Sustainability and innovation in focus on the island of Gotland

Tuesday 25 October 2016

The destination for IVA’s Royal Technology Mission 2016 was the island of Gotland and the theme was sustainability. The delegation was led by IVA’s Chairman Leif Johansson and included 20 leaders from business, the public sector and academia from all around Sweden. This year’s delegation trip was inspired by Peter Larsson’s report “Sustainable Gotland” which he submitted to the Government in June 2016. The emphasis was on meetings at the university and with entrepreneurs at small start-ups and large established companies.

“The drive and entrepreneurship in Gotland was a theme throughout the trip,” says IVA’s President Björn O. Nilsson. “We met a number of local industry figures and it was also exciting to see the significance and important role of the university, Campus Gotland, in this region.”

A visit to Uppsala University's Campus Gotland was the first stop on the trip. The highlights included a presentation of Sweden’s largest tourism research programme which is studying how to get more cruise ships to visit Gotland and at the same time become more sustainable.

“Through the Royal Technology Mission I’ve got to know Gotland better and witnessed the energy and creativity here,” says Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University, Eva Åkesson. “I’ve been inspired to work more closely with this region through the university – it’s easy to be proud as Vice-Chancellor when visiting Campus Gotland.”

The delegation met representatives from start-up companies and larger, more established ones. The local brewery, Gotlands bryggeri, Picket and Swedish Composite were among the companies visited by the delegation. At Gotland Grönt Centrum local agricultural entrepreneurs were on hand to present innovations such as self-cleaning floors for animals and the latest in modern forest management and lamb husbandry. 

“I’m impressed by the driving force that exists here on Gotland – far beyond the well-known tourist industry,” says Leif Johansson, Chairman of IVA. “The entrepreneurship on Gotland is impressive in both food processing and in technology.”

 

Photo: Tommy Söderlund