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‘We have a lot of industry, but also the ICT competencies that are needed’

2 June 2020
The manufacturing industry is on the verge of a paradigm shift - it’s becoming more automated, digitalised and connected. As the industrial heart of Sweden, the Gothenburg region is home to companies that are leading the way. It also has the ICT capabilities that are needed to drive this development, shows Business Region Göteborg’s new mapping of the Industry 4.0 landscape in West Sweden.

What is industry 4.0?

“There are a lot of different definitions, but in a nutshell, it is about using all of the latest technologies - such as internet of things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence - to enable modern manufacturing. For example, there is a trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies,” says Erik Behm, area and investment manager for ICT at Business Region Göteborg.

What are some of the key findings of the mapping?

“In Gothenburg we have a lot of industry, but also the ICT competencies that are needed as part of Industry 4.0. We also see that there is strong cluster collaboration and arenas to collect and distribute knowledge and experience, such as the Stena Industry Innovation Lab, the Assar Industrial Innovation Arena, Smarta Fabriker (Smart factories) and Mobility Xlab,” says Johan Hogsved, who carried out the mapping, on behalf of Business Region Göteborg.  

“Industry 4.0 is happening now and even if we have seen much change – more is to come. SKF, Wellspect Healthcare, Tonsjö and the Volvo Group are a few of the region’s leading companies when it comes implementation,” adds Johan.

Why is it important for the region to be advanced in Industry 4.0?

“With a re-industrialisation of Sweden, and more and more production in Europe instead of the Far East, we need to be cost efficient. We also need to be flexible and use the latest technologies. Otherwise, there is a risk that our manufacturing industry could face the same fate as Kodak, Nokia, or in Sweden Facit,” says Erik Behm, who works with ICT cluster development and investment promotion.

In terms of Industry 4.0, how is the Gothenburg region positioned internationally?

“We have a very good foundation in place with a strong industrial base and an innovative and digital economy. We have a number of leading companies as well as industry organisations, Teknikföretagen and IT&Telekomföretagen. We also have strong universities - Chalmers, University West, University of Skövde and Halmstad University - as well as science parks and the technical college, GTC. ” says Erik Behm.

“In addition, we have the networks, but also the arenas for collaboration like Innovatum, Stena Industry Innovation Lab and AI Innovation of Sweden, among others. These create the innovation force and we encourage companies with a drive to engage to contact us,” he adds.

“Industry 4.0 opens up a new competitive landscape. It also affects all areas of an industry, from production to product to business model. I believe we are well positioned, but so is the international competition,” says Johan Hogsved.


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