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Reflections on being part of TECoSA

I met Martin Törngren for the first time four years ago. One of my colleagues had asked us to meet and discuss the possibility for Atlas Copco to join the application for the TECoSA center. Martin impressed me, and we later agreed to join the application. With no previous experience of edge computing, I was asked to write about the collaborative and inclusive culture within the centre.

One and a half years later, and just a few days before the inauguration of TECoSA, all plans to meet at Campus were stopped. How do we start a centre with several partners and research groups working from home (and in different time zones because the recruited Ph.D. students couldn’t come to Sweden)? Me, Martin and Catrin, with support from the faculty and the board, had some discussion concluding in giving a condensed version of the Atlas Copco Research School as a course – the TECoSA Research Forum was born.

I think the Research Forum contributed towards decreasing the initial problems faced in starting to collaborate and communicate across the centre. For me, it was a great opportunity to elaborate with the delivery of training and workshops online, and I am so happy that I have met all the students, faculty and partners during this time. Thank you for all the great discussions and reflections, it was a true pleasure for me, and I know that many of our guest lecturers agree.

I believe that collaboration based on a competence centre is one of the most effectful way to develop industrial-academic relationships. They are purpose-driven with a high-level objective rather than the several pre-defined deliverables necessary in EU-projects (and too common also in quite small national projects). One good example is this year’s re-organization of the projects in TECoSA, which would be hard in any other funding setup, but necessary for TECoSA. A competence centre also has great opportunities to leverage in applying for associated projects or teaming up with larger consortia.  

It will be interesting to follow the development in TECoSA from the sidelines during the coming years, and I hope that our paths cross again. I will bring the experiences learned in TECoSA into the new centres that I am involved with in my new role, and I am planning to invite Martin T to hold a keynote talk entitled “Humble collaboration”, which I believe he is the role model for.

All the very best,
(1) Martin Karlsson | LinkedIn