Towards a More Innovative Manufacturing Industry

Ignite Smart Manufacturing brought together Swedish and international companies from the Netherlands and Japan to discuss potential collaboration within smart manufacturing. The first matchday of the year celebrated cohost THINGS’ sixth anniversary.

Persons on webcams

The day saw 10 corporates meet with 33 startups in 57 digital matchmaking meetings to explore how to transform the manufacturing industry with computer vision, manufacturing technologies, robotics, renewables and other innovative solutions. 

“By increasing innovation and employing new technologies and solutions in manufacturing, we can have a strong impact on efficiency, reduce energy and material consumption or scrap, create a safer work environment and smart usage of data to decrease errors or minimize pollution,” says THINGS CEO & Co-Founder, Linda Krondahl.

Stefan Lagerkvist, COO at AI startup Viking Analytics agrees, adding that it is essential for manufacturing companies to continuously improve their product to stay competitive in today’s market. 

“Data driven solutions and the technology behind it are now mature and ready for the complex processes in the manufacturing industry. Innovation in this field has huge potential when it comes to both predictive maintenance, automation and optimization.

According to Stefan the meetings Viking Analytics had at Smart Manufacturing were some of the best they have had during their two year engagement with Ignite. “It’s really nice to meet different companies at different stages in their digitalisation journey, and explain how we can support them efficiently. The format of these meetings is really good to quickly get to know the right people in the right companies and the team from Ignite and their partners behind the scenes are doing fantastic work!” says Stefan.

Another startup that saw value in the event was augmented reality startup HeroSight. CEO & Founder, Daniel Kindstrand says that Ignite’s meeting can really fast track his customer journey making Ignite one of the best innovation support resources for early stage companies available. 

“If we get a good match, it can save us between two to six months of work. Our previous meetings through Ignite have resulted in highly valuable outcomes so I am positive about these ones too. It’s too early to say what will happen yet, but I know we will have follow up meetings and our visions are aligned which is a great starting point,” says Daniel.

It’s not just startups who see value in the event, it also allows companies like Hitachi ABB Power Grids to achieve their innovation goals. Christoffer Jonsson, Project Manager within Business Development & Innovation says this was an exciting way to meet high quality startups and find potential partners.

“We aim to widen the types and increase the pace of innovation within our company. We firmly believe that one way to do this efficiently is to collaborate with external fast-paced enterprises, who can supply cutting edge solutions that are not core for us to develop ourselves. We believe that through this type of partnering and collaboration we can make our company smarter, stronger, and greener! Everybody wins,” says Christoffer.

Celebration a Chance to Reflect

THINGS is one of the founders of Ignite. At their six year anniversary, CEO Linda reflects on how the organization has developed over time and why Ignite still brings value to THINGS members.

“What used to be a team of 3-4 part time people at Ignite, is now a 10+ team with strong connections across all of Sweden – and abroad. We’ve really been able to push innovation in a hands-on way by connecting challenges with solutions, and ensuring things happen.

“Most of our 50+ startup/tech members have participated multiple times in these matchmaking events for one simple reason: it opens doors to new customers and helps to grow your business. So if you’re a Swedish B2B startup, it is really a no-brainer to join Ignite Sweden. The only risk you take is that you might end up with a few paying customers.” concludes Linda. 

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