Agreement with Toyota Material Handling
Toyota Material Handling Europe and Linköping University’s Department of Management and Engineering recently signed an agreement for a long-term strategic collaboration.
Initially the agreement will run for four years. First of all the parties will specify how the collaboration is to proceed. The long-term goal is to produce world-class scientific results, that focus on life-cycle analysis (LCA) and sustainability, with the ultimate aim of boosting the competitiveness of Toyota Material Handling as well as of Swedish industry in general.
According to the agreement, Toyota Material Handling will contribute to the funding of the project to the tune of one million Swedish crowns per year for four years. However the hope is that the initial collaboration will evolve into long-term research plans for projects stretching from three to twelve years.
Matthias Fischer, CEO of Toyota Material Handling Europe: “Our main objective is to develop an even better offer for our customers. The purchase price of a truck is a small portion of the entire investment. More important are the running and maintenance costs across the entire product life cycle. Also, our products must be completely recyclable by 2020. Linköping University has a good reputation, and with this collaboration we can generate new ideas and attract the most talented staff.”
“It’s vital that the university collaborates with the business sector. Working with a company like Toyota Material Handling, which is active both regionally and internationally, strengthens the university’s research and teaching. We’re delighted to have Toyota Material Handling as a partner of Linköping University,” says Per-Olof Brehmer, head of the Department of Management and Engineering.
In addition to developing guidelines for the collaboration, the first year will include concrete studies of Toyota Material Handling’s products and services, from a sustainability and LCA point of view. These studies will hopefully evolve into concrete actions that enhance the company’s competitiveness. The researcher in charge is Prof Tomohiko Sakao from the Division for Environmental Technology and Management.
“The collaboration with Environmental Technology and Management matches perfectly with our focus on innovation and development of our entire range. We have excellent experience of our previous collaborations, and we look forward to working with Linköping University and Environmental Technology and Management,” explains Kristian Björkman, CEO of BT Products, Toyota Material Handling’s production unit in Mjölby.
The Division for Environmental Technology and Management has many years’ experience of collaboration with Toyota Material Handling. This has included projects in design/ergonomics, production strategies, purchasing and supplier relationships, product and service offerings, etc. Every year a number of graduation projects are completed in a variety of fields, depending on the requirements of Toyota Material Handling. Previous collaborations have also resulted in doctoral theses and scientific publications.
From left: Peter Damberg, HR director at Toyota Material Handling Europe, Tomohiko Sakao, professor at Linköping University, Per-Olof Brehmer, head of the Department of Management and Engineering, Matthias Fischer, CEO at Toyota Material Handling Europe, Mattias Lindahl, associate professor at Linköping University and Hirooki Fujiwara, board chairman, TMHE.
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Last updated: 2014-04-09