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The School of Engineering is involved in running the industrial doctoral school Smart industry Sweden, where synergies and networks between companies, universities, and regions in the field of smart industry are being created. To keep up with the intensive digitalization that the industry is facing, new knowledge, inspiration and innovation are needed. This is done through the development of the companies' core competencies.

Smart Industry Sweden wants to create a cohesive group of industrial doctoral students who will be the key figures in future industrial / academic collaborations in Sweden. Doctoral students are linked to businesses that need and have an interest in developing their research work. In this way, the research focuses on exactly the issues and problems that businesses in general experience, and, at the same time, the graduate school will create possibilities for exchange of experiences between participating companies and higher education institutions.

Smart Industry Sweden is a collaboration between the University of Skövde, University West, Halmstad University, Jönköping University and Mid-Sweden University. It is supported by the Knowledge Foundation, which is the universities' research financier that is aiming to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness.

Smart Industry Sweden's vision and goals

- Joint ventures within smart industry in Sweden

- A doctoral school with a very close connection between industry and academia

- Create new networks between participating companies, universities, and regions

- Establish new collaborations

- Develop and establish production researchers for strengthened future industrial competitiveness

The focus of the industrial doctoral school

Industrial digitalization in Sweden needs to accelerate in order to cope with the digital transformation in product and production development, To keep up with the new digital requirements, businesses must develop cutting-edge competences. Within the doctoral school Smart Industry Sweden, the ambition is to educate the future key players in four areas:

- Smart industry - enabling technology
The transformation towards a more digitalized and sustainable industry requires increased knowledge of different technologies and how they can be used for this change. Examples of technologies that in a future industrial use can be seen as enablers and therefore are of great interest to build knowledge and skills around are: Augmented and Virtual Reality, robotics / collaborative robots, intelligent automation including smart sensors / control, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

- Smart industry - strategies for digital conversion
It is necessary to develop strategies for managing the digital transformation. Based on the goal the company has, a plan to reach it is required, both in terms of technology choice and change management. In order to cope with an ever-faster pace of technological development and digitalization towards tomorrow's industry, strategies and methods for the development of leadership, organizations, training and cultural changes must be in place. A change will always involve people and therefore competence and knowledge must be built around how strategies and methods are developed to meet these challenges.

- Smart products and services, materials, and manufacturing processes
The products and services of tomorrow require a new way of using smart and durable materials, such as materials with built-in intelligence and sensors. If companies want to maintain or increase their market shares, an increased focus on digitalization is required. To meet customer's needs regarding price, sustainability, quality and function, new optimized and sustainable manufacturing processes are also required. In process development and process control, understanding of material capabilities, often in combination with process simulation, is central.

- Smart factories, working methods and production systems
As demands for more complex and customized products are increasing, the need to launch new products and services at a faster pace is also growing. To meet that challenge, flexible, agile, and changeable production systems are required. A higher degree of intelligent automation, simulation, emulation, digital twinning and optimization of production systems is required. An important part is to understand how advanced information technology and artificial intelligence (AI) can be combined with advanced manufacturing technology to achieve smart production facilities.

What does a industrial doctoral school mean?

The school is aimed at professionals in industrial development and lasts for five years. The program is studied at 80 per cent of full-time and leads to a PhD (doctoral degree) in the chosen field. An industrial doctoral student can be one who both acquires deep knowledge and has the ability to contribute or lead a change process within the company. They also create networks between universities and companies, as well as between companies themselves, providing opportunities to get involved ar the very frontiers of research, as well as create contacts for new collaborations. Further to this, the industrial doctoral school also means that:

- doctoral students, primarily employed at companies, are trained (industrial doctoral students).

- the education includes company-specific projects and courses.

- the projects are formed based on the companies' needs, the course package is designed to support the projects.

- The Knowledge Foundation, the participating universities and businesses jointly fund the industrial doctoral school.

- the doctoral student has supervisors from both the company and the university.