Information Systems for Industrial Control and Supervision


4.3 Competence Centre in Information Systems for Industrial Control and Supervision, ISIS, Linköping University


The Centre has brought together an impressive selection of companies, academic research groups and students on the critical area of information systerns for industrial control and supervision. The Centre has an outstanding Director and has implemented a set of creative processes that facilitate and encourage industry-university collaboration. Industry and academic researchers share vision and determination to work together to establh an outstanding Competence Centre,

1. Competence Profile

The Centre has a well defined vision of how to become an international centre of excellence in the design and implementation of information systerns for supervision and control in industrial environments. The Centre has expertise with world-wide collaborations and leadership position in several of the key disciplines. Diagnosis and Detection will be one of the particular competences of the centre and plans are to add a professor in this area.

The Centre has formulated strategic goals shared by industry and acaden-da. It should also develop a more detailed strategic plan for the overall programme. The Centre should increase its awareness of other research groups that are addressing similar problems world-wide. Evaluation and guidance to achieve this goal will be provided by the planned International Scientific Board.

2. Concentrated Research Environment

The cross-disciplinary collaboration has changed faculty perspectives in key areas. We were impressed by the strong evidence of "value added" by the Centre. The carefully selected and well interrelated projects provide excellent opportunities for world-class research. This serves to attract faculty members to the Centre programme.

Strong participation and collaboration among companies in all projects was evident. The Centre should increase this collaboration at the strategic planning level as well. The students stated that they highly appreciate the contacts with industry which gives their work perspective and helps them in their career planning.

3. Industrial Involvement and Interaction

Six large companies provide funds and researchers for the projects. The Centre engages only one small company but plans to increase this number. The companies were enthusiastic about their participation and demonstrated good understanding of the roles of University and industry researchers. The Centre is very forward looking, the topics critical and non conventional. It was not clear to the review panel

whether the Board members are aware of the coherence and depth of the programme at the same level as the Centre Director. A strategic plan will help to increase the visibility of the Centre as widely as possible within the companies.

Students have worked at industry sites and industry personnel has been working at the Centre. The plans to develop more systematic education means for industry and students are commendable.

The Centre is to be commended for implementing several creative and functional mechanisms of interaction among all participants: one Technical Contact Group for each industry partner, seminars, half-day workshops etc. Collaboration and flow of information between different companies is evident.

Industry/university collaboration in projects mostly involves a single company. The Centre leadership should endeavour to develop projects that involve several companies.

4. Leadership and Management

The Centre has an effective Board and an outstanding Director with excellent scientific merits, vision and a pragmatic approach to management. The Reference Group has helped substantially in management of the Centre. We liked the establhment of a team of academic staff to facilitate monitoring of project execution and input to management.

The current financial support is unstructured but considerable. The addition of new companies was not felt to be very important but will be considered. The Centre leadership has specific plans for linking the Centre activities with the new SSF-funded graduate school ECSEL.

Linkoping University is very supportive of the Centre. The Rector and Dean are ready to help with resources needed for the success of the Centre. There are two faculty appointments in ECSEL in areas directly relevant to ISIS. There is new space forthcoming that ISIS could utilize-

5. Recommendations

The Centre should

  • undertake development of a five year, rolling horizon, strategic plan to guide its project selection and resource allocation.
  • develop systematic procedures to seek methodologies applicable across many projects and problem areas. This methodology should be used in academic and short courses and seminars, and to educate industry and students.
  • undertake a certain percentage of riskier projects specifically aimed at demonstrating to industry the commonality of methods across completely different control and supervision industrial problems.



Appendix I


  1. Information Systems for Industrial Control and Supervision, ISIS

Linköping University / Linköping Institute of Technology
Centre Director: Lennart Ljung
Chairman of the Board: Ulf Rehme, Saab Military Aircraft

Contributions (MSEK) Stage 1: November 1995 October 1997
NUTEK: 6.0
Linköping University: 7.4

7 Industrial Partners: 12.35

ABB Industrial Systerns 1.4; ABB Robotics 1.05; Ericsson

Development 3.0; Mecel 1.6; Saab Automobile 1.6; Saab Dynamics 1.7;

Saab Military Aircraft 2.0


ISIS is a coalition between seven companies and five research groups at Linköping School of Engineering. The common interests concern methodologies and technologies to build systerns for control and supervision of industrial processes, including vehicles. Detection and diagnosis forms one scientific and industrial focus of the centre. Databases, model based signal processing, code correctness and real time aspects are other activity areas.

The long term goals are that ISIS shall:

* be the Swedh centre of competence for the construction of systerns for control and supervision, by providing the different capabilities necessary for this, integrated "under one roof"

* run projects with big impact on industrial product and system

development, at the same time as they are of indisputable scientific quality

* provide both technology transfer to industry and application transfer to

University. It shall help industry to find competence of mutual interest

* educate people with a broad understanding of the whole ISIS

competence area, at the same time as they have a scientific basis in one of the ISIS disciplines.

The goal of ISIS is to run scientifically successful projects of central industrial interest thus creating a research environment with competence and people that cover different academic disciplines. Cross-disciplinary company contacts are also maintained outside the projects by companyspecific Technical Contact Groups, a joint seminar series, and regular spedalized half-day workshops.