Innovation environments pilot initiative

Skellefteå Science City has been asked to become involved in Innovationsmiljöer, Energimyndigheten’s first pilot initiative in cooperation with innovation environments around Sweden with the aim of accelerating the transformation of the energy system.

This project is the fruit of months of concerted work by Skellefteå Science City and its partners.

So we sat down with Magnus Wiklund, Senior Business Advisor to Science City, to find out just what this project will involve.

Innovation environments
Science City has been asked to become involved in Innovationsmiljöer, Energimyndigheten’s first pilot initiative in cooperation with innovation environments around Sweden with the aim of accelerating the transformation of the energy system.

“The aim of this pilot scheme is to take advantage of the innovative power we have in Sweden and help innovative companies to commercialize their energy innovations,” says Magnus.

There are several aims.

They are:

  •   Increased commercialization of research results and innovations with energy relevance
  •   Increased funding and business development in companies in different development phases
  •   Build a methodology for learning, development and follow-up together with the innovation environments that leads to increased cooperation and information gathering on energy and climate issues
  •   Several purposeful and competitive new solutions that contribute to energy and climate policy goals.

So how will Science City go about achieving these aims?

“It’s not just about these direct targets,” says Magnus.

“There are three main agencies (Energimyndigheten, Vinnova and Tillväxtverket) providing funding to SMEs and startups and they want to better target energy companies in the regions – they want their money to benefit those who will benefit Sweden most in the long-term.”

And Science City has a very cunning plan to help the national agencies facilitate this more laser-focused targeting. An accelerator that will help relevant companies to scale up.

“We’ve only just received approval, so we’ve not had time to go into details,” says Magnus. “The first year is a pilot scheme, so we’re not guaranteed funding for years two and three.”

“But the idea is to run an energy accelerator out of The Great Northern. We don’t have any accelerators in Västerbotten. We have incubators and pre-incubators but no accelerators.”

“To start with it's going to be an accelerator for Swedish companies who are looking to scale up. When they have done the pre-incubator and incubator and they have their business model set and they want to scale up to the next stage. That kind of company is what we are looking for in the accelerator.”

“If it works nationally, then there’s every chance we can have international companies be part of it too. Johnny Högberg at Science City has been trying to put together a soft landing program with other countries and that would tie in nicely if we reach the stage where we can have international participants. Then, with a soft landing program, they’d have immediate support once they came here.”