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Jan-Olov Johansson, Luleå University of Technology Photo: Linda Alfredsson
Jan-Olov Johansson, Project Manager at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Linda Alfredsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Great investment in data center research

Published: 19 June 2018

The northernmost region of Sweden will become world leading in data center and large-scale data management. This is the goal of the Datacenter Innovation Region project. – With our prerequisites, we have a unique opportunity to take a leading role in this area, says Jan-Olov Johansson, Project Manager at the Center for Distance-Spanning Technology at Luleå University of Technology.

The data center industry is in rapid development and the global need for data capacity is increasing. Between the years 2011 and 2018, the number of data center companies in Norrbotten and Västerbotten has tripled and the industry continues to grow. Small and medium-sized companies are already adapting and developing specialized offers to the region's data centers and their customers – customers coming from different branches – and even more companies are about to start.

– The work on innovations must go faster than ever before. Within Datacenter Innovation Region, we will design and establish an efficient and rapid innovation support system that strengthens companies' opportunities for creating large-scale data management and data centers, says Jan-Olov Johansson.

Innovation system

The innovation system, ie activities aimed at strengthening the industry and creating the conditions for innovation, will include a variety of support. The project will also enable companies to carry out tests in the research institute RICE SICS North's testing environment. In short, the innovation system should support the work of small and medium-sized companies to go from idea to business benefit.

– We will develop an innovation toolbox that contains methods, processes, tools, and knowledge and expertise that can be combined and used in different ways based on each company's unique needs, Jan-Olov Johansson explains.

– In the toolbox, there will also be tools to work with gender equality and diversity because we are convinced that inclusion is important to successful companies.

Develop current advantages

Northern Sweden already has good infrastructure for data centers. There are large areas and stable access to renewable and relatively cheap energy, well-developed broadband infrastructure and favorable geography with stable land, clean water and cool clean air. But factors that have previously been an advantage, such as our cold climate, have fallen in importance as technology advances. Therefore, competitiveness must increase and knowledge develop further.

– We already have good infrastructure conditions in the region. Now we need to continue to develop our knowledge and skills in area, says Jan-Olov Johansson.

– When the project is over, the data center industry has grown further in the region, and companies are more flexible and faster when it comes to new innovations. In addition, our region and our knowledge should be well-known even in an international perspective.


Jan-Olov Johansson

Jan-Olov Johansson, Project Manager

Phone: +46 (0)920 491209
Organisation: Digital Services and Systems, Distance- Spanning Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering