In the fall of 2016, Volvo Cars established a research and development center at Ideon, and since then its business has grown gradually. On January 1, 2020, Volvo will take over the Delta 3 house in order to continue its development, including a test garage.
“We work towards the heart, how to build cars and the core of the systems. Volvo needs to see how the skills in Lund help to pivot towards software and now we have received a confirmation for the value of what we do,” says Volvo’s site manager Henrik Svensson to 8to5.
With Volvo at Ideon, the cars of the future are being developed, which will be connected and self-driving. Technical skills that are closer to the knowledge of neighboring companies such as Ericsson, Sony and Axis are also needed, rather than traditional vehicle clusters like Gothenburg.
There is really only one thing that could have made the conditions even better, Henrik thinks: that a competitor to Volvo established themselves in Lund, to strengthen the region’s potential as a vehicle cluster. At Ideon, there are already actors like ARM, Bosch, Continental and Terranet, as well as the cluster Smarter Mobility.
“In Lund, you have access to attractive skills that several companies demand. The proximity and good cooperation with the university is a foundation for Ideon and an exciting development is coming as a result of the major investments made in Lund. Investments in infrastructure and in world-class materials research facilities like Max IV and ESS create unique opportunities for the future,” says Ulrika Hallengren, CEO of real estate company Wihlborgs, who owns the Delta building (among others).
Great news from Ideon Innovation startup ApParkingSpot! They have launched a collaboration with Telia, where real-estate owners will get access to an automated service that lets out parking spaces when they are not being used.
The tenants in the buildings will be offered Telia Sense, Telia’s solution for the connected car. When the tenant leaves the parking lot, Telia Sense keeps track of how long the car is gone and ApParkingspot will check how many vacancies there are at different times. With the help of this information, ApParkingspot can automatically lease some of the available parking spaces through its platform.
“Telia Sense is a perfect match for us. By automating the leasing of parking lots, we get an efficient use of resources while helping drivers looking for parking to find a spot much easier”, says Sasa Farkas, CEO, ApParkingspot.
Between May 29 and June 2, southern Sweden was buzzing with seminars, events, meetings and exhibitions about innovations. The week is organized by Region Skåne, and there were 140 activities taking place during the week. At Ideon, we hosted two whole day events, as well as a pitching contest within Health Tech. Here is a few highlights from the events.
The overall feeling that we felt during the days was hope. There are many great challenges going forward, but there are also many amazing entrepreneurs and innovators who want to make a difference, who want to contribute to a better world. And we want to be a part of that, together we can create a great future!
Per Persson, Director of the Department of Innovation & Economic Development at Lund Municipality started by saying that the municipality can’t do this on their own, collaboration is key in order to succeed with creating a truly smart city.
Eva Dalman, Project Manager for Lund Northeast/Brunnshög continued by saying that when creating this new part of Lund, they focus on finding innovative solutions.
“In order to achieve this, the developers need to collaborate with each other in order to get really innovative in order for us to give them the contracts”, Eva said.
Mats Larsson from IUC Syd started by describing the complex challenges that we are facing within the transportation system.
“This is a systemic challenge so we need system solutions for transportation, fuel and energy”, Mats finished.
There was also a long discussion afterwards where the audience talked about the benefits of different fuels, materials for batteries and the need for global strategies.
Nathalie Kinell from Clever talked about the need to support the resellers as the buyers of electric cars make many more trips to the car dealership before making a purchase.
She also talked about the many possibilities with IoT and big data, like being able to charge the car at home when there is the most energy in the system.
“The questions is, who should develop these solutions? The house developer, the energy supplier or the car manufacturer? There are many possibilities for collaboration”, Nathalie said.
Johan Bjurmar from Koenigsegg talked about the innovations needed to build the fastest car in the world.
This started as an idea 23 years ago, now it is reality. A focus on challenges and innovation is key
51 % of transports in cities are light enough and short enough to move by bike. With this statement, Staffan Solve from MOVEBYBiKE changed the focus from cars to bikes.
“One of the main advantages with using bikes for transporting goods is that they are not stationary in the city, they can move around everywhere and do not take up as much parking space as trucks and vans”, Staffan said.
Marianne Larsson from Innovation Skåne talked about how we can combine life science and connectivity, in order to can claim the area of Health tech in the Nordics. One of the ways to achieve this is by building a Nordic tech and test bed.
Eva Lidén from Bonesupport talked about the development of this company from research at Lund University to a now international health tech company. This is an area that will affect many people; 1/3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience at least one osteoporotic fracture in their life. One of the challenges is breaking in with a new product in a traditional market:
“It can be difficult to overcome tradition, what people are used to use. You need to have people who know how the market works, because every market is different”, Eva said.
Henrik Dahlin from IBM talked about Watson in healthcare. One of the main advantages in using Watson for diagnosis is that the computer can process huge amounts of data:
“A doctor needs to spend 29 hours each work day to absorb latest medical literature, compared to 3 seconds for Watson”, Henrik explained.
Our CEO Mia Rolf got a chip implanted in her hand by Biohax International at their NFC Implant Party. Hannes Sjöblad from BioNyfiken and Jowan Österlund from Biohax also talked about what you can do with a chip implanted in your hand. Mia wants to open doors without keys or tags with her chip, what would you like to do?
The Thursday started of with disruptive morning, with two speakers who are in the middle of disrupting their business area.
Before that, we got an introduction from Richard Dasher from Stanford University who gave his thoughts on what disruptive businesses will look like going forward.
Daniel Persson from Min Doktor talked about the journey that they are on and how digital solutions can support the doctors in their work.
Min Doktor was founded in 2013 by a doctor who saw the need for a new way of working and who saw that digitalization provided an opportunity to improve the situation for both patients and health professionals. Together with expertise in development and IT security, they have built up Min Doktor to become Sweden’s leading digital healthcare provider.
He had some advice as well for those who are thinking about starting a disruptive business:
Don’t be afraid, go for your dream!
Next, an old friend returned to Ideon, Jon Hauksson from Storytel, and he talked about their early days when the company was called “Bokilur”. One of the big game changers for Storytel was when Netflix and Spotify started to grow, then customers got used to subscribing to streaming services. From the start in 2005, Storytel have grown to an international company that have bought other publishing houses. And now they are even producing their own content; “Storytel Original stories”.
How technology saves the planet
Maria Sätherström-Lantz from WIN Water presented some interesting companies with great visions for the future.
Mats Eliasson from ReGen Villages talked about how they want to create a new version of a traditional village, an eco-community that is self-sufficient in terms of energy, waste and food production but highly connected in every way. There are plans for building in Lund as well, and we are looking forward to see those plans moving forward.
William Håkansson from Vultus descibed how they are using weather data, drones and machine learning to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides wihtin agriculture.
Today, 90 % of pesticides are wasted, William Håkansson
“This year, even we in Sweden will learn why we need to save water, we need a paradigm shift”, this was said by Sara Sterner from Orbital Systems. Based on founder Mehrdad Mahdjoubi’s work with the NASA Mars missions, Orbital Systems technology has a focus of reducing the waste of water.
Living and Working with Robots
With this session we wanted to have a conversation about what robotics, AI and Machine Learning is and how it will impact us going forward.
Klas Nilsson and Maj Stenmark from Cognibotics talked about what robots can and can not do and we learned that robots will take over some of our jobs in the future, but not always the ones we think.
“Simple jobs for a human, like cleaning, is not easy for a robot, because it requires adapting to new situations”, Maj Stenmark explained.
Per Sikö and Martin Gunnarsson from Jayway talked about how Artificial Intelligence is changing our world today, and gave a few predictions about the development in the future as well. Per also pointed out that it is easy to focus on the technology, when it is important to think about what the tech can do for the customer.
Mattias Fras from Nordea talked about the big changes that are happening within the financing sector.
“45 % of work in the global economy can be automated, but less than 5% of all jobs can be fully automated”, Mattias Fras said.
Mattias also offered some tips on finding success in this digital era:
Have guts, dare to try
Have an open mindset
Remove conventional waterfall development
Johan Wester hosted a panel discussion with representatives from Jayway, Cognibotics, Nordea and IUC Syd where the focus was on the opportunities, challenges and implications with robotics and AI. The panel didn’t always agree on what robots will be able to do in the future, and how creative jobs they can actually perform. But they all agreed on that the changes are here and that we as humans must change with it. Klas Nilsson summed it up quite well:
This discussion about loosing jobs to robots is wrong, changes like this have always occurred, Klas Nilsson
– In Sweden, there is approx. 1,2 people travelling in a car for short distances. Uniti is a smaller format car made for urban transportation. This was the opening by Albin Wilson from Team Uniti at Future Transportation Square. The car has a display with augmented information with road data and we’ve taken inspiration from planes when developing the steer-by-wire solution. In short, are looking at technology that already exists to see how we can make it work for us.
Genuine is the only way to go
– Team Uniti have always been very open about what we are doing and how we are working, and we want to show that to our audience. We want people to be a part of the development of Uniti, so we decided to create an equity crowdfunding, Albin says.
– We started with a very sleek presentation video, only to realise that it wasn’t us. So we scrapped that and made a new one with genuine content. And it was the right thing to do, as we had one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of 2016 in Scandinavia.
– We want to build trust through communication with our audience. Many of our fans today will be our future customers, Albin explains. Instead of working for years and then revealing the finished product, we have different groups to collaborate with us when we are making design decisions. Getting this input is invaluable and it also means that we are creating a product that people will want.
A virtual production line
– We are in a partnership with Siemens and we both want to learn from each other. We are planning our production line in virtual scenario, using Siemens software. This enables us to see possible problems before they are implemented and we can make changes before we build the production line. We will have a fully automated production line, Albin explains.
Here are some of the questions from the meeting
With smaller cars, there is always the safety issue, how do you work on that?
– We are working a lot with autonomous driving, trying to stop a collision before it happens. We are also using carbon fibre, which is equally strong as steel also through good design we can achieve a very safe vehicle.
Do you think that the infrastructure for electric cars will be in place as more and more electric cars are being sold?
– Infrastructure is being built throughout sweden and europe to meet these needs. However our car is also smaller than most, so the battery can be charged at home over night. We will have a range over 150 km, but we are also aiming for a second model with a 300 km range.
There is an automotive war right now and many old players are trying to reinvent themselves. How do you intend to stay open without being plundered?
– The generations before us tried to be open, but they didn’t have the tools to do it. The tools are almost in place now and we are trying to use them to our advantage. You give trust and you build trust. And if someone steals what we do, that means that we have developed something great.
How do you plan on making Uniti a car that fits in a sharing economy?
– By using technology and connectivity. Sharing economy is a reality now, so we are able to fit that into our solution from the start.
How is it possible to create a production line without a prototype?
– We are developing a prototype now and it will be ready in September. And we can start developing some of the machines that the suppliers will need. We already know most aspects of what parts we need, even if the exact measuring hasn’t been decided yet.
Quick facts about Team Uniti
The team consist of 60 people and the company has grown to this size in just two years.
The car will weigh 400 kg without battery and have a top speed of 90 km/h – 120 km/h depending on model.
”When you are driving an electric car, you don’t necessarily drive to the gas station anymore, it has moved to your home.” So, it is a major shift in behaviour and experience we are seeing now.” This was one of the opening statements from Nathalie Kinell from CLEVER Sverige AB, who was presenting at the second edition of Future Transportation Square.
CLEVERs goal is to make it easy – easy to choose an electric car, easy to choose a charging solution and easy to recharge the vehicle.
“We like to think that we combine the traditional energy supply industry with the car industry – providing both parties an opportunity to increase the value offerings to their customers. The concept of mobility is central for the evolution in both businesses. The consumers might not want to own their car, but subscribe to mobility in an integrated transportation system with different components like car sharing services, autonomous vehicles, electric bicycles and connections to public transportation. And as a result companies might stop looking at total cost of ownership and start looking at total cost of mobility. What are the total needs for you and your employees to transport themselves, both at home and for the business?”
“We envision a future multimodal transportation system where different means of transportation are combined in order to create a sustainable and seamless solution to the consumer’s mobility needs. Providing seamless solutions will challenge the traditional value chains and require a great amount of data integration and transparency between the different industry players. We don’t have all the solutions ourselves, so we need to work together in order to make this work” Nathalie explains.
After the introduction, it was time for questions from the audience.
So, what do you think should be on offer when I am charging my car for 20 minutes?
When it comes to the car it is possible to offer to upgrades of the software or change the tires. But I can envision services that helps me in my everyday life as well, like postal services or shoe repairs.
Wouldn’t it be better to place the chargers next to shopping centres or grocery stores instead of gas stations?
Sure, and I think we will see more of that. But the traditional gas stations has a great potential to offer a range of value-adding services, maybe even become a transportation hub with car pool services, rental cars or why not meeting facilities for people on the road.
With more charging taking place at home or at the grocery store, how do you secure the energy supply?
For sure it will require investments, even from the real estate owners. An investment in this infrastructure will on the other hand give you a competitive advantage today and prepare you to accommodate the further demands from visitors and tenants.
Charging your car takes a while, should the gas stations be extended to be able to accommodate more cars at one time?
I don’t think that is necessary. The charging time keeps getting reduced and the battery capacity is increasing, up to 500 km per charge, so you will not need to charge your car very often. But it is difficult to predict how the increased range of the cars will affect the need for public charging.
How do you package your offer, is it car + charging station?
As a result of our partnerships with some of the leading EV car brands we have the opportunity to offer our services early in the purchase process. We can train the staff at the car dealership and provide them with the answers to the customer’s questions regarding charging of the car. This goes back to our mantra of simplicity, to remove the obstacles for the customer.
Henrik Svensson from Volvo Cars was the first presenter at Future Transportation Square here at Ideon Science Park. Volvo Cars are going through a major transformation in how they are developing products, and a lot of that concerns software. That is one of the reasons why Volvo Cars chose to open an office in Lund, there is a lot of competence within software and connectivity here.
“There is a major transformation in the auto industry right now and the four big trends that are shaping our future are connectivity, autonomous driving, electrification and sharing” says Henrik.
The customer experience is everything
One of the challenges today is that the software and services sets the tone for the customer experience.
“We need to rethink the way we are working with our suppliers going forward. Gone are the days when an order is placed with lots of specifications and then delivered and installed. There needs to be a close collaboration in order for us to develop great software with quick updates, they are key in giving the customer a great experience”.
Henrik talked about an early venture of adding software solutions to their cars, but having minor success, until it was possible to connect them with smartphones, like starting the heater with an app on cold days. “The service was there, but there were no tools to utilize them in the right way”. Now the tools are there and there are many possible applications, like route prediction and crowdsourcing of maps to alert other drivers of accidents, roadworks and so on. But in order for these services to really take off, a standard API for cars is needed.
There were several questions in the meeting, here are a few
In order to develop new software with open source, is there a need for standards in order to make it work?
“Open source is a collective standardization project, but there is definitely a need for standards. It would make it possible for all suppliers to build great, connected solutions for our customers.”
What is the biggest bottleneck when it comes to connectivity?
”The problem is standardization, as there is no one standard today that the authorities or the industry has agreed on. We would prefer the car-to-car communication to be cloud based in order for us to build smart solutions. In the US there is a proposal on legislating the car-to-car sharing and wifi standard. If introduced, that would have a major impact on the industry.”
What opportunities are you looking for in Lund and Skåne?
”Solutions for driver identification and sensors, both within and outside the car. We need solutions to identify the different drivers so that it is possible to predict and plot a route adapted for that person. The goal is for the car to learn the patterns of the different drivers, so that they don’t have to change the settings every time. Machine learning is important for the experience.”
Join us at the next Future Transportation Square
The last Tuesday of the month we gather at Business Lounge in Beta House, Scheelevägen at 08:30. See all details here.