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NorrlandsNavet – a new business development center

Published: 19 May 2020

The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity initiates NorrlandsNavet, a new business development center at Luleå University of Technology to strengthen and develop small and medium-sized enterprises in northern Sweden. The foundation invests a total of SEK 100 million over eight years.

Ingvar Kamprad left half of his private assets to the Foundation with the intention to develop business enterprises in northern Sweden. Through the development of knowledge, based on the needs of the companies, NorrlandsNavet will contribute to strengthening their competitiveness.

NorrlandsNavet will be run by Luleå University of Technology in close collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region. One purpose with the center is to make the contact areas between companies and universities even more accessible.

– Ingvar wanted our entire country to live. With NorrlandsNavet, the Foundation provides the conditions for small and medium-sized companies to identify their development needs together with Luleå University of Technology. It is a long-term investment that must be based on the needs and reality of the companies, and that will benefit the many people in the region, says Lena Fritzén, executive member of the Foundation.

The Foundation supports causes that were important to Ingvar Kamprad. The purpose is to support, stimulate and reward education and scientific research to promote entrepreneurship, the environment, competence, health and social improvement. It will focus specifically on implementing the results of the research and education to benefit the many people quickly and cost-efficiently.

Development and competitiveness

The new business development center NorrlandsNavet will identify knowledge needs in areas that are important for companies' development and competitiveness. Like, for example, if the process industry wants to digitize its business models or the hospitality industry wants to immerse in international marketing. When the needs are identified, Luleå University of Technology will develop educational initiatives that will benefit the companies. In some cases, the needs of companies may be more challenging and may therefore require longer research efforts or collaboration with students in the form of degree projects. The knowledge gained will be disseminated in the region, nationally and internationally.

– We are proud of the good cooperation we have with the The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity, and of the project that we have developed together. Regional development and strengthening our local companies are important missions and something we have long and solid experience of at the University. The fact that the new project starts in the middle of the corona crisis presents new challenges and opportunities, but it also means that the project becomes even more important for the region, says Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology.

The University has long experience of working closely with companies and has the highest proportion of corporate funded applied research among Swedish universities. Luleå University of Technology is experiencing strong growth with world-leading competence in several areas of research, such as AI, robotics, construction management and building technology and entrepreneurship and innovation. The long-term grant from the foundation enables more small and medium-sized companies in the region to collaborate with the University.

Reach even more enterprises

NorrlandsNavet is based on proven methods that are now scaled up and thus reach significantly more small and medium-sized enterprises. Lundqvist Trävaru AB in Piteå is one of many companies that has strengthened its operations thanks to cooperating with Luleå University of Technology.

– Luleå University of Technology has been there for us like an external development department during our business trip from 10 to 100 million in revenue. I believe that NorrlandsNavet has extremely good conditions to make a difference in our region by matching the companies' needs to the arsenal of values the academy can bring to business; research, education and contact with students. We get a new meeting place for academia and business, especially if we succeed in collaboration with other business-promoting organizations, says Samuel Holmström, CEO of Lundqvist Trävaru AB.

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