On 25-26 April 2019, a delegation of 27 diplomats from 18 countries – members of the Association of Diplomats Stockholm (ADS) – visited Gothenburg region. The ADS visit was aimed to bring a better knowledge about Sweden’s second largest city. With the support of Business Region Gothenburg and Volvo Cars Corporation, the ADS delegation visited several emblematic companies, Gothenburg port authority and Lindholmen Science Park.

Gothenburg region is known for its industrial history and recognized as home to many Sweden’s larger companies; the bearing and seal manufacturing company SKF, established in 1907, is one them. During the visit and factory tour of SKF, the delegation learned about the company strategies of future growth and its mission to reduce the environmental impact due to the close collaboration with their own customers and connecting material through IOT technology.

In the course of a visit to Saab – one of the leading defence companies in Sweden and the world – the ADS delegation learned about the technology development in surveillance and traditional ways of securing a country’s border by air, land and sea, which have lately been extended to the spheres of outer space and by cyber security.

In Lindholmen Science Park (LSP), home to several of Sweden’s leading development projects, the delegation had a unique opportunity to learn about the need of collaboration and openness for growth and innovation. LSP has introduced an open arena, where companies are invited to settle down in the science park with the requirement that they need to share knowledge and insights with other companies.
LSP is also a home to one of Sweden’s national strategic innovation programmes; Drive Sweden. The programme aims to bring the mobility of tomorrow (see video).

Collaboration is also used as a strategy by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and their approach through the BioVentureHub. The delegation visited their R&D facilities and learned about how the company has opened up their offices, laboratory space and facilities to academic groups and biotech companies around the world, to gain competitive advantage by tapping into the company’s resources and expertise. The aim is to build one of the world’s largest life sciences cluster.

As part of Volvo Cars vision of the mobility of tomorrow, the newly developed 360c concept (a fully autonomous electric vehicle) will meet the personal mobility needs (see video).

During the visit the delegates also received information from Volvo Cars on the latest research on road safety and the commitment that no-one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020. Much of this research has been converted to functions in today’s Volvo Cars, which was tested first-hand by all the delegates at the test track.