Annika Waern has left her position at DSV.

Annika Waern is one of the senior researchers at the Mobile Life Centre, and has been involved since the start in 2007. Now she will take over as director. The Centre has rapidly become one of the leading centres in mobility in Europe.

“Being a director is a little like being a project manager for a large EU project. Everyone participates with their own agenda, and they are not always controllable”, says Annika with a laugh.

The role as director involves having responsibility for the overall objectives. In 2011, the centre wrote an Operational Plan managed by the former centre director Oskar Juhlin. A very ambitious plan for the continued research at the centre, and Annika hopes that her role will involve little more than just to monitor the plan.

“So I started thinking about things we are good at and things we are less good at. We are good, but there is always room for improvement. We are academically very successful, but our impact is not clear. This will be our focus the next five years”, Annika explains.

Annika expects that this will be a joint project for the researchers at the centre in the coming year. All ideas will be put on the table and will result in a "map" of everything that can be done to increase the centre's impact. The ideas will then be discussed and prioritised in an Action Plan.
“I want us to create that feeling "I was there" - even 20 years after the centre ceased its activity. I would like us to set standards and be the role model for other research centres”, says Annika.

In many ways the centre is already something of a model for its different ways to conduct research. Visiting researchers are impressed by the creative environment and the flat organisation. Everybody sit together in an open office space and take part in the social activities.

“We have an academic dialogue on a daily basis - not only within a project”, emphasises Annika. “It is appreciated - and is something that is missed when leaving the centre.”

Annika underlines that this is not just a question about academic influence. She wants the centre to have an impact on the world outside - and there is a lot to be done. This is not about communication, but about focusing on what the research actually achieves.

“Is it spin-offs and new products we should focus on? Is that the best we can achieve? Or should we be more active in undergraduate and master level education and educate the next generation of researchers?” Annika ponders.

Annika also want to see a wider internationalisation of the centre, which she feels has been too focused on Europe and the western countries. Today there are 14-15 nationalities within the centre - something that should be exploited.

“And we'll do a joint study visit to a developing country. It will probably be India, where our partners have good contacts”, Annika says.

New partners
Mobile Life Centre has got three new partners this year - IKEA, ABB and Movinto Fun. Annika is very pleased with the broadening of the centre the three new partner companies will mean. IKEA is no longer just about furniture and interior design - their new venture Future Homes means also investing in consumer electronics.

“It is incredibly fun with IKEA - they fit us so great”, Annika explains. “And ABB is an interesting partner for us - just because they are not consumer-oriented company. We have worked with Movinto Fun before, and they bring experience from a company in the development phase.”

Other exciting new partners are coming. But which will be revealed later.

In Swedish



Annika Waern will be director for 2 years 50 % alongside her gaming research.

Read more about  Annika Waern’s research