Arcticus Discussion on ‘Full Circle Collaboration’

Wed, May 03, 2023 11:19AM • 1:53:55


Alex McNab-Lundbäck, John Lundback

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  29:52

John, we’ve spoken a little bit and last time we spoke a little bit about how articles collaborates with academia. And why that’s important. But how does that if you can just give us a little bit of overview about how that relationship works maybe in a little bit more detail, and then how that relationship works in regards to clients, because you’re not there solely to meet the needs of academia. And likewise, academia isn’t there just to meet the needs of articles? So how does that full circle work between articles clients and academia?

John Lundback  30:26

Well, basically, what we do is standards Midland Midland, between the academia, the customers or the industry, if we will. And we what we do is, I think that is the basic foundation on this kind of collaboration is that we, if we are the middleman, we can benefit from the academia and the research and we take the research result and convert it into something that is actually practical and useful for the customer, rather than the customers requesting the research work from the Acade academia, and then they have to translate it into into something useful as a tool or whatever it might be. It makes it, in my opinion, much more efficient. In the sense in terms of that the customers or the industry do not need to put in a lot of effort into these research areas, it’s more that they can actually start making stuff out of the material, whether it be a tool, for example, rather than wait a couple of years, okay, and let’s see what happens. And so that that’s generally how things work is that a company hires a PhD in the industrial PhD student, and that student in general, it takes about five years, and after five years to write a PhD defense, and that will be the end of that research, how much will come out of it. So that’s kind of sign out, or it’s it, it’s a time consuming process with research takes a lot of time, more time than you actually would imagine. will think so that’s a little bit background, all the other stuff, but it’s also beneficial for us as a kind of tool vendor in the sense of this is that it would turn the research matter into something actually practical. That’s the that’s the the most important bit I, in my opinion. Because it’s very easy to create a clever tool, model language, wherever it might be. But is it practical? And I think that is a very profound question to ask, actually, from a research point, point perspective, that’s not really your field of interest, you’re interested in digging into a problem and trying to see is there a solution for it, which is fine. But then you, if you come up with a solution of your problem, then you have the the bigger question in, which I think is the most prominent one, to make the industry to actually pick up your work. And that is to make it practical. And that means that you have to think about things like okay, how can I make if I create the user interface, for example? How can I make it as fluid as possible, so I actually, to not require the user from the industrial point of stance, to waste a lot of time in learning the tool and making work done. And I think that is a very, very important bit in this collaboration scheme is that we stand as minimum and we can actually ask question, well, how can we make this practical and useful? And I’m almost always there is a I wouldn’t say a riff but it is there is a different view point of view from the academia, it’s more about finding a solution from the industrial point of perspective is, well what’s in for me can I actually say time, ie money by using this tool or method? And I think we stand between these two kind of conflicting in a way points of view Do and bridge that gap. And I think my opinion on it is we have been doing this quite efficiently over the years, especially since we kind of have our two feet, feet in two different ponds. So we kind of pick up, we can put it together, that that would be the basic foundation on the collaboration. And this is something. And the third one is, collaboration needs to be built on trust. And that is also very important, in my opinion. If you do not have the trust, you cannot speak openly, you cannot have a very good collaboration in the sense that you can actually be very open and frank about certain things, if it’s not good, then you turn it’s not good, and we deal with it, and we can find a solution to make it better. And if you don’t have a trust, then it’s so much, much more difficult to to come up with good solutions. that benefits the customer in particular. And but also, if we’re talking about the research, it’s also about being very honest, and having this kind of tight. Loop on exploring, rejecting finding new ways can we go this way? Now, that is not good. Can we go another direction, maybe find our way through the forest or attempted to say that software developer is basically walking through a forest with a very small and flustered torch? Trying to find your way through that point for us. That’s its exploration.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  37:12

Yeah, that’s a really good analogy. And but how so I mean, obviously, the industry or the or the client, in this instance, sees, and, and understands the value in the in the collaborations that you have with academia and academia, presumably also like, like the fact that the work that they’ve done, the research that they’ve done, then has real world applications that they can kind of see in terms of industry. But where does it? Where does it start? Because you’ve talked about that differing viewpoint that academia wants to just sort of research and try and find answers, and the client just wants to save money at the end of the day? Or, or find the quickest solution? If even if it’s not saving money, maybe it’s speed, that they’re saving, time that they’re saving. So where does it start? Is it the is it the client turning around and saying, I need something to be as fast but yet cost efficient as possible? Go out there and find an academic partner that will that will help research how we go about that? Or is it the other way around? Or is it you truly the middleman of client has a problem? You know, you need to find a solution. So you go and find an academic partner that that can help.

John Lundback  38:36

Oh, yeah, it’s, I would say it’s a combination of all these variants. But I think by sitting in the middle in the middle, we can actually be more proactive in the sense that we can actually we know, what’s the research areas, what the researchers are focusing on, and the the kind of the state of art, if you will. So therefore, we know that the industry will actually follow, generally, many years later, saying, Oh, by the way, we would like to have this kind of feature functionality or whatever with my feet. So it means that we can actually, to degree, look ahead and be prepared. And if we are doing this, well, we can actually deliver the extensions of let’s say, the tool chain and say, well, here you are, here’s the analysis or the modeling methods or whatever. Before they asked the question, that’s the ultimate goal. I would say that we have the solution before they ask for a solution.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  39:50

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Oh, Z always acting one step ahead of the problems that that may come up.

John Lundback  39:57

Yeah, I’d say it By sitting in between we kind of we have the air, basically leasing on to rates. So we kind of know what academia is doing. We also know what the industry is doing. So and we know that the industry is always lagging behind the research, which is fine. That’s that’s normal case. But every now and then they kind of come screaming and say, Hey, we need a solution quick. And then if we’ve done our work, well, then we can say, well, here you are, here’s the solution. And they can start using it.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  40:35

Yeah, makes makes it makes a lot of sense. So benefits, it benefits both parties. In that sense.

John Lundback  40:42

When we spoke,

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  40:44

before, we obviously identified that what art cause does is a fairly, I would say niche, not just in terms of the way that that you work in terms of this collaboration and collaboration with academia, but also just in terms of the product, the software, the tools that you that you create. So how do you go about, I guess, identifying potential academic partners, there’s 1000s and 1000s of universities out there that can do research. But how do you go about identifying the right academic partner to collaborate with that is going to keep you that one step ahead of the curve, or keep you on the forefront of development so that you are able to answer those questions quickly when the client comes with them.

John Lundback  41:35

Yeah, well, it’s basically a combination of a leap of faith and gut feeling that that’s as more I don’t think it’s more scientific than that, actually, it’s, you get a feeling of when you talk amongst the researchers, and okay, so this might be an interesting field to look into. And then you start talking to individual researcher. But it’s all about social meetings, so that whenever you have a product meeting, whatever it might be, what kind of source meeting, it’s the social bits, and when you actually have a beer and talk with a researcher or it might also be an industrial partner. It works likewise, that by two, but it’s those meetings that where you start talking about hey, this is seems to be interesting, we seem to have some kind of common ground or interests in this particular area. And then you explore it further. So it’s a combination, I would say it’s, uh, yeah, it’s combination of gut feeling and talking to the right persons.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  42:48

Yeah. And there’s relationships. And that’s really interesting to to understand that actually, you know, we talk very broadly of you are partnering with academia, you are partnering with heavy, I’m gonna throw some university names out there. But you’re partnering with Cambridge University, you’re partnering with Dalhousie University, you’re partnering with X, Y, and Zed university, but actually, you know, at the forefront, or at least in your mind, yes, you’re Yes, they are researchers attached to an institution, but it’s the researcher, the individual or the human being that you’re actually collaborating with? Not so much the institution as a whole. And that’s quite interesting to kind of remember that people think that it’s institution partnering with a company, but actually, it’s not, it’s the individuals that work out because collaborating with the individual researchers who happen to be attached to an institution.

John Lundback  43:37

Yeah, exactly. And basically, again, it’s kind of converted back to trust, if you trust the person, or like a person, or you just feel that we have the kind of some kind of same common ground or something, then you, you start to elaborate and see what it wherever it takes you. So I mean, I always find it very interesting to talk to different people and see, okay, or there’s something of interest that we can explore here, there. So it’s a lot of probing and talking and just figuring out is this way, something that we might benefit from in the future and so on. So it’s a it’s a multi step or of process of elimination, I guess, you could call it and that not all collaboration will end up with something beneficial today, but it might be in the future. So you that’s why the reason why you keep a lot of contacts and trying to figure out, okay, is this guy doing some research work that we can benefit from, or can we potentially later on? Have some collaboration?

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  44:56

Yeah, absolutely. And so you’re banking those those contacts in that network? work so that so that you again goes back to that staying at staying at the forefront of everything and one step ahead of of where you need to be to be able to answer those questions.

John Lundback  45:10

Yeah. But it’s all about social people to people. Yes, the, if it’s an institutional university or company doesn’t really matter, it’s, it’s the people. If you find you’re both interested in the same bit, or are attracted the same kind of problems, then you find ways of collaborating. So I find it very interesting. But it’s all about. And again, this is something I also learned by attending a lot of especially European research projects. It’s not so much the meetings themselves. They are formal, and it’s a lot of kind of boring stuff going on there. But it’s the Social Meetings afterwards. social events, if it’s a dinner or just having a lunch, did you meet up with somebody that you haven’t met before? And you cannot see oh, wow, this might actually be something that we can spin on.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  46:20

Yeah. And that’s exactly. And that’s when you that’s when you form those connections, which is what you know, all relationships, be it professional and personal, are based on right, it’s about making those connections.

John Lundback  46:32

Can you there

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  46:33

might be lots of collaborations that you’ve either done in the past or doing as we speak, that may be confidential. So I’m certainly not going to get you to kind of reveal anything that’s that’s sealed away in a vault somewhere. But can you give an example about in the past, either recently, or in the previous past, within the over the course of the 40 years of art kiss? That has been a particularly successful collaboration between yourselves and academia, and the client? So where you can really see how that full circle effect has resulted in

John Lundback  47:09

AIX? Well, I can think of several examples, but I think one of the most prominent one is that, what 10 years ago, so we started with a redesign of the tool chain, and essentially when we kind of redesigned the modeling and the models themselves as well. And that was actually done in collaboration between academia and a client. So we had been inputs from both both sides, actually. And it was very beneficial in the sense that we actually, we sat down with the researchers, we came up with a lot of sketch on if we talk about the model itself, and how we thought it would should work from a research point perspective. And then we talked with a client and I said, No, no, no, we need to make these changes for us to be more understandable and more efficient for us. So we reworked it, and it took, I don’t know, maybe two to two and a half years or so. concept work, and we actually got came up with a pretty good solution at the end. So I would say that that is one of the best memories I have, or colored cooperation from both both sides actually.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  48:33

And that makes that makes perfect sense that sort of outlines as well, not not just that him in that particular project, but actually, you know, the benefit of a business full stop that you’re not just sort of wildly guessing as to what you think is right, because you’ve got that direct feedback, not just from from academics, not just from the researcher, but the client saying, well, these are our pain points, this is what we think it should do. If you can do that great. And if one client is saying that you can bet your bottom dollar that other clients are saying the same thing. So that’s it’s really interesting that you’ve allowed yourself to sort of encompass that way of working, sort of say literally no walking, hands up, we don’t necessarily know all the answers. We don’t necessarily know what clients want, we certainly don’t know what necessarily what academia wants. So what could we do? Well, we could ask them, like we could actually get them involved in developing what we’re going to actually develop. And it sounds so I think it sounds so straightforward. You know, on on the very basic level of schooling, well of course, we would ask them but it’s surprising I think it would probably surprise all of us you know, how many companies don’t do that they just sort of steam ahead thinking well, you know, this is this is what people want. And and being either that you’re working with with clients to be able to understand what their pain points are, and then develop a solution. around that with academia. Yeah. Makes perfect sense.

John Lundback  50:03

Yeah. So that was that was actually a very good experience. And we also got a very interesting feedback concerning interoperability, which is our thinking these days is even more important is that if you create a tool or model language, whatever it might be, you also need to think about interoperability or collaboration between other tools and models, languages. Because your tool is not necessarily the only tool in a very large chain of other tools that companies use these days, it’s very rarely that you just have one, two, you might have 510 1520, different tool chains, connect. And in that sense, interoperability is E. And there’s also that you don’t want to stick out as the picky or different difficult to, you want to be everything to work as smoothly as possible. And that is also something that has also recently, I mean, things goes in cycles, I would say, when it comes to tools, for example, is that everybody thought that a UI point and click would be the thing for the next millennia. So So we created a graphical environment to create things in modern stuff. But these days is kind of moderated between some do modeling in graphical environment, and some just use scripts or something else. And definitely, when it comes to the tool chain, everything has to be scripted, or need to be scripted. So us little if any human interference in the tool chain, because you need to have automated builds, you know, it’s continuous integration, continuous deployment, these things are e these days. Yes. So

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  52:23

it’s, it’s not just compatible. It’s not just about compatibility. It’s also about flexibility, I guess, for allowing for that, that that change of trends or change of industry wants and needs. Yeah. But

John Lundback  52:42

it’s not really a new, ballpark, anything is just old stuff. But it’s, the mix has been kind of a little bit more. The lowest, it’s some prefer UI and some do not. And generally, things need to be scripted. So that it’s a kind of deviation from collaboration, but it’s I think it’s important to you need to be open about these things and not consider your tool as the tool for everything.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  53:11

Yeah, and actually, I don’t think it is so much of a deviation from collaboration, because it’s, it’s because of that collaboration that you can find those answers. I think that it’s very easy. When you’re in your silo when you’re just doing what you do and hoping that someone buys. That is when you, you maybe lack that interpret ability, you lack that awareness that oh, well, of course, the client is going to want us to be able to, to be adapting to this code and that code and that code, because they have tools that use all three of them. And you you might be a bit blind to that when you’re working just sort of in your in your silo without that collaboration. So it is it is key to that true collaboration. Because without that, you wouldn’t you wouldn’t know that answer you wouldn’t know? Or you might kind of think, Oh, well, it probably needs to be compatible, but compatible with what everything or or just a few things. Because, you know, we can sort of say, well, of course it needs to be compatible and make it compatible with everything under the sun. And then the client will come back to you and go Yeah, well actually, as long as it’s compatible between these two, we’re good. And then as you say you’ve wasted potentially two and a half years of development doing something that you didn’t need to do. So it kind of it is it’s one real it’s not necessarily how you collaborate, but it’s actually just a proof point about why that collaboration is so important in order to be able to develop the the tools and the software that that your clients desire with the usability the client desire,

John Lundback  54:43

yeah, I think this is very, very important that you kind of understand that a your tool is not necessarily you cannot always dictate the info the how the information is stored or the contents of stuff, it’s you tap into various things. And also, these days, I mean law, your organization generally have a lot of legacy. So in that sense, if you want to kind of break into a into a new customer or anything, you need to provide the Watson for me with the lowest possible kind of step to introduce these things. So the it’s not necessarily the cost itself, it’s more the perceived notion old girl, not another to, you know, change, oh, God, who’s going to maintain this one. So on so you need to be very careful careful about making things the interoperability again, it’s the the key thing is you tap into different various sources of information. And do your bit as smoothly as you possibly can.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  56:02

Yeah. Yeah, making that process as smooth and as easy as possible for the client. Yeah.

John Lundback  56:11

I think and it’s kind of coming back to well, speed is everything is, is a process. And I heard once from Charles has said, it is that you want to do the time to mark is, is very key.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  56:26

Yeah. Yeah. And again, a another reason why it goes back to that sort of being being one step ahead. As best you can, via your collaborations with research so that you, you can get it to market as quickly as possible, and that you’re not trying to just constantly react, you’re you’re being you’re being proactive, as well as reactive.

John Lundback  56:46

But it’s also, another thing that I actually realized now is that when you do collaboration, it’s also especially when it comes to industries that you also are in trust is going both ways is that you also find it very important that the customer is also open to changes. Or you can realize that, okay, maybe this is not the way we should continue, we may might need to shift our course a little bit or make different decisions or change a little bit. And that is kind of coming back to a very key figure, figurative speech I have a lot is that you need to allow for evolution of your whatever it might be, if it’s software tools, your daily environment, you have to allow for that. And you need to build trust in your employees, for this to happen. So if you miss trust your employees or your colleagues, you will not have this kind of what I say it’s the Darwinism of things is that your software, to me is like an organism, it needs to evolve constantly. It’s never ending, but you need to allow for it and you do not have to you cannot be scared of changes. Because I’ve seen it so many times, especially in larger organizations and only larger organization you get into the more scared you get of changes, which is should be the precisely the opposite way around, in my opinion. So you just differ from making any changes, you have created a version of something, whether it’s software, or actually physical machine. And then that’s it, we’re not going to change anything, we can just kind of milk, the the cash from this particular version of it, until we cannot do it anymore. And we need to create a new generation, but then you’re just creating a very, very large step of pain for yourself. Because then you have to step up with the latest technology and state of art and all that stuff. Very late, and you have to take very giant leaps to kind of stay in the game, rather than making small, small, small steps every single day. Then over time, you have made those changes on steps, but it will not cost you as much pain.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  59:23

Yeah, so just being being aware that it is likely to evolve and is likely to change and and taking steps to mitigate that if you will.

John Lundback  59:32

Yeah, exactly. And I think that is also key. When it comes to collaboration I started. We need obviously, we say we’re agile and I’m open to change and so on but also the customer and also as well as the academy and researchers. But they are easier to deal with that in fact, because they are kind of very accustomed to kind of question and see and explore and say okay, this didn’t lead to anything. So let’s buy come up and see if this door is gonna give us something

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:00:06

do you find? Do you find that clients are receptive to that, you know, when you’re when you’re pitching to clients, when you’re maybe you’ve just signed on to them and gone, right, this is this is our working practices. This is how we this is our kind of workflow. This is how we’re going to work. And and you mentioned about the importance of evolution and the importance that it’s an ever changing beast, what you’re about to undergo? Are they? Are they receptive to that? Or does that take a bit of a a arguing of your case?

John Lundback  1:00:41

I want to say instead of arguing, arguing or the case, necessarily, but it’s, it’s it depends on who you’re talking with. or talking to, if it’s a technician, or software engineer, engineer, they generally tend to be more open than a manager, because the manager would generally doesn’t really want to risk the position by making bad mistakes, but you will never know if you made a good or bad decision until afterwards, whatever that might be. So, but again, I think this is something that takes time you need to develop this trust. So you need to kind of come over this initial risk PreSonus, if you will, and be very open about things. But because that’s when you can actually start doing things and collaborating on a true love. That’s my take on it. But it takes time, and it very much depends on the person and all and all the organization as well. It’s larger organizations tend to have a lot of legacy. This is the way we have behaved over the last 100 years. So why should we change? Why? Why is that necessary? I think YouTube is kind of more Jahangir organization, they tend to be more open about and more respectable.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:02:23

Yeah. And he says that it goes back to that that relationship building that those building those connections, you know, because once once those true relationships are there, once those connections have been made, that’s when it’s easier to sort of have that, that shared trust in each other, that you’re in it for the same reasons and that you want the same, you’re working towards the same goals and in you want you want the best for each other, if you will.

John Lundback  1:02:49

Yeah. And some companies are very slow. What do you say resilient or reluctant to cooperate, so on or flat out refuses to resign? Just, we’re not ever going to buy your stuff. But we’re still interested. We’re, we’re very interested in your technology. But it’s like they’re they’re hindered by their own organizations stating that we cannot buy software from smaller vendors that might be that you had to purchase organization saying, no, no, no, we’re just, we’re a big organization, we just make deals with larger organizations, because that’s how we are. Or it might be other reasons. So I would say that a lot of companies around the world has actually didn’t know about what we’re doing. But they’re just not, not potentially ready for this, just that they have a lot of legacy that they can’t deal with, introducing what we’re doing, although, from a technical point of stance, and also financial, that they would gain from it. But it’s a very slow process, and you need to have a lot of patience. It takes years.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:04:16

Yeah, that’s and that’s and that’s really interesting that you’re going to going from we kind of know what, what you do, and we kind of were interested in going from from that to, here’s our signature on our contract is, you know, does does take time and building relationships and building connections with those individuals with those people. Is it’s crucial to be able to develop that relationship over those multiple years. You know, the the lead time is, I think, a lot different if you think about how we consume products and brands. You know, we might think that it’s you know, it takes us a long time to decide about whether we’re buying the latest MacBook or the or the latest or the laptop, and we might do the back and forth about that and read about the products and read about the brand and do the seminars, and and maybe within a few weeks, you’ve made a decision. And, you know, times that by 2000, and you’ve kind of got the timeline and the decision making process for the industry that you’re in.

John Lundback  1:05:19

Yeah, the team timeframe for while some older customers we have are in the in the number of decades for for a pilot. So it takes it can take anything from five to 10 years to get a release ready or machinery product, if the complete product and then you’re they have a responsibility to our maintenance. And generally that maintenance responsibilities, somewhere in the in the ballpark 10 to maybe even 20 years after the last machine left the production line. So you can see that the conservatism is quite lost. And, and this has nothing to the aircraft industry, which is even worse.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:06:13

And another reason another reason why they have that legacy that you talked about, yeah, they’re locked in with this legacy system, because they’ve been doing it the same way for for decades. So So you know, they need a really strong argument in order for them to convince them to go through another decade long process to change everything, if that’s what they need to do.

John Lundback  1:06:33

Yeah, and especially I spoke with a person that worked for one of the larger aircraft manufacturers that said that, while the process of developing an aircraft is is in some way in speed, you know, 10 years to develop, and you use whatever you tools you have available in the beginning. And you will not change those tools over the course of the lifeline from that production of that particular version of the aircraft, that’s just not going to happen because you have so to find the whole thing, we’re not touching, then again, and there, you also have this kind of, but I can understand it from since you have a lot of certification, aircraft, wellness, and all that stuff that you don’t really want to touch. But again, you see that you have these kind of very, very large leaps, that very low intervals.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:07:28

Yeah, I’m dealing when it comes to technology, you know, if we will think about what technology that we were consuming and using 10 years ago compared to what we’re doing now. And you you apply that to the development of an automated system, or fly by wire system talking about on the airplane analogy, again, let you think about how far technology has come in, in the decade or more that that, that those planes have been around.

John Lundback  1:07:58

And I think that the automotive industry is going to, we’ll probably go in the same way when it comes to certification and things like that. And that will definitely slow down the model of the development process because the certification is so time consuming and painful. So it’s kind of contracted to do what I started with allusions is this is kind of just putting a wet blanket over the evolution of things. But that’s it’s kind of you have the fire nice, I suppose it’s in that sciences, the certification is an even necessity of things. But it’s there for a good reason to that you can actually prove that you have done something that is as safe as possibly can be.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:08:43

And also, I guess, you know, allowing for that. So you know, you mentioned before that it is about sort of being one step ahead of the curve. And so part of it, I guess is, is as much as is physically possible, trying to sort of future proof so that when you do develop systems and tools for a client that is going to have a particular application that you’re trying to sort of, in a way future proof as best as possible. Or if not future proofing, making it as a flexible and adaptable as possible so that it might be able to accommodate new new features, new tools, new software, new coding language, whatever it may be, you know, whatever is gonna be around in the next in the next 10 years by the time that it’s in the, you know, generation whatever of self driving cars or whatever it may be. Yeah.

John Lundback  1:09:39

So yeah, it’s someone who comes to the coming back to research and all that stuff. It’s trying to stand on a tall table as possibilities to kind of see into the horizon and see, okay, what possibly can we receive at this moment in time, and try to prepare ourselves for change. Because changes is all around you, you know more tomorrow than you do know today, that’s just just matter. It’s just a fact of nature. But also not be afraid of change. For example, if we make a change in the modeling, we just realized that this predictive design is not working well, okay, then we’ll make a better version. But in the process, you also need to kind of provide means for the customers to upgrade to the latest information storage format, as smoothly as possible. Again, that is also part of the natural evolution of things, is that the information also needs to be kind of transformed or translated as necessary, but with as little fuss as possible for the customer? Yeah.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:11:02

Doesn’t start sort of including about because I think we’ve spoken a lot about how was the collaboration works. And I think it’s super interesting how this sort of full circle works between twin client and academia and yourself, but touching upon what you’ve just said, about looking towards the horizon and looking towards the future? How do you see that relationship evolving? How do you see that that full circle of collaboration, evolving between facilitating collaborations as you do between the academic clients and the company, would you want, do you? Partly it part of the question is, what do you see will happen? And part of the question is, what do you hope will happen? Do you wish there is more collaboration from the client side? Will you ever get to a situation where there is no middleman because the client is talking directly to the academic institution that you’re working with? And as a result, there’s, there’s a more of a three way collaboration conversation, call it what you will, going on, rather than a use of a middleman. What what’s the future of this? Well, circle collaboration,

John Lundback  1:12:19

I, I would very much like that the industry is to degree collaborating with researchers directly so that it’s already kind of happening. But I’d say that the this three way unit unity is I’d very much like to expand it further by collaborating with more researchers more industrial, not necessarily customers, but industrial partners that are interested in the technology, they would like to see, to explore that kind of thing. So that it kind of gives away a little bit of the philosophy of things is not necessarily to make an automatic, obviously, the company needs to have an income. But it’s also about trying to spread knowledge, information and technology to a wider range of people. So that’s a kind of, I guess, I guess it’s a, I don’t know what to call it. But it’s, it’s not driven by money alone.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:13:32

And you kind of meant you did kind of mention that, I think, where you said that you have been approached by organizations who they might they’re not at that they’re not ready to buy now, they may not ever be ready to buy, but they are interested in the technology. And so it’s kind of starting or formulating conversations, and maybe more of those kind of conversations, where you can sort of say, well enough, you don’t need to buy necessarily seems weird for us as an organization and profit making organization to say that, but we get it you’re not maybe ready to buy right now. But what we would really appreciate is if we could tap into your knowledge, your industry expertise, your goals, your desires, your wants, and and can we feed that in via X academic institution, so that we can all collaborate for the better of industry as a whole, not just the relationship between us and you and making some money? Yeah.

John Lundback  1:14:31

Guess it’s a kind of, I don’t know what to call it, but it’s a is it philosophy, stance or point of view for me is that it’s since I am an engineer at heart, it’s, of course you need to survive the economic financial course. But it’s a little bit more than that. It’s to try to spread knowledge and information and hopefully do some good for Humanity, if you will,

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:15:01

yeah, shared knowledge, you know, a kind of an industry wide shared knowledge, if you will, which I guess, you know, has is also not necessarily too much of a new concept, you know, we’ve had it before with with open source and other platforms and, and systems that are in place for that. free and accessible sharing of knowledge sharing of code. So it’s not necessarily a new concept. But But, but growing that further on a much more, you know, industry and academia, academic environment.

John Lundback  1:15:40

Yeah, exactly. So yes. As you were saying, it’s, what we’re doing is essentially, we’re offering a platform for the researchers to to develop their analysis methods or whatever it might be. As well to the industry spotlight, so they can also explore. Yeah, it’s a kind of collaborative platform. Yep.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:16:03

Open source of knowledge.

John Lundback  1:16:06

Yeah. Open Source knowledge,

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:16:08

open source knowledge. I like that. I like that phrase, maybe we maybe together, we’ve already developed our knowledge sharing, which I guess, you know, again, I mean, you know, open source is one of them, just because we’re talking about about code and the sharing of code, reuse and everything else. But actually, you go go way back into the history of things and talk about the vision that Tim Berners Lee had, when he created the World Wide Web. That’s exactly what he was doing. Like, that’s the his, his concept was, I don’t want to share knowledge. I don’t want to make information as accessible as possible. And this is how I’m going to do with it. So when you think of it like like that, it’s actually just it is part of this evolution of knowledge sharing. It’s that, you know, it started when the World Wide Web was created. And now, your kind of view is that you want to see that evolving into lots of different industries and lots of different collaborations so that we maintain this. Yeah, very idealistic. But this global sharing of knowledge that we that benefits everybody.

John Lundback  1:17:17

Yeah. And the difference between open source, what we’re doing is essentially that we intended to tool chain is closed source, but for good reasons. Because we take care of the certification or the tool chain. And therefore it that is a kind of I know, it’s a thorny issue. Actually, I had some debates with people saying about open source, it’s open source and are used by many people, and therefore it should be safe to use. But no, that’s not really the case, the certification is about proving. And just by stating that a lot of people is using it is not a proof.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:17:58

I feel like we’ve already now to set the scenes for our next Fireside Chat of the the argument for and against open source. But I think when I meant open source, I was kind of you kind of just kind of taking the trade name, if you will. And that’s why it’s an open source knowledge, because whereas the tool suite is, of course, closed. And there’s, yeah, as I said, a whole nother discussion about the pros and cons of open source versus closed. But the knowledge is, is open source by by means of academics, like you know, the the publications are in the public domain. That knowledge that insight is free and available, and anybody can go look at the research papers that have informed the code that you’ve written so that the ultimate code might be closed. But the insight that informed that code is open source. So that’s kind of just to clarify, that’s kind of what I meant by open as far as rather than Yeah, endorse the endorsing that suddenly you become an open source developer was was

John Lundback  1:19:01

a leap. But, but it’s also another thing, actually, with corporate collaboration with academia in that sense, is that the more publications that are articles that we get published, or in or research areas that get publicly known or just published, means that you can actually find one thing that I don’t really like and that is paint making pet patterns on software. So this is also a completely different kind of pet crocodiles nipping at you but but it’s um, I believe that it’s kind of coming back to the information should be free. And if researchers make an auto publications, then you turn out really by In the patent, because the information has been publicly available for, for anybody. Yeah. So it actually gives us a little bit of protection as well, because then if I’m in South Sudan, an organization would ask you, do you have an intellectual property in the tools that might be affected by infringement? Yeah. Then we kind of is the state that, well, we haven’t made any patterns or anything, but we’re comfortable using publicly available research papers. Therefore, no one should be able to claim a patent on this technique. So it’s either kind of backwards protection actually.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:20:50

Yeah, very interesting. Like, very interesting concept. But as I said, yeah, probably a whole nother conversation as would also involve or should involve patent lawyers and everybody else to sort of say like that, what the what the legalities of what it all means. But um, yeah, whole different area.

John Lundback  1:21:11

It is, definitely is something that that Lauder, especially specifically lonely organization have a problem with is that they, they’re you, they want to use open source, and they need to use it because it’s Emily, it’s publicly available. And it’s generally in a very good state, when it comes to quality and all that stuff. But the problem is that if you start introducing these open source, then in your machine, then you need to know well, okay, are we using stuff that might somebody would claim infringe their patents? I mean, in the US, it’s very common to have these kind of patent trolls, firms that did kind of just buy up software patents, and then sue everybody random. So this is our way of protecting ourselves by ensuring that the technology is based on publicly available public

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:22:10

papers. Yeah, protect yourselves from that makes it makes perfect sense.

John Lundback  1:22:15

So is why for a smaller organization to kind of survive. Because this the moment we I guess there is, at some point, when you grow larger, I guess financially and have a lot larger set of customers, you will attract the attention of these patent trolls. And they will scrutinize your code and see if they can sue you for whatever reason they find interesting.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:22:44

Yeah, so it’s kind of good to have that that sort of defense already kind of lined up as to the fact that you, you haven’t done anything, because you based entirely on publicly available information and insight.

John Lundback  1:22:57

We realized that many years ago that it’s too expensive for us to kind of see patterns for for various bits. It’s just too cost costly, just to get the pattern proven, and then you have to fight in court. Every business that you want to find it to pick a fight with you. Yeah.

Alex McNab-Lundbäck  1:23:16

Yeah. No. Makes sense that that’s, that’s not a fight that that’s needed, or one that you’re willing to take other than you did take.

John Lundback  1:23:26

Good. So that’s also a kind of view of collaboration.

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