This issue with three articles is a special edition on the occasion of the foundation IMIT celebrating 40 years. The first article is written by Professor Christer Karlsson, IMIT’s first director, who explains why the foundation was once formed, its purpose, business concept and working method. Then an article describing how research can be carried out in practice to create simultaneous benefits for academia and participating companies. Finally, a current example of the ongoing research school on ‘Management of Digitalization’.
In the first article, Christer Karlsson gives a personal and historical look how IMIT’s business concept was founded in an ambition to conduct research that simultaneously benefits academia and companies through concurrent knowledge development. An idea that is more up-to-date than ever when society is demanding research that creates benefits at all levels. The value is realized through simultaneous products such as research publications and improvements and innovation in companies’ products and production. In addition to this overall purpose, IMIT is also portrayed as an organizational innovation with its five founders where representatives from IFL, the Stockholm School of Economics and the professors of industrial organization and economics at Chalmers, KTH and Lund technical universities are appointed as founders and in the statutes transfer the governing authority to the colleges.
In the second article, IMIT’s current director, associate professor and Scania assistant professor, Martin Sköld gives an example how research with simultaneous benefit can be conducted in practice. Martin uses a parable where a patient seeks medical expert help in a hospital to recover. In the same way, an organization can seek help to function better, become more profitable and more efficient and to strengthen its competitiveness. By working in this way, which is based on mutual interest and a common goal, a number of benefits can be achieved, such as (1) access to information, data and considerations that people in senior positions do not normally share unless the incentives are strong enough. (2) Data may also refer to documents, plans for product launches, development projects and investment decisions for the future. Or (3) proximity and access to people for in-depth interviews. Also, values in the form of (4) funding as research requires funding to be implemented.
Article three is a current example that connects to both the first and second articles, in the form of the ongoing research school focused on ‘Management of Digitalization’. A focus area that was created after a meeting between Scania’s CEO Henrik Henriksson and IMIT’s director Martin Sköld. The talk was about the industry’s increased need for management, control and organization of digitalization. Several companies were contacted and Ericsson together with Scania decided that a research school had the best conditions for creating internal business experts in areas where the companies saw knowledge-based needs for the future. Now after one year, five doctoral students are enrolled in the program, which has been planned and designed in detail to ensure mutual maximum benefit for the participating companies and the academia.
The intention for the future is to increase the focus on the research school, which means that companies are welcome to join with more doctoral students who are enrolled at one of IMIT’s primary partners. Please contact Martin Sköld for more information.