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IIE and Volvo AB hosted a collaborative workshop at Vetenskapsfestivalen

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Last Friday, the 17th of April, the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) took part in Vetenskapsfestivalen in Gothenburg, an international science festival with hundreds of activities and the only one of its kind in Sweden. Rick Middel, Associate Professor at IIE, held an interesting presentation about business model innovation and discussed in what ways the university and industry can collaborate. He exemplified this with a current Thesis Project in the Master’s programme Innovation and Industrial Management on "Wearable Technologies”, which was presented by Thomas Hordern and Guillaume Favreau from the Volvo Group.

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This is an interesting topic area, as it does not become directly obvious how these technologies are relevant for a heavy vehicle company like the Volvo Group. The discussion revolved around that it is not actually the technology itself that is driving the interest, but rather what we learn about the person using it, hence being able to create more value for customers. Our thesis students are therefore investigating in what ways wearable technologies can create new value for the Volvo Group.

In their presentation, Thomas and Guillaume took the example of school children in India. If they could wear devices that would track their whereabouts, parents could be regularly updated on whether their children have safely entered the bus or whether they have arrived in school. How is this connected to Volvo? Volvo is the one producing the school buses, and with this technology Volvo can learn more about those actually using the buses, ultimately being able to adapt their business model to what creates most value for the consumers.