Two of the participants at the workshop on sustainability, John Gunnar Jonsson, head of the Municipality of Lycksele growth office and Anna Degerman, Development Manager at Luleå municipality.

Takes responsibility for the future

Published: 14 March 2014

It is important to use our finite resources in a sustainable way, especially in a cold climate. Luleå University of Technology (LTU) has recently organized a workshop with the theme in collaboration with the municipalities in the region. That responsibility requires each one, but offers new opportunities. Sustainable technology is a necessity which in turn leads to new business opportunities and jobs.

Professor Richard Gebart LTU
Professor Richard Gebart, Luleå University of Technology

- It is natural in our part of the world to focus on the special requirements for technologies that must work in cold climates and that is why we arranged a workshop on the topic, says Professor Richard Gebart at Luleå University of Technology.

The goal of the workshop was to pair players with good ideas and to stimulate innovation in sustainable technology. In a creative process  researchers from the university and executives of business and development of most of the county's municipalities and some even from the region of Västerbotten.

- What I find interesting is that we as municipal representatives meet with representatives of the Luleå University of Technology and LTU Centek and to make contact with researchers and the environment they work in, says John Gunnar Jönsson, Head of Lycksele Municipality Growth office.

- I think that we in our organization has had sustainability on the agenda in different ways and yet so I learn incredibly much new as I sit here and moreover I begin to realize the tremendous expertise that there are at LTU which we will take part of, and be inspired by, says Anna Degerman, Development Manager at Luleå municipality.

Issues that came up was e.g. how skills from university could be brought out in the companies. How the municipality level can optimize what they already have done to make it sustainable by using expertise from the university. "Doing engineering" of ideas, ie who takes responsibility and pass the ideas on, was another issue. How to get small businesses to discover the university and how to work with transports in a sustainability perspectiv are other examples. Value chain forest and jobs was another issue that came up.

- We have woods but we are bad at using it, it is transported to the coast or elsewhere. It does not stop to be processed in the hinterland and in that aspect I think we have very much to do, says John Gunnar Jönsson, head of Lycksele Municipality Growth office.

Many big and difficult issues could be discussed during the workshop on sustainability. It was talked a lot about the importance of collaboration across municipal and county boundaries.

- What I want to take home with me from this day is how we can work across the county and how we can work together in some areas where we have simular points. We have started from ourselves and now I feel that we are thinking in a larger perspective and how we should get the equation together , says Anna Degerman, Development Manager at Luleå.

This first workshop conducted in cooperation between the University and the region's municipalities will be followed by similar workshops.

Great interest for workshop on sustainability
Interest in the workshop on sustainable technology was large and both community representatives and scientists participated.