Industrial Collaboration

Sustainable Design SIG


improve our collaboration with industry in our research to enhance the implementation and dissemination of sustainability in product development through e.g. different Sustainable Design tools. We will also suggest how to bring industrial partners to our conferences organized by the Design Society with the aim for them to actively participate in our discussions, workshops and future work within the Sustainable Design area.



The objective with this working group is to understand better how the collaboration with industry can be improved to enhance the implementation capacity of  sustainability in product design and to disseminate research results within the Sustainable Design field to industry.

Several workshops with industrial partners have been conducted since ICED17 to understand better how research can provide industry with hands-on support during the research projects and PhD programmes, what they expect when collaborating with researchers how they want the results from research. In addition, a longitudinal study took place between a researcher at BTH (working group leader) and industry representative at GKN Aerospace to summarise the key factors for successful collaboration and implementation of research within the field. 



The identified key factors for implementing sustainability research from academia into practical product development in industry are:

•    Common understanding and openness. 
•    Customisation and adaptability of tools and methods. 
•    Receiver in industry and in-kind contribution. 
•    Long-term and continuous collaboration. 
•    Parallel projects regarding sustainability 

What industry expect when collaborating with researchers in general: 

•    Source of knowledge that you don’t have. In many times it is also an updated source. This is not biased. 
•    You have industry trend and you have research trend. 
•    We would like to see methodologies
•    Framework is an eye opener.
•    Discussing and learning workshops
•    Methodologies help things to be done in structure.
•    Being questioned by researchers. 
In workshops with industry we also touched on success factors for sustainable design tools, three themes emerged from their discussion on the desired characteristics of these tools, namely accessibility (e.g. easy to use), trustworthiness (e.g. validated) and external demand, (e.g. standards). 


Contact us to learn how to engage at the Design Society and be part of this working group!

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