Sweden - Beyond the Fiction

Brainpower meets Business in Malmö

Western Harbour and Turning Torso in Malmö

sydpol.com/skane.com

Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, in the past ten years it has remade itself from a formerly industrial town in decline, to a hotbed for young innovation.

“There are more jobs there today than during the heydays of ship-building. In new fields like media, design and mobile technology,” says Marianne Larsson at Teknopol, an agency, based in Lund to provide professional guidance to start-ups.

Malmö benefits from its diversity, trade and a university of its own, as well as from great neighbors. Lund is a university town with roots in the middle ages and an international reputation; Copenhagen, just across the water, is a major European capital. Malmö is less than an hour from both–at the crossroads of knowledge and business. As Larsson says:

“Innovation is not just invention, it is taking a great invention to the market and making it sell.”

The surrounding region is at the forefront of information and mobile technologies, nanotechnology, life sciences and cutting edge food industry, such as the development of functional foods to combat disease. Industrial design schools in Lund and Copenhagen make for a strong design presence in Malmö. Add to that Sony Mobile and the Mobile Heights cluster in Lund.

”Malmö is a small city with big city competency and accessibility. The environment is creative and stimulating right now. A lot of IT start-ups are drawn here,” says Kajsa Bengtsson at MINC a Malmö-based business incubator.

Malmö’s population hails from more than 175 countries. This contributes to the entrepreneurial spirit and makes it a crucible for new ideas born out of cross-cultural meetings. The Western Harbor area has been rebuilt into green apartments as well as a hub for culture and businesses. Another happening neighborhood is Möllevången, or “Möllan,” in the center of Malmö. An old working class area now known for its diversity (and great food).

“People are moving there, I know a young American entrepreneur with a master’s from Lund who recently chose Malmö as his base. I think that’s fantastic, you come here from the other side of the world, study in Lund and then end up in Möllan,” says Larsson.

Fertile Ground for Innovation

The Nobel Museum in the Old Town in Stockholm

©Nobelmuseet

Sweden has an international reputation for modernity and ingenuity in design and innovation. Is it something in the water, or are there systemic reasons for this consistent success?

Keeping Clean Water Simple

Solvatten, a Swedish innovation

Solvatten/solvatten.se

Solvatten uses solar energy to treat water and provide clean water for domestic use to the 1.1 billion people on earth who lack access to clean drinking water.

© Jeppe Wikström/ Stockholm Visitors Board