Four teams from Scania´s inhouse accelerator program Innovation Factory have moved into the incubator space of the Swedish tech community SUP46. For six months they will develop their entrepreneurial skills while being relieved of their regular duties at Scania.
Scania’s Innovation Factory is a platform to channel ideas of the employees and help them gain hands-on experience from, for example, releasing a new product or service to the market.
Whilst innovation takes place in many parts of Scania, not the least the R&D unit of 4,500 people, Innovation Factory also brings an entrepreneurial perspective, complementing the company’s larger scale industrial initiatives.
From 60 to 4 projects
Close to 60 projects were initially submitted to the Innovation Factory. The four teams finally selected will drive the projects over the coming six months as part of their employment at Scania, with a seed investment of 500.000 SEK each from the company.
The four selected projects cover several of Scania´s future business areas, like matching service technicians with customers through gamification and AI, matching electric vehicles with the right charging infrastructure, better catering for seasonality in the construction business and supporting and guaranteeing the functionality of autonomous machines, and ultimately vehicles in their daily operations.
New and old experience
The latter project, named “Shepherd,” shows the depth in the four teams, both in terms of age and experience. Back at Scania in Södertälje, Viktor Lundkvist is a relatively new IT employee at Contracted Services & Warranty. One of his “Shepherd” colleagues is Scania´s Head of Innovation, Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, who also was released from his job for six months to work with a single, but promising idea.
“This shows that no one is indispensable in his everyday work,” Nils-Gunnar jokes.
With a similar twinkle in his eye Viktor adds:
“I think it´s great to mix a little bit of new energy with old knowledge… And we learn from each other, every day, in this inspiring entrepreneurial tech environment.”
Scania first major company
SUP46 was the first ever physical community to exist for innovators and startups in Sweden, and over the years both corporate companies and startups have learnt from each other. Scania is their first collaboration with a major industrial player.
“It will be very interesting to see how we can learn from each other,” Sebastian Fuchs, Co-Founder and CEO of SUP46 says.