By invitation of Business Region Gothenburg, the ADS organised a visit with several embassy representatives between 22-23 September to explore the latest developments in the Gothenburg region.
Notable throughout the visit, was the substantial investments that has been made in research and development (R&D) deriving from private capital, which also represents the highest share in Sweden. This has in turn made Gothenburg into a national hub for research and development and as well fuelled other local investments made by the region.
As part of its efforts to further support the R&D developments, the region has turned an old industry area into a creative arena for new, small and growing tech driven companies. The area, called the Yard, offers these companies space, infrastructure and innovation support to help them in their efforts to develop their business ideas.
At the Yard, the group met with Consat AB, an engineering company with global presence. In his presentation, the CEO of Consat Mr Martin Wahlgren pointed out the importance of having solid partnerships and networks, which have been important for their growth. Furthermore, Mr Wahlgren presented some of the important business areas the company is working with namely smart cities, telematics systems and sustainable energy systems.
On the same day, the group visited Volvo Cars, continuing the inspiring presentations on the future of transportation. As part of the new transportation infrastructure, a new battery manufacturing plant is underway and will be ready by 2025, which is a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Northvolt. The plant will have a potential annual cell production capacity of up to 50 gigawatt hours (GWh), which would supply batteries for approximately half a million cars per year. At the same time, a R&D centre will become operational during 2022, adding to the list of R&D investments in the region.
The many job opportunities that have been generated as an effect of all investments have also created a large demand for skilled workers, which has mostly been coming from outside Sweden.
As a way to help all newly arrived international talents in Gothenburg, the initiative to start the first International house in Scandinavia was taken. At International house they are offered activities, services and guidance for an easy integration into Swedish society.
The visit to GoCo health innovation city, showed another major investment deriving from private capital. The over 200 000 sq metre urban city area is developed to attract researchers, entrepreneurs and talents from around the world, with the vision to create a world-class innovation cluster for life science. Physical set up of first companies is to begin by the end of 2025.
The director for corporate relations, Ms Marie Uddenmyr, explained how the area is designed to encourage spontaneous conversations and meetings in order to increase the networking between individuals and companies.
Presentations from the companies AstraZeneca, Fujirebio Diagnostics and Wellspect Health Care were also given during the visit.
Lindholmens Science Park has for more than 20 years been a driver for creating an innovation environment in Gothenburg, which also was the last stop for the delegation.
Some of Sweden’s leading development projects, such as the Swedish National Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence was presented by the CEO of the Science Park, Mr. Tord Hermansson.
At Ericsson garage, a meeting place for start-ups, students and employees of Ericsson inside the Science Park some of co-created projects were shown. The connected beehive was given a lot of interest of the delegation as it also connected to the ongoing support for pollinators from the diplomatic community. With different kinds of sensors, connected with IoT, the beehive can collect and send information such sound patterns, whether the bees are flying in with pollen or not, which is of value for the beekeeper.