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Gothenburg: Sweden’s center of technological innovation

Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, along the western coast of the country, is famous for being the birthplace of carmaker Volvo, arguably one of the best-known Swedish brands. As a hothouse for innovation, Gothenburg has become one of the fastest-growing regions in Scandinavia.

Aimed at attracting investment and driving innovation, the city developed three industry-focused science parks: Sahlgrenska Science Park (life sciences), Lindholmen Science Park (mobile communication, smart vehicles and transport systems, and modern media industry), and Johanneberg Science Park (urban development, environment, energy, materials and nanoscience).

“We are operating in the early phases, catalyzing and facilitating development. We feel good when others grow and develop their business learning. We have opened the floor for players all over the world to connect and collaborate together,” said Lindholmen Science Park CEO Niklas Wahlberg.

With Opus Group CEO Magnus Greko

Gothenburg has also prioritized green technology in its development. As the agency tasked to create an environmentally-friendly public transport system for the city, Vasttrafik built a city-wide network of electricity-powered buses.

Together with the rapid growth in vehicle ownership that came with the postwar economic boom, Sweden, unfortunately, also witnessed a dramatic increase in severe road accidents and fatalities. So, the government implemented a mandatory vehicle inspection program to improve road safety and traffic.

Since the mid-1970s, Opus Group has carried out vehicle inspections across Sweden. For more than 40 years, the company has led the way in developing testing equipment and setting up inspection stations that perform more than 25 million vehicle inspections every year. Recently, it launched a program called “Ambition Zero,” which hope to achieve zero road accident fatalities.

Another Gothenburg-based green company, Metrum develops technology that measures variations in energy or power supply and thereby provides users with data on their usage and options to reduce their consumption, energy bill and environmental impact. Metrum’s success has gained attention from many

With Metrum CEO Magnus Andersson (center) and Board Member Inge Olausson (right)

investors at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, another innovator in renewable energy, Minesto is attempting to harvest the power of the sea. Wave technology has developed slowly because of the needed infrastructure is expensive. For Minesto, its biggest challenges are finding partners with knowledge on product development and regulatory restrictions in certain countries.

With Minesto CEO Dr. Martin Edlund

But, the company remains very confident in the potential of its pioneering technology and in its cost-effectiveness.

“Strength and uniqueness has opened up a natural resource that no one else is claiming. Of course, there is a challenge of balancing long-term opportunities with the heavy need for capital and the lead time towards positive cash flow,”

With Semcon CEO Markus Granlund (center) and Communications Director Per Nilsson

explained Minesto CEO Dr. Martin Edlund.

A jack of all trades but a master of many, Semcon is a product development company focused on creating the best products and solutions for their end users. It operates as an innovation engine in different industries and has exhibited its expertise in each of those areas. Its teams work closely with international partners to deliver the right expertise to improve their product and increase their global presence.

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Sweden 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in Forbes Asia magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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