DC10 - Design community-based business models for agri-data ecosystem

The objective for this position is to design and test community-based business models for agri-data. The community-based business model offers a lower cost base. With customers acting as sales and marketing channels as well as service support agents, the cost base of a community-driven business is lower. Customers interacting with customers builds trust and the feeling of owning a stake in the business. In turn, this drives customer involvement beyond the sales relationship.

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Host Organisation:  Södra skogsägarna ekonomisk förening (SOD), Sweden

PhD awarding University: Linnaeus University (LNU), Sweden

The purpose of this doctoral research project is to contribute to the value of the family forest estates and the digital mindset of Södra while contributing to Sustainable Development Goals.

Consequently, the goal will be to design and test community-based data driven business models focusing on the increased value for the stakeholders while promoting biodiversity.

In this aspect these community-based data driven business models shall consider multiple data streams, customers interactions, trustworthiness as well as sense of ownership of the data for maximizing the value and bringing innovation to forest owners.

For Södra as member-owned forest industry group, this is of outmost importance for its operations ranging from forest management to innovative bioproducts.

We run a digital transformation in all our areas – and the goal is set high: Södra must have the industry’s best IT solutions and digital offerings. In this way, we create new opportunities for growth, innovation and efficiency and can better interact with customers, members, employees, and society.

Moreover, Södra is part of the Bridge that is a unique long-term and strategic investment in research and education with a focus on forestry, innovation and sustainability through a partnership with Linnaeus University and IKEA.

About Host Organisation:

Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association founded in 1938, with 51,000 forest owners as its members.

We conduct modern and responsible forestry and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material.

Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra shows the way for the next generation of forestry.

To read more about Södra skogsägarna ekonomisk förening please check the website https://www.sodra.com/en/global/

For this position we are looking for a candidate with interest in a cross disciplinary work and ability to apply an innovative mindset focusing on data platforms and digital ecosystems.

This position will be an industrial doctoral position where the candidate will be employed at Södra while PhD awarding university for this position is Linnaeus University (Sweden).


The applicants need to meet several requirements to be eligible for this position.

Mobility rule: Researchers can be of any nationality, but they are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e., move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Consequently, applicants for this position will have to move their centre of life to the greater area of host beneficiaries’ country. Additionally, researchers shall not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention97 will not be considered for the mobility rule.

Doctoral Researchers (DRs) rule: Applicants at the date of recruitment, must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.


  • hold a Master’s degree in computer and information sciences, business informatics or equivalent discipline
  • Prior experience with data science applications in forestry and/or agri-sector will be considered an advantage.
  • Proposal for research plan connected to the position, maximum 1 A4 page.
  • Language Skills: Applicants should have professional knowledge in (Scientific) English language. Basic knowledge of Scandinavian languages will be considered an advantage.

How to apply?

All Candidates must apply electronically and follow the instructions to fill the details and compile the documents in one pdf file, following the order:

  • Completed application form (available at above online link)
  • Cover Letter
  • A detailed Curricula Vitae (CV) of maximum 3 pages
  • Master’s degree transcripts that are validated
  • Any additional documents that prove the eligibility for the corresponding doctorate degree program
  • Proof of sufficient English language skills
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of current residency/residence country (i.e., official document with the applicant’s name, surname, and address).

Note 1: Please be informed that the application must be written in English.
Note 2: Applicants can apply for up to a maximum of three Doctoral positions.


All Entrust DCs will be internationally recruited for a period of 36 months, will receive full-time employment contracts, will be enrolled in a PhD programme and actively participate in the Entrust Training Programme. Entrust will provide training equivalent to 30 ECTS over the duration of the programme.
The candidate is supposed to study and pass successfully numerous of doctoral courses and to design and execute an advanced research project that will constitute the doctoral dissertation


  • Torbjorn Karlsson, Södra skogsägarna ekonomisk förening (SOD)
  • Kristoffer Segerholm , Södra skogsägarna ekonomisk förening (SOD)

Secondment Plan:

1. Secondment to Universität St. Gallen (USG) in month 12 for 3 months, to explore customer engagement
2. Secondment to Linnaeus University (LNU) in month 31 for 3 months, to evaluate the community-based BM

    Intersectoral Secondment supervisors:

    • Professor Dr. Katarina Stanoevska-Slabeva -Universität St. Gallen (USG)
    • Associate Professor Arianit Kurti -Linnaeus University (LNU)

    Contract Type: Fixed term – 36 months
    Contact Term: Full-time

    Opening of the Online Application: 14 March 2023
    Application Deadline: 07 May 2023

    For more information, please contact Mr. Torbjorn Karlsson via torbjorn.karlsson@sodra.com