Automation Region Research Academy (ARRAY) is an industrial postgraduate school that builds on Mälardalen University’s (MDH’s) experiences from three generations of KKS funded postgraduate schools (SAVE-IT, ITS-EASY, and ITS-ESS-H), while at the same time including several novel elements. In addition to novel research addressing important challenges related to automation, the key novelty from an MDH perspective is that ARRAY brings together top researchers from all three MDH Engineering research specializations (ES, FEC, and IPR). From the non-academic perspective, ARRAY brings together a broad spectrum of industrial players focusing on Automation, including several Swedish engineering companies, related public initiatives such as Automation Region and Robotdalen, the Research Institute RISE SICS Västerås, MITC and the Engineering research at MDH. By this, ARRAY provides a solid platform for multi-partner synergy and value creation of substantial benefit for the partners as well as for Sweden.
With basis in co-creation between MDH and the industrial partners* ABB AB, Alten AB, Bombardier Transportation AB, First Control Systems AB, Kanthal AB, Skanska AB, Volvo CE, ARRAY will educate 14 PhD students in areas of strategic importance. ARRAY will provide a comprehensive set of post-graduate courses, and promote cross-fertilization among students and the partners by networking activities. Supervision teams will be composed of both academic and industrial supervisors and mentors, which together with coordination of the five research tracks, are means to ensure co-creation and synergies. The five research tracks, Embedded systems design, Control and optimization, Safety and security, Test and verification, and Applications of automation, are carefully chosen to match industrial strategic priorities and challenges of the ARRAY industrial partners, as well as the existing excellence on the academic side.
Expected impact of ARRAY include, in addition to the expertise in strategic areas provided by the 14 doctoral candidates being educated: (i) increased competence and expertise in scientific areas of strategic relevance to the Swedish engineering industry, (ii) the establishment of Automation as a joint theme of excellence of the entire engineering research at MDH, and (iii) strengthening of the regional and national eco-system of Automation research, innovation, and development. In conclusion, ARRAY will be key in the long-term competitiveness of Swedish industry and academia.