Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn deputy Vice Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology is one of several in a group from Luleå (The node pole expediton) traveling to the U.S. to visit Facebook. The purpose of the trip is to seek cooperation and attract more similar companies to start operations in Luleå. Facebook's establishment in the city is already very interesting for LTU students
- Facebook is a company that attracts young people, so there is already a student project at Luleå University of Technology, where the students are going to study what you can do with the surplus energy generated by Facebook's server rooms, said LTU's deputy Vice Chancellor Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn.
The group traveling to the United States also includes Luleå Mayor Karl Petersen, Matz Engman, president of Luleå business AB, Anders Granberg, head of the newly formed North Sweden Data Centre Location, Frederick Kallioniemi CEO of Aurorum Science Park and Erik Lundström, director of business development at Luleå energy. There are high hopes that new giant companies like Facebook should be attracted to Luleå and that's why the group during the trip has booked meeting with a few. In addition, the group will visit the Facebook datacentrer in Oregon to see how it works in full operation. In Luleå several effects of the Facebooks establishement is expected, in particularly the university research and development. It is Facebook's first establishment in Europe and then the company have chosen to build its center directly adjacent to a campus Matz Engman, president of Lulea Enterprise AB points out.
- So we've got enormous opportunities because Facebook has chosen to bring this facility right next door to the university, he says.
Even before the trip to the U.S. there is an interest from students after Facebook's establishment in Luleå, which in turn suggests that many disciplines at the university concerned.
- It's great to see that, even if you think about Facebook as a social media company, it's so many other areas of expertise that connects to the LTU, says Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn.
Just before Christmas, a survey was conducted at the university which areas may be of interest for co-operation with Facebook. Building in a cold climate, energy, renewable energy and in the ICT field, data storage and data security are some examples that Deputy Vice Chancellor mentions.
- So there are many areas where we see that we can build a partnership, both in research and education, she says.
The goal for LTU to participate in the trip to the U.S. is to establish a first contact and find out within which areas there is an interest to cooperate. Particular emphasis does Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn point out that LTU may show what kind of skills that can be offered.
- We think that this is the first step, then there will be more companies and then it will be even more important with skills, she says, which is underlined by the Mayor of Luleå.
- You should know that when Facebook makes one billion investment far away in Sweden, it is clear that they need all the support they can get from us, said Karl Petersen, Mayor of Luleå.