathias Ekstedt.