Hello there Helene Niklasson, Head of CampX5/14/19
On March 28, the Volvo Group's innovation arena CampX by Volvo Group opened in Lundby, Gothenburg. The old assembly plant is now the workplace for more than 400 employees from different parts of the organization in order to drive business transformation and to promote innovation capacity, both cross-functionally and with external partners.
Helene Niklasson you are the head of CampX, but who are you as a person?
“I’m an engineer at heart, but I also think group dynamics and how to get people to work together towards common goals is very interesting and powerful. In recent years, I have worked extensively with the development of ideas, internally and in our partnership ecosystem. I’m incredibly proud of the confidence I have received of being part of developing CampX together with all talented employees.”
The Volvo Group is involved in several different innovation platforms, such as Mobility Xlab and DRIVE. How does CampX fit into the picture?
“Slightly simplified, the initiatives are often platforms where the Volvo Group participates as one of several actors to connect with start-up companies in the early development phase. If and when a project is considered to have a potential, technology and business value for the Volvo Group, it is time to move in to CampX”, says Helene Niklasson.
What difference can CampX make for a start-up?
“For a start-up company, it is very attractive to be invited to CampX with its unique location near several of the Group's headquarters, and to be in an environment combining Volvo Group experts with access to lab and test facilities.
We receive applications from startup companies, entrepreneurs and not least employees, who want to present and test their ideas on a daily basis. CampX has a team that helps to quickly test, evaluate and develop ideas.”
There is much talk about partnership and openness - is it not a risk to open up too much when talking about innovations?
“The technology is developing very quickly and is becoming increasingly complex, which means that we don’t have the time or opportunity to develop everything on our own. However, we don’t open the doors to everything and everyone, we carefully choose our partners and there is a robust process to take care of the business and legal parts.”
Where do you see CampX in five years?
“In five years from now, there are several other CampX in strategically important places in the world. The concept is then well developed and contributes actively to the Volvo Group's position as a world leader in the transport industry.”
Follow Helene Niklasson on LinkedIn