Multimillion investment in data‑driven development research

Fri 29 Sep 2023 12:50

Mid Sweden University is leading a project involving around 20 organizations in Jämtland and Västernorrland counties. The aim of the project is to support business development in IoT and AI with a focus on data-driven development. The project has been granted over SEK 30 million in support from EU.

Bildkollage med en bild av byggnader och en fasadskylt med texten Mittuniversitetet samt en porträttbild på en leende man.
Prof. Mattias O'Nils at Mid Sweden University is the project owner for DIGIT - Sustainable Digital Transformation.

It is the European Regional Development Fund that has granted the project over SEK 30 million in support.

- The pace of data-driven development is extremely fast, and utilizing new technology provides opportunities to develop new businesses, attract new industrial initiatives, and strengthen the region's competitiveness, says Mattias O'Nils, project owner for DIGIT – Sustainable Digital Transformation. 

Västernorrland and Jämtland counties have a relatively low proportion of data-driven companies and there is a great need for increased knowledge of data-driven methods to drive innovation processes and attract establishments to the region. One of the initiatives in the project is to place four industrial PhD-students in companies in both regions. These will work on specific challenges and innovations where knowledge will then be disseminated to the region’s companies.

For Hallströms Verkstäder, based in Nälden and Ås, this is the first time that they are hiring an industrial PhD-student to the company.

- We see great potential in integrating the machines into our production to achieve more efficient production with higher quality, where we see that an industrial PhD-student will be able to create knowledge and expertise in the company to achieve this, says Kristofer Hallström at Hallströms Verkstäder.

In a survey conducted by Mid Sweden University among companies in the counties of Jämtland and Västernorrland, 83 percent say they need more expertise in AI. A large proportion of companies also believe that increased expertise in AI is crucial for their industry within the next five years. Starbit in Härnösand is another of the companies that are ready to work together with an industrial PhD-student.

- With an industrial PhD-student in the office, we can build in-house expertise to integrate AI into our IoT solutions, which will give us an opportunity to develop completely new and innovative products, says Anders Nilsson, CEO of Starbit.

The DIGIT project, which has a budget of SEK 76 million, starts in September 2023 and runs for three years. The goal is to reach 140 companies in the region, of which at least 50 of them will start developing data-driven services during the project period. Another goal is that at least 12 AI researchers or developers will be employed at companies in the region over the next three years.

- We want to help companies in central Norrland to use the opportunities that AI, IoT and data-driven development bring to strengthen competitiveness and develop sustainable products, services and sustainable production, says Lars Persson Skandevall, CEO Bron Innovation.

Project partners in DIGIT – Sustainable Digital Transformation are Mid Sweden University, Bron Innovation, Samling Näringsliv, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Hallströms Verkstäder, Starbit, Media Research. In addition to this, there is also collaboration with a further 20 organizations.

Contact person:

Mattias O'Nils, project owner DIGIT – Sustainable Digital Transformation
Phone: +46 (0)10-1428780


The page was updated 9/29/2023