IndBygg – a good example of collaboration between research and industry

CTF is one of the participants in IndBygg that aims to promote a green transition within the construction industry to bring industrial wood construction to new heights. 

There is a need to develop the forest-based bioeconomy and use more wood as construction material. Based on this, Paper Province launched IndBygg, to increase knowledge and skills among public and private actors in Värmland and Dalarna. 

Andrey Abadzhiev, Ph.D Candidate at CTF

CTF has been part of the project since the start and contributed to the establishment of a platform for developing new knowledge and collaborations within the industry. CTF’s research is based on Stora Enso’s CLT factory in Grums and the aim is to create a better understanding on how companies can organise for a system change towards a more sustainable future and the role of the business model in such a transition. 

– The wood construction industry is moving towards a circular economy. Primary efforts are focused on green innovations, and more precisely engineered wood technologies for multi-story construction, says Andrey Abadzhiev, PhD student in Business Administration. 

He thinks that there have been a few major improvements over the past few decades in productivity, profitability and environmental impact of construction. 

– The industry’s hope is to decouple environmental impact from economic growth, says Andrey Abadzhiev. The current approach fits well with the narrative that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive, which may explain its increasing popularity. Yet, there is a risk that a narrow interpretation may prolong or even deepen the climate-related issues. With our research, we try to broaden the industry perspective on the circular economy and position it as a fundamental systemic innovation. The circular economy requires essential changes in multiple directions beyond technology such as current production and consumption patterns, business models and institutional setups. 

The collaboration between Paper Province and CTF has been very beneficial. 

Elin Appel, project manager of IndBygg

– Andrey has contributed with an academic perspective and has at the same time acquired a good introduction to the industrial wood construction industry, says Elin Appel, project manager of IndBygg. Results from the research have, among other things, been presented in Andrey’s’ licentiate thesis “Wood we change”, and at conferences, including IndBygg’s national conference “Tree2Tower”. 

Even though the collaboration within IndBygg will come to an end during 2023, Elin Appel is convinced that collaborations linked to industrial wood construction will continue beyond the project.

– The construction process accounts for at least 50 percent of a building’s total climate impact during its lifetime. A development of forest-based bioeconomy and building more with wood is necessary to achieve the sustainability goals. In IndBygg, various actors meet and collaborate to identify and address knowledge gaps and contribute to a green transition, says Elin Appel, project manager of IndBygg.

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Facts box: The Centre for Services Research (CTF) at Karlstad University is an interdisciplinary research centre that researches value creation through services based on the needs of individuals, organisations and society. CTF’s research is conducted in collaboration with academia and the surrounding society and is at the forefront of international research. Read more  or download the report here.

This article was written and published by Linda Fridberg, CTF at Karlstad University.