02 Feb 2018

“Unexpected meetings produce unexpected results."

Meet Skellefteå Science City's new business developer, Josefin Lundberg, who will facilitate collaboration between companies in the project Intersective Innovation. 

 

What is your background and how did you end up part of Science City?
JL: I am an inquisitive person who likes change. I am also a graduate in business administration and have worked with IT and business systems.
After eight years of living in other places and in other countries, I chose to move back home to Skellefteå, where Science City is working on innovation and development for the region.
And I want to put my inquisitive nature to work here.

 

What IS Intersective Innovation?
Intersective Innovation aims to boost the innovation processes of our region’s small and medium-sized businesses by facilitating collaboration between companies that do not usually meet. The project I’m working with is being run over a three-year period by Skellefteå Science City, Piteå Science Park and RISE, supported by the EU Regional Fund via the Swedish Agency for Growth.

We want to offer SMEs the opportunity to gain practical work with open innovation, thus giving them a chance to reduce their development costs, reduce lead times and minimize risks, but above all enhance their innovation capabilities.

 

How does it actually work in process? Describe a potential example of open innovation.
Focusing on the needs of regional companies, we offer different methods for working practically with open innovation. For example, we can facilitate a CoCreation workshop where we will publicise in advance the issues we want to address. That means those who think they have a good solution, or generally want to contribute their skills, can attend the workshop together with researchers and students.

The hope is that the results of our open-ended activities -- which not only include CoCreation workshops, but also Hackathons and Innovation Races -- will lead to sharp ideas and prototypes, which are then forwarded to case or project format. At that stage, selected participants, identified on relevant competences, will continue with the idea, or ideas, for commercialization.

 

What do you hope to achieve with it?
With shorter product life-cycles, increased global competition and fast-changing demand patterns, the willingness to change in business needs to intensify. It is not possible to rely on the past or even the present if companies want to prosper in the future. We want to help create, by means of Intersective Innovation, a new mindset in the region’s companies. Dare to think new, dare to try and dare to cooperate!

 

Might Intersective Innovation help bring together traditional and high-tech Skellefteå companies?
When everyone is talking about AR, 3D printers and gamification while skills shortages are a fact, traditional businesses need to step up their business practices. Why choose to work for a company when 3D printing will soon eliminate that company’s main product? When you can work with new technology, visualization and the future?

I think that traditional companies must begin to work together and embrace the concepts that high-tech companies have already embraced, or they risk being overtaken before they even start to run.
We want companies to identify new issues and needs and see opportunities in other people's skills - we hope companies see this as a good opportunity and participate in the project.

 

What would be a good measure of success at the end of the program?
Unexpected meetings produce unexpected results. We want to create meeting opportunities and places where companies, that usually do not meet, have an opportunity to meet each other, together with entrepreneurs, students and researchers. Our goal is to help SMEs in the region become more innovative and grow. We will measure our success in the number of new products, services and collaborations.
It would be great if we can stimulate new start-up companies, too.

Read more about Intersective Innovation here

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