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Travel grants contributed to insightful and fun thesis projects

Three master’s students, Louise Granström and Iris Minö at the Innovation and Industrial Management programme and Jenni Junttila at the Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship programme were in January 2019 awarded a travel grant from Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture, to write their Master’s theses abroad. The students have now returned to Sweden and are very happy with the time spent in other countries.

Louise Granström och Iris Minö Louise and Iris used their scholarship to travel to four different cities, Stockholm, Sweden, Copenhagen, Denmark, London, England and Paris, France to conduct interviews to find out how social media is used as a tool to facilitate customer involvement in the product development process in luxury goods companies.

- The luxury goods industry is complex and one need to understand all the dimension of being a luxury brand. We did not only meet companies but also experts within the field, who could explain more in detail how the industry is constructed and what kind of challenges and opportunities that these luxury goods brands are currently facing. It enabled us to perform a more holistic approach to the study, says Iris and Louise.

Jenni JunttilaJenni spent three weeks in Sydney, Australia, researching the startup eco-system and its relations specifically to the higher education system. Australia has one of the most promising scenes, with its private, public and academic actors; the startups are blooming. Thanks to the scholarship from the Sten A. Olsson Foundation, she was able to carry out her thesis research locally in Sydney and conduct all interviews in person.

The Dr. Chau Chak Wing Buildning at UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia.

- To conduct face-to-face interviews is a great advantage and the level of support and openness I received was beyond my expectations! In addition, the experience broaden my understanding on the Australian characteristics, culture and startup world, says Jenni and continues;

- The best part of going to Sydney was to experience the student lifestyle there, hearing first-hand stories about the Australian startup scene, as well as representing my university and the Swedish startup mentality in general.

Iris and Louise both agree that the best part of going abroad was to get the opportunity to talk to the respondents in person.

- It was very interesting to hear and understand where the industry is standing right now in relation to our research question since it is a relatively new topic. In addition, it is always valuable to connect with different people around the world and understand their viewpoint of things, says Louise and continues; - Since both Paris and London are known for being luxury fashion cities our goal was to go there and I am forever grateful for this opportunity.

The Malene Birger Head Quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark. - The industry is rather complex and many brands are old with its own unique histories it was very interesting to actually visit the HQ’s, the Maisons and stores of the different brands.

It gives you a great feeling of what it entails to be a luxury goods brand, which is of great essence to hold if one wants to investigate how to be innovative and to adapt to the prevailing challenges, adds Iris.

She continues; 

- I have a great passion for this industry and that we have been able to work closely with local industry has made the master thesis project very insightful and fun!


1. Louise and Iris on lunch break in Paris, France after a morning with interviews.
2. Jenni at UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia.
3. The Dr. Chau Chak Wing Buildning at UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia.
4. The Malene Birger Head Quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark.          

The Sten A Olsson Foundation

The Sten A Olsson Foundation yearly assigns two millions SEK towards scholarships to Master’s students during their thesis writing. During 2018 the Sten A Olsson foundation gave out 43 scholarships of 25 000 SEK each. The scholarship allows students to visit international universities and to create their own international network whilst working on a research based master thesis. The recipients of the scholarship should operate within the foundations prioritized research areas, Culture and Health as well as Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Find out more about the Stena A Olsson Foundation here.