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Sweden and Europe creating world’s largest innovation factory

1 June 2010

In late May the massive European initiative InnoEnergy was launched, bringing together Europe’s very best universities and companies in the field of energy in a joint corporation to create new companies and products. The aggregate budget for this is astounding – more than SEK 5 billion.

InnoEnergy’s objective is to create 60 new companies, 100 new products, 80 patents, and 3,300 graduates in the energy field over the coming five years. The Swedish component of InnoEnergy is represented by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Uppsala University, ABB, and Vattenfall. They will share one sixth of the major European investment, which may lead to more than 500 new jobs. In the rest of Europe, the initiative involves a further 11 companies, 10 research institutes, and 11 universities.

Ramon Wyss, vice president of KTH and coordinator of InnoEnergy Sweden, observes that this commitment is exactly what Sweden needs in order to create prosperity, new jobs, and exciting career opportunities. This will enable Europe to compete with the US commercially and at the same time will help solve a gigantic global problem. InnoEnergy is taking a holistic approach to the entire energy chain – from source via storage and grids out to consumers, and Sweden will have the main responsibility for smart grids and electricity storage, where it is already the world leader.

“InnoEnergy is a European investment, and the fact that it covers all of Europe is a prerequisite for it to succeed. InnoEnergy has more than 50 percent of Europe’s aggregate research capacity in the energy sector at its disposal,” says han.

Joseph Nordgren, vice rector at Uppsala University, sees great potential in Uppsala’s participation in InnoEnergy.

“Our highly successful battery and electricity research is based on the Ångström Laboratory’s advanced expertise in materials science. This research has attracted a great deal of attention from players in Sweden and Europe and has a great potential to create prosperous companies and products in the electricity storage sector,” he says.