Skip to main content

Two years of successful Innovation Pilots

Published Nov 08, 2013

During the summer of 2013 the second edition of the Innovations Pilots were completed. Just as the previous round, in the summer of 2012, involved companies and students were very happy with the process and the results. The Innovation Pilots is a result from PIEp: research and knowledge regarding innovation capability and change management packaged in a way to be applicable and useful to companies and organizations that want to increase their innovations capability. The project PIEp Innovations Pilots is funded by VINNOVA.

One or two students per company performed analysis and change works during a time period of eight weeks. First, an analysis of the company’s innovation process is done, and second, based on the analysis they initiate an action plan, and finally the students start up a change work in the organization. The work is arranged as a summer internship at each company but the students are already during the spring semester educated in the methods and tools  that are used during the Innovation Pilots.

The analysis of the companies’ innovation capabilities is a framework that is developed within PIEp based on what research defines as prerequisites for an innovative organization. The data used for the analysis is gathered through interviews, surveys and observations in the examined organization. The result of the analysis it fed back to the company and an action plan is created in a workshop facilitated by the students. Based on the action plan, specific for each analyzed organization and adjusted to the identified needs, a number of areas for deep dive are defined.

During the last part of the students work at the companies the students support the organizations to kick-start a change work within the defined focus areas. It could for example be; to improve the hand-over from pre-development work to development projects, create creative rooms, improve communication, define measurements for innovation or implement creative support methods. In the final, more change focused part, of the Innovation Pilots the students have been able to use a number of support methods developed within PIEp.

The Innovation Pilots have now been conducted during two years and in total 29 companies, 44 master students and 12 researchers have participated. Approximately 590 interviews have been performed, 1 240 survey answers analysed, and 64 workshops have been held with over 768 participants in total. The Innovations Pilots have also been praised outside the PIEp network. When the Innovation Pilots 2013 was finalized Sofia Ritzén was invited to blog at Näringsbloggen , hosted by the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.

The evaluations from the supervisors in the companies as well as the students emphasize that the Innovation Pilots is a strong model. The companies are happy to get young and curious people, that also is equipped with structure and content based on solid research and knowledge – and the students are very happy to be able to immerse into an organization in this way – in the same time as getting a possibility to make a difference.

What does the companies and the students say themselves about the Innovations Pilots? Have a look at the clip! [in Swedish]

The Innovation Pilots

PIEp (Product Innovations Engineering program) is a research and change program that works for increased innovation capability in organizations and individuals. PIEp is a collaboration between Luleå Technical University, Lund University, Umeå Institute of Design, Royal Institute of Technology and Jönköpings University.

More information about, and news from PIEp are found at