New Members at Innovation Station: Framvik’s Journey towards VR-Driven Conflict Management

Framvik is one of the latest members at Innovation Station Flemingsberg. It’s a scale-up company that has gained recognition for its outstanding VR technology based on solid research and unique expertise. CEO and founder Maria Bauer shares their journey, a success story that has led them to become part of Flemingsberg’s cluster of companies.

Framvik is a unique education and innovation company that advocates for peaceful and inclusive societies. It all started with behavior scientist and violence expert Maria. She has worked for over thirty years in social work, including care, psychiatry, and within the criminal justice system. She has also gained recognition through her compelling lectures and educational materials, addressing social issues while also educating and mentoring. Her expertise is tailor-made for taking things to the next level.

“I’m fearless and good at handling difficult people.”
Maria explains that she discovered early on that she was good at managing difficult and aggressive men. What was it that she did so right? Maria’s strong intuition, knowledge, and experiences led, among other things, to her being invited to lecture at the police academy, and from there, everything took off.

“I wasn’t so afraid of violence or very difficult patients, which took me a long way. But over time, I got tired of traveling so much for work. My husband Axel and I started thinking about scaling up and doing the training in VR,” says Maria Bauer.

Groundbreaking Innovation
There was no doubt – the combination of Maria’s thirty years of experience in conflict management and Axel Fors, co-founder of Framvik, expertise in VR technology was a success. Framvik focuses particularly on their groundbreaking innovation, D-escalator, a VR training for conflict management. Maria is asked to describe how the training through their D-escalator works.

“You step into an environment that you have created together with the client, where you encounter an agitated person. Here, you receive different assignments; the idea is to help, but often, you’re met with a conflict, and then it’s about being able to meet the person in the right way.”

Being Able to Create Worlds and Interactions
Soon, Maria and Axel realized that they had created something unique and significant. Their technology had clear advantages; they could control the content, you could bring the training home and train yourself, you could tailor the clients’ workplace, and everything was also voice-controlled.

“We’ve received a lot of attention, especially because it’s voice-controlled, which is completely unique. You then talk to the avatar, and it responds and reacts,” says Maria.

Maria continues to explain that she directs the content, which is based on science. In this way, they can incorporate “scientific triggers” to create a conflict, and over time, it will also become AI-based and thus self-sustaining.

Pedagogy First
But despite the success, it hasn’t always been easy. When two different disciplines meet, it can sometimes be difficult to explain what you’re doing.

“People said it’s so cool with VR, yes, it is, but that’s not what we’re doing; we’re doing education. VR training is a tool, and therefore, it has been important to step aside in favor of pedagogy, and I would say that’s what has been successful for Framvik.”

Another difficulty to consider is ensuring that personnel are not traumatized by the training. Maria talks about all the considerations one has to make to prevent it from happening, while at the same time, the scenarios must, to some extent, be uncomfortable and stressful for the training to be effective.

“It’s also my experience that has made me aware of where the limit is, but it’s of course quite difficult. I often have to ask myself many ethical questions,” says Maria.

What’s Next? 

When asked about Framvik’s future, Maria says that the business world is beginning to show greater interest, and she hopes to take the next step and also approach private companies in need of conflict management training.

Finally, why Flemingsberg? 

“Flemingsberg for several reasons. Because it’s geographically excellent for us. The company is based in Sörmland, and we operate a lot in Stockholm. Moreover, the place is exciting with a perfect meeting between the public sector, university, and business. All the branches that are important for Framvik’s work,” concludes Maria Bauer.


Read more about Framvik here

Flemingsberg is Not Just a Stop Along the Way, but a Destination on the Rise

Flemingsberg is an area in constant development and transformation. To highlight the exciting progress being made and the opportunities that lie ahead, the Flemingsberg Science Foundation invited members of the Flemingsberg Business Community to an inspiring summer breakfast with the theme "What's Happening in Flemingsberg."

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