The aroma of coffee and freshly baked buns welcomes us as we open the door to Volvo Group's new innovation center CampX. Together with experts from Volvo and external partners, Italian coffee shop Bar Centro is on the premises.
“It is a very nice environment to be in. There is an incredible amount of expertise and innovation. You can feel it in the walls. And then there is good coffee, which is always appreciated”, laughs Linn Sidahl, business developer at Ekkono.
Ekkono started as a research project in Machine Learning at the University of Borås. From the beginning, the idea was to analyze golf swings with machine learning to find a better swing. A fun and exciting experiment - but with a somewhat limited market. Today, Ekkono has expanded its operations and makes connected products smart, conscious, self-taught and predictive.
“Nowadays we work with Machine Learning for IoT, the Internet of Things. Our product, a software library for Edge Machine Learning, is unique in that it is so small that it can collect and process data even from very small devices”, Linn says.
The collaboration between Ekkono and Volvo Group started through a joint project in battery management. The project proved to be successful and soon they were invited to join Volvo at CampX.
“It was an important milestone for us to receive the invitation to CampX. Besides being a confirmation that our previous partnership with Volvo has been successful, it gives us a valuable network of contacts. It may be very difficult as a smaller player to get in from outside, but here we are part of the ecosystem”, says Linn.
Reducing the barriers between major and minor players and instead opening up for collaborations between Volvo's experts and invited partners is exactly what CampX aims to do. The ambition is to co-create solutions to current and future challenges within the fields of automotion, electrification and connectivity.
“At CampX you really get the best of both worlds. A super combination of working at a relatively small startup company like Ekkono and at the same time collaborating with a large organization like Volvo. It's both high in pace and has an open atmosphere”, says Linn.
It is no coincidence that startups within Machine Learning and automotive are gathering in Gothenburg. The city has a strong brand within the automotive industry and there is talk of Gothenburg as an international hub for innovation in the area.
“As a small startup we have a lot to gain from Gothenburg's position in automotive. There is a strong startup scene in the region, not least thanks to all innovation centers. This, combined with Volvo's investment in Gothenburg and consolidating its operations in Lundby, further confirms this position. For us, it’s just about riding on that wave”, says Linn.