Stefan Ericsson and Pernilla Wetter from Combitech attended the SPARK conference at JTH 2024.

Stefan Ericsson and Pernilla Wetter from Combitech attended the SPARK conference to take part in the School of Engineering's research and meet other companies.

Research that empowers industry showcased at the SPARK conference

Research that strengthens the Swedish manufacturing industry was presented at the SPARK conference at the School of Engineering (JTH) at Jönköping University (JU) on 18 April.

“Our collaboration with JTH is extremely important to us. This is where we find our future workforce and we take part in research projects at the school in our daily activities,” says Pernilla Wetter, Consultant Manager at Combitech.

The SPARK Award was awarded to the IDEAL research project at JTH.

The SPARK conference is a meeting place for business, academia and public actors where JTH presents research results on how the SPARK research and education environment strengthens the manufacturing industry. Among other things, the audience learned more about the three research projects that were nominated for the SPARK Award: IDEAL, Butterfly Effects and ProForAI.

“This is a very important day for us where we show the results of our research and how it benefits the industry. It shows that we work together with the industry to produce knowledge that contributes to knowledge-intensive product development,” says Kerstin Johansen, Associate Dean of Research at JTH and Program Manager for SPARK.

IDEAL won SPARK Award.

The research project IDEAL won the SPARK Award and here the project manager Fredrik Elgh (second from the left) can be seen together with representatives of some of the partner companies in the project. From the left: Per Orestig, Husqvarna Group, Fredrik Elgh, JTH, Kristin Björkman, Fagerhult Group, Joel Johansson, Thule Group and Carl-Johan Sigfridsson, OBOS.

Future challenges

Pernilla Wetter sees the SPARK conference as a good opportunity for Combitech to meet other companies in the region and to hear about research projects at JTH. She thought it was interesting to hear about future challenges for the manufacturing industry and the need to involve both people and technology in those challenges. Combitech’s office in Jönköping hosts a large group of students for internships and degree work. The students come in with fresh eyes and contribute new knowledge and new technology to the business.

“We joined SPARK early on. It is a collaborative model that has benefited us so far and will certainly do so in the future as well,” says Pernilla Wetter.

Peter Johansson, Director Residential Robotic Software at Husqvarna Group, says that they have more research collaborations than ever with JTH and that it gives them a huge drive to get access to JTH's cutting-edge expertise.

"Provide great social benefit"

JU's President Måns Svensson opened the SPARK conference.

“It’s great to be here and see the fantastic commitment that exists for SPARK, which is one of JU's many important research and educational environments. Our research, which takes place in collaboration with the manufacturing industry, is absolutely crucial for us to be able to play an important role as a university. Not only to support the industry, but also because our research is of great benefit to society”, President Måns Svensson said in his opening speech.

“Very proud” of the SPARK Award

Fredrik Elgh, Professor of Product Development at JTH and project manager for IDEAL, was very happy to be awarded the SPARK Award and he thinks that it shows the good cooperation in the project between academia and business.

“Both collaboration, project management, organization and results have worked well in IDEAL and we are very proud to receive this recognition through the SPARK Award,” says Fredrik Elgh.

IDEAL focuses on product and production development and a major success factor for the project, Fredrik Elgh believes, is that they work closely with the companies and have a good idea of ​​their challenges.

JU's President Måns Svensson.

JU's President Måns Svensson welcomed the approximately 90 participants to the SPARK conference.

SPARK Award 2024, justification

"This year's SPARK Award 2024 is awarded to a project which, through a common forward thinking and increased consensus, has resulted in several improvement works at the participating companies. Through organizational learning and focus on the initial phases of production development, mutual understanding has increased and new approaches and methods have been initiated. Thanks to the project, the companies have gained methods to evaluate complex products and developed their work within Design for Manufacturing.”

Facts, IDEAL

IDEAL's research team consists of Fredrik Elgh, Carin Rösio, Roland Stolt, Kristina Säfsten, Dag Raudberget, Gary Linnéusson, Martin Lennartsson, Rohith Areth Koroth, Paraskeva Wlazlak, Mirza Cenanovic, Daniel Hussmo and Simon Boldt.

The partner companies within IDEAL are: Fagerhult Group, Husqvarna Group, OBOS, Thule Group and YaPlm.

Read more about IDEAL here