Caption: Scalable equine therapy and adaptive riding enabled with AR/VR integrated mechanical saddle
This year, for the first time, Swedish Mining Innovation funded a summer program to give students from Swedish universities the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurship and increase the pace of innovation for the Swedish mining industry. Mines and Minerals Innovation Summer is a program that is part of the LTU Business Summer concept.
Four students were recruited and divided into two teams. Each team examined the business potential of an innovation case linked to the mining industry. The innovation cases are evaluated a methodology developed by LTU Business called Innovation Due Diligence®. The students were coached by experienced business developers Martin Gidlund and Emil Svanberg from LTU Business. The two innovation cases were from TNT-X, a Boden-based company working with VR/AR training systems, and Harshwork which is a project modelling wear of parts and material properties in heavy industry applications.
TNT-X which is a start-up company developing safety training techniques using VR combined with mechanical systems for mining and other industries. Gustav Wahlquist who studies Industrial Engineering and Management at Linköping University and Christoffer Flemström, studying Civil Engineering at LTU made a market differentiation analysis which assessed 170 market offerings in AR/VR and highlighting the potential market niche of TNT-X. This strengthened the business case as they start in the Arctic Business Incubator and apply for funding to develop the concept further. TNT-X co-founder Thomas Vikström – “It’s rewarding to collaborate with the students from the universities and regional community, especially in projects and programs with cross industry collaboration”.
Harshwork emerged from an idea from Luleå University of Technology and was further developed in an EIT Raw Materials project. HARSHWORK is a model/tool to simulate and predict wear on equipment, machines and materials in harsh environments in order to increase efficiency by reducing unplanned downtime. Anna Eriksson and Johan Vaara, both from LTU studying Industrial Engineering and Management, conducted 28 interviews from mining companies, equipment and component manufacturers to evaluate customer segments and potential partners. They found one large equipment manufacturer that is interested to cooperate as a strategic partner in further development. Prof. Pär Jonsén, idea owner – “The summer innovation program gave us more insight in the industrial interest of the Harshwork software and their needs to optimize material handling processes for improved productivity and minimized maintenance cost.”
LTU Business, the students and the idea owners did a fantastic job with positive outcomes for all.