Construction boom in Gothenburg creates many business opportunities and a high demand for sustainable solutions
Insulation manufactured from eelgrass, water-saving nozzle for taps and custom solar panels for facades and roofs. These were just some of the sustainable solutions presented when 27 companies from northern Europe interacted with construction & property companies and others associated with Living Lab in Gothenburg.
“It was very worthwhile and we’re simply thrilled! The Living Lab has been vital in connecting us with suppliers who can help us transition to fossil-free construction. We’re interested in pursuing further discussions with all of the suppliers we met during the day,” says Anders Hall from the Municipal Administration Office, City of Gothenburg.
Anders Hall is a project manager working with Gothenburg’s new fossil-free preschool, Hoppet. Construction will get underway this fall. It’s a project that will set a new standard and serve as a model for future construction projects in Gothenburg. It’s also a fundamental component for achieving the City’s targets for sustainable and fair levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The aim of Living Lab Event was to acquaint various companies and organizations in, for example, the construction and property sector with new, innovative solutions for fossil-free construction. There were around 150 participants from 8 countries, China among them, who networked and made important new business contacts. It is expected that many will lead to solid new deals.
27 companies represented
“We received more than 40 applications from a range of companies (small and medium-sized) that were interested in participating and presenting their products and solutions at the event. We collaborated with the Local Administration Office to selected 17 of the applicants. Each one got to make a two-minute pitch on stage and meet individually with interested parties. Ten additional companies also participated and set up exhibitions,” says Carina Nowak from Business Region Göteborg. She is also a project manager for the international project, Northern Connections, which helped organize the event.
Companies from the following countries in northern Europe attended the event: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Scotland. One of them was Læsø Zostera, which uses a long-established way of harvesting eelgrass that has washed ashore. They then use modern methods to turn the grass into environmentally-friendly, highly-effective insulation for buildings.
“We made many new contacts here. It’s been a great event...much larger than I expected too!”, says Kirsten Lynge from the Danish company, Læsø and one of the founders of Læsø Zostera.
“A trend in the market”
Xavier Flasse, from the Belgian company, ISSOL agreed. It offers custom integrated solar panels for roofs and facades.
“There is great interest, not least in Scandinavia, in creating attractive shell structures for buildings, which can also convert solar energy to electricity. What went on here today confirms the trend that we’re seeing in the market right now. There is definitely a growing demand for climate-smart products and solutions,” says Xavier Flasse.
One of the products that generated much interest was a nozzle that can generate water consumption savings in ordinary taps of up to 98 percent. The product is manufactured by the Swedish start-up company, Altereds.
“You will notice the difference yourself. In about 20 minutes, after my pitch, you can go the lavatories and test them. I’ll simply install our nozzles on the taps there!” promised Urban Dalhov from Altered, during his presentation to the audience of around 150 participants.
Many new contacts
And it’s a promise he made good on! It didn’t take long before nozzles were installed on the taps in both the men’s and ladies’ rooms.
“This has been an incredibly good day for us. I’ve met with people I wouldn’t easily have gotten the chance to meet otherwise. I’m also very proud that we have something very tangible, available now, that can make a significant difference. Hopefully, for everyone who tested the nozzles here today, it’s given them food for thought,” says Urban Dalhov.
The event was organized by Business Region Göteborg, Innovatum and Sustainable Business Hub within the scope of Northern Connections – an EU project consisting of 21 partners from regions, cities and clusters in the North Sea Region.
- Carina Nowak, Project Manager for Northern Connections at Business Region Göteborg
- Andreas Göthberg, Head of FDI at Business Region Göteborg