About the series
Dr. Jan-Eric Sundgren
Executive Vice President, Public &Environmental Affairs
Volvo Group, Gothenburg, Sweden
ABSTRACT: Volvo Group (www.volvo.com) has obtained a leading position within the commercial transport industry sector combining a strong customer focus with having a very consistent focus on utilizing research and development to drive an effective product cycle management process. Based on both long term research and more near horizon product development several new concepts have been taken into commercial successful products, features and solutions over the years. Particular emphasis has been given to traffic safety and environmental care. The increased competitiveness in the market place by, e.g., emerging new players combined with increasingly stronger requirements put on the products, not at least concerning environmental performance, implies that business as usual in the research and development field is no longer an option. An increased efficiency is a must. This talk will give a brief description of Volvo Group and the challenges facing us. Utilizing this background a description on how Volvo met these challenges including how we strengthen our university partnerships will be given. Finally, a brief reflection on the differences between our research activities in Europe and Sweden will be given.
BIOGRAPHY: Sundgren holds a PhD in Materials Physics (1982) from Linköping University in Sweden and a Professorship in Thin Film Physics from the same University. Prior to joining the Volvo Group he was President of Chalmers University of Technology, between 1998 and 2006 and prior to this Secretary General of the Swedish Research Council for engineering science. During his time as a researcher he authored more than 300 scientific papers and ranked to be one of the most cited researchers in materials science (in an analysis covering papers from 1981-2008, see http://www.highlycited.com/). He is currently chairman of the board for the Swedish Technical Research Institute and a board member of the software company Hogia AB. He is chairing the Business Europe Working group for Research and Innovation strategies and chairing the associate group of the European Round Table of Industrialists. In his current position in addition to leading Volvo Group's public and environmental affairs activities and he is also responsible for the Volvo Group's research policy and long term university cooperation.