Ons 6 jul / År 40 / Nr 3 2022

Norrbotten is where it happens

Agenda 2030, with its 17 global goals to achieve sustainability, presents a pure competitive advantage for the Norrbotten region. Why? In Norrbotten, many of the goals have already been achieved, and more are on the verge of being achieved as innovative projects are realised.

At the time of writing, the Norrbotten region is becoming home to the largest land-based wind farm in Europe. At the same time, a pilot plant for the production of fossil-free steel is being built. This will be followed by a demonstration plant and finally a full-scale production site is to be built. This, as well as a prominent and ever-evolving hydropower industry, space research and digital development, provides proof that Norrbotten as a region is most competitive.
“There is a very exciting development taking place in Norrbotten right now. This is a development that will provide rings on the water for many years to come, which will shape not only the future of the county but also will be decisive for the entire future of Norrland. If we compare to that of only 50 years ago, the Norrbotten of today is a totally different place”, says Norrbotten County Governor Björn O. Nilsson.

High level of innovation
The governor refers to flagships such as the Markbygden land-based wind power plant, the fossil-free steel production in the collaboration company Hybrit, as well as the globally leading facilities for vehicle tests and space research in Norrbotten. He is also careful to mention the strong innovation power that exists in the region and which contributes to the combination of expansive basic industries and the establishment of brand-new industries.
“We often hear politicians talking about raising the level of innovation in the Swedish business community. In Norrbotten, that level is already high, there are many examples supporting this. The operations conducted within Esrange are a clear example, but there is also a high rate of innovation in the forest, steel and energy industries as well”, Björn O. Nilsson continues.

Where it happens
There is a clear connection and common note that reappears at all the industries in Norrbotten and that is sustainability. Renewable energy has been produced here for many years, and the northern forestry accounts for a large part of Sweden’s exporting industry. And now investments are being made to minimise the environmental impact of the mining and steel industry as well.
Norrbotten is also a pioneer when it comes to vehicle testing in cold climates. The fact that a new test facility has been built for tire testing indoors shows that it is not only the cold climate that is sought after, but also the unique competence and know-how present in Norrbotten. The region is highly innovative and a place where things really happen, where dreams come true and where the future is sustainable.

Innovation center for Sweden
The Norrbotten region is a given choice for establishing energy-intensive operations, having access to large amounts of renewable energy in large excess. This is why more and more data centers are built in the region.
The new industries based on digital services are growing a lot thanks to the good conditions, with access to renewable and cheap energy in the region. From this, a growing IT industry is now developing, including clusters for game development for example.
In the future, Norrbotten will most likely have an even stronger position as an innovation center for Swedish IT and digital development.