Västerbotten Investment Agency

Cutting edge cluster in the midst of an emerging market

Cleantech Sweden

The province of Västerbotten is home to a growing cleantech cluster with high class R&D facilities and a number of successful recycling and environmental technology enterprises. Some of their areas of specialization are biological decontamination of polluted soil, oily water treatment, gas cleaning systems and railway decontamination. There is also a multitude of engineering companies involved in the biomass energy production value chain. A strong focus on sustainable building has generated excellent know-how in energy saving solutions and new building technologies (e.g. Green Zone in Umeå).

World leading scrap recycling

Within the recycling field, the Boliden mining and smelting company is a world leader in the recovery of base and precious metals from a variety of recycled materials, such as electronic scrap. The smelting plant Rönnskär annually processes more than 150 000 tonnes of recycling materials from all over the world. As the Skellefteå mineral field is rich in complex ore, Boliden has developed a number of unique processes that ensure practically complete metal recovery of the electronic scrap infeed.

Huge market potential in offshore and mining industries

The mining, metallurgy and pulp and paper industries in Västerbotten have seen a powerful expansion in the last decades. Together with the upgrading of hydroelectric power stations, this ensures that the regional demands for environmental technology and expertise keep bubbling. In addition, the nearby mining industry of Finnish Lapland and the Murmansk/Kola Peninsula region, as well as offshore industry in the Barents Sea, are high-potential markets for environmental know-how, clean up projects and development of new decontamination techniques. There is still a serious shortage of consultants in these fields.

Strong areas of research at the region’s universities

The Västerbotten region is home to many business support centers and R&D institutes for environmental technologies. The cross border research and education at Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences include climate research, environmental chemistry, forest ecology, sanitation techniques, behavioural research and much more. Luleå University of Technology is home to research in metals recycling as well as waste management technology and technologies for sustainable soil remediation. The university is also one of the world’s leading competence center for all aspects of cold climate research. The Northern Sweden Soil Remediation Center, a collaboration of R&D institutes, authorities and companies to coordinate and promote research on soil pollution and remediation techniques is associated to Luleå and Umeå Universities. Research incubators located at these schools have served as launch pads for the development of numerous new companies in the field of environmental technology. Västerbotten’s extensive know-how in environmental technologies and recycling processes open up opportunities for new establishments in these fields, and enable fruitful partnerships.

5 reasons to invest in Environmental technology in Västerbotten

  • Strong areas of environmental research at the universities
  • World leading electronic scrap recycling at Boliden
  • Prominent specialized companies, many sprung from university incubators
  • Closeness to emerging markets in Norway, Finland and Russia
  • Big market opportunities for environmental consultants