Research on how the business sector contributes in the corona crisis

A health care professional wearing protective equipment.

"The capability to produce medical equipment needs to develop rapidly,” says Joakim Netz, at the School of Engineering. Photo: Unsplash

Joakim Netz, assistant professor at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University, conducts research on how the business sector is adapting and making contributions for the corona crisis. Recently it was announced that the project will be funded by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

Joakim Netz has been researching innovation and renewal in the defence sector for six years with his colleague Mattias Axelson, a researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics. During that time, they have seen the business sector play an important role in connection to societal disruptions.

“During the refugee crisis 2015, companies solved critical needs such as logistics and housing so that many Swedish municipalities managed to take in the refugees. The corona crisis is all the greater and the need for medical equipment is critical, therefore the capability to produce medical equipment needs to develop rapidly,” says Joakim Netz.

But the current knowledge of how to manage the interaction between authorities and these companies who are adapting their manufacturing production is poor, according to Joakim Netz.

"Such studies should be carried out sooner rather than later."

The number of companies that have changed their production and started manufacturing medical equipment is growing. A local example is Trioplast in Smålandstenar, whose protective aprons used within healthcare have previously been sewn in Asia. Now Trioplast does the entire production in Sweden. In that way they avoid logistical problems from other countries.

Joakim Netz, assistant professor at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University.

Joakim Netz, assistant professor at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University.

"Good ideas and willingness to help come from the companies who dare to make restructuring decisions. And one must not forget all companies with personal who continue to manufacture and deliver medical equipment, despite recommendations on social distance. All in all, they make a fantastic contribution to society for the rest of us", says Joakim Netz.

He mentions that, early in the Corona crisis, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise reminded local authorities and the Swedish government that the companies' had the capacity to help out.

“This is precisely where our research can be of great benefit. We will develop a model of how different types of reorientations in the firms’ production and the relationship between companies and authorities can be understood. There are lessons to be learned about prerequisites and management,” he says.

Joakim Netz and Mattias Axelson's research project, ‘Fast Capability Development for Resilient Civil Defense: The Role of Business Firms’ Capacities During the Corona crisis ”, is part of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency'sexternal link, opens in new window portfolio of several quick-start shorter research projects on the corona crisis. The agency’s goal is to start six research projects in the spring of 2020 and three more in 2021. Joakim Netz and Mattias Axelson's research project is part of those being rolled out in spring.

Contacts

Joakim Netz, the School of Engineering

Phone: 036-10 16 01

Email: joakim.netz@ju.se

2020-05-18
2020-05-18