The investment can be seen as part of a bold new commitment to applied research at LKAB.
“The commitment further strengthens research that is already online at the University and even more clearly signals our unique competence in this field,” comments University Rector Ingegerd Palmér.
LKAB is in a position-now and in the future-to offer its customers products that surpass those of its competitors. The company’s goal is guarantee that its products provide “customer utility.”
The company’s strategic commitments require major investments in research and development, and this strategy means that key funding for applied research must be stepped up substantially.
“LKAB sees Luleå University of Technology as an important research partner for applied science in a number of strategic fields. The University is a future research partner that possesses the know-how and expertise we are looking for,” says Lars-Eric Aaro, Research Director at LKAB.
LKAB’s mission is to develop and produce products of consistent excellence in cost-effective production systems that build in a strong mix of unique features.
This means that LKAB must have the basic knowledge needed for fundamental process connections and must utilize the latest information technology to control and regulate its processes. To attain this, it is crucial to provide major support for applied research with a cross-disciplinary approach.
“Our goal is, together with the Swedish mining industry, to see to it that Luleå University of Technology and the Hjalmar Lundbohm Research Center assume a unique position among European universities and take the lead in vital fields of industrial research.
“As one of the world’s leading companies in our field we must collaborate with the best partners. With this new center we are bolstering the best research in Sweden and making an international impact.”
Besides today’s SEK 100-million investment, LKAB sets aside some SEK 15 million every year for Luleå University of Technology.
Five to ten new graduates of the University are employed by LKAB each year, and today 15 of the top 30 company executives were recruited from Luleå University of Technology. What’s more, the partnership includes six industrial trainees, 15 doctoral students, and 25 master’s projects.