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Lisa Ek Niklas Grönberg
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LTU Business develops business strategy for underground labs

Published: 29 August 2019

From research lab to test bed. The underground Äspö laboratory, Sweden, has been a center for research related to safe disposal of nuclear fuel for more than 30 years. As the energy sector is shifting to renewable sources, its owners sees an opportunity to reinvent the SEK four billion facility into a commercial test bed. LTU Business is developing a business strategy aimed at the mining, construction and geo-energy industries.

Target to transform into a unique test bed 

LTU Business is assigned to analyze potential customer groups, markets, competitors and business models, in order to assess the best strategy for the Äspö Laboratory to establish itself as an open test bed. 

- With our technical knowledge and LTU Business' know-how in testbed business strategies, we hope to develop a model that creates long-term value for Sweden, says Mats Ohlsson, coordinator for external contacts at the Äspö Laboratory at SKB (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co).

Growing demand can lead to increased profitability
According to Vinnova, Sweden's government agency for innovation, test beds are becoming increasingly important for business and the public sector and there is a growing demand for expert knowledge in assessing the profitability and market for a test business.

Lisa Ek and Niklas Grönberg, LTU Business, have a background in global management consulting and are developing the new strategy for the underground lab.  
- In total, around SEK 4 billion has been invested in the facilities and it has played a very important role in ensuring that Sweden can safely store nuclear fuel. Now that the interests are shifting, there is potential to find new areas of interest and target customers, says Lisa Ek, strategy consultant at LTU Business.

"Sustainable test bed industry creates work and investment"
Gry Holmgren Hafskjold, CEO of LTU Business, believes that Sweden has the potential to become a leader in the test bed industry, thereby creating new jobs and investments, not least in sparsely populated parts of the country.

- Our ambition is to be part of and contribute to a more sustainable future, where the test bed industry has an obvious place. Assignments such as the Äspö Laboratory are a receipt for our strategic investment to build excellence in creating commercially sustainable test beds, concludes Gry Holmgren Hafskjold.

The assignment started in May 2019 and is expected to be completed in September.