Smart City Sweden North

Explore northern Sweden!

Discover smart & sustainable solutions in the northern region.

Photo: Sara Ingman/Imagebank.sweden.se

About the region

Northern Sweden is, with exceptional surroundings and strong entrepreneurship, driving the change towards sustainable growth. There is a distinct awareness in northern Sweden of sustainable development, which is displayed through our strengths bio-economy, clean energy and smart sustainable cities. 

Sweden has over 87 billion trees and 70 % of northern Sweden are covered in forest. Bio-economy is one of our many strengths: the knowledge of the process, from planting the seed to refining the whole tree including the residual streams. One example of best practice from our region is RISE Processum in Örnsköldsvik, a biorefinery research and development organisation in close collaboration with the industry. Their work includes developing new products, processes and energy solutions from raw material and residual streams from the process industry.

Clean energy

 Clean energy is focusing on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Wind power technologies, waste to energy and fuels of the future are developed here. Black pellets and biofuel, among other products, are developed and produced in the region. Companies within the clean energy field are EnviBAT, high-performance cutting-edge technology in the exhaust gas cleaning, heat recovery and water treatment industries; Eco-Oil, which develops green petrol for combustion engines; and Envigas, producing bio-coal for increased yields in agriculture and decontamination of land.

Smart & sustainable cities

Smart sustainable cities, built from clean energy, green technology and sustainable solutions, are another strength of Smart City Sweden North. A smart city is a city where technology, markets and consu­mers work together to create sustainable technologies and solutions through climate-smart business models. The northern region has four universities and strong collaborations between business and academia. Some companies within the field are Green Zone, showing it is finan­cially viable to transform from linear to circular thinking, and Hybricon, an ultrafast way of charging electrical buses. Sustainable Ålidhem is a unique project for sustainable urban development which includes social, technical, environmental and financial aspects located in Umeå.

 Smart City Sweden North offers technical and business visits in northern Sweden for groups of investors, compa­nies, entrepreneurs, researchers, government officials and organisations. We will tailor all visits to suit the requirements of the visitor. Welcome!


Best practice in the region

The Multi Activity House – Sports, Activities, and Culture Under One Roof

The Multi Activity House – Sports, Activities, and Culture Under One Roof

A project is underway in the far north of Sweden to move and relocate the entire city of Gällivare. Public buildings are being replaced, creating a need for innovative, multi-purpose properties. The multi-activity building in the city centre will bring sport, activities and culture under one roof.

Fossil-free steel demonstration plant in Vitåfors – direct reduction of iron ore pellets with hydrogen

Fossil-free steel demonstration plant in Vitåfors – direct reduction of iron ore pellets with hydrogen

HYBRIT’s demonstration plant in Vitåfors, northern Sweden, will demonstrate the value chain for fossil-free steel on an industrial scale. It includes production of hydrogen in order to manufacture sponge iron by direct reduction. The plant is due to open in 2026.

Fossil-free steel pilot plant reduces iron ore pellets use with hydrogen

Fossil-free steel pilot plant reduces iron ore pellets use with hydrogen

HYBRIT is conducting trials on direct reduction of iron ore pellets, using hydrogen produced by fossil-free electricity. Currently, a pilot hydrogen storage is being built to test the best way to store hydrogen underground.

Haraholmen – a Green Industrial Park where Sustainability is Key

Haraholmen – a Green Industrial Park where Sustainability is Key

Haraholmen is an industrial park that brings together many sustainable initiatives and solutions to increase their positive impact. The site uses renewable energy, welcomes companies with a focus on environmental sustainability and is a hub for resource-efficient transport with access to roads, railways and a deepwater port.

Markbygden 1101 – Europe’s Largest Onshore Windfarm

Markbygden 1101 – Europe’s Largest Onshore Windfarm

Markbygden 1101 is the largest onshore wind power project in Europe. Once completed, it will consist of up to 1,101 wind turbines, producing up to 12 TWh per year. That’s around 8% of Sweden’s total electricity generation.

Site East –  a Climate-Neutral Construction Site

Site East – a Climate-Neutral Construction Site

At Skellefteå Site East, close to Northvolt’s factory, one of the world’s most sustainable development projects has been conducted. Maximising the cutting-edge know-how of both Skellefteå Municipality and external partners, Site East is a source of inspiration for the industry. It has the boldness to adopt new approaches to sustainability and work with contractors towards a common vision.

Wood Safari – Experience how Creative Wood Ideas Turns in to Sustainable Living Environments

Wood Safari – Experience how Creative Wood Ideas Turns in to Sustainable Living Environments

Advances in timber construction are attracting more and more attention from contractors and architects, who are discovering the benefits of using wood as a building material. In Skellefteå, you can experience a ‘wood safari’ to learn how creative ideas produce low-carbon, attractive living environments.

Skellefteå Airport – the First Fossil-Free Airport

Skellefteå Airport – the First Fossil-Free Airport

As the global aviation sector faces increasing demands to get on a sustainable flightpath, one airport in northern Sweden has gained a head start. It aims to become Europe’s, and probably the world’s, first fossil-free airport. It is also preparing to become a test centre for electrically powered and vertical take-off aircraft.

Sensors and AI Technology Provide Smarter Power Grid Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Sensors and AI Technology Provide Smarter Power Grid Maintenance and Troubleshooting

In 2018, the electricity grid around Malå, Sweden, was fitted with a Smart Grid Surveillance system that detects and locates faults and deviations in the grid. The solution enables much more efficient and proactive maintenance, saving time and money.

Fossil-Free Battery Factory Accelerates Transition to Electric with 100% Green Energy

Fossil-Free Battery Factory Accelerates Transition to Electric with 100% Green Energy

Northvolt in Skellefteå is the greenest battery plant in Europe, providing sustainable replacement of fossil fuels through the large-scale manufacture of batteries for the electrification of transport and vehicles. What’s more, the plant uses 100% green energy.

Pioneering Technology Adapts Electric Buses to Cold Climate

Pioneering Technology Adapts Electric Buses to Cold Climate

A major challenge for electric vehicles in northern Europe is adapting them to the cold climate to improve their operation, as well as their passenger and driver comfort. In Umeå, the company Hybricon has solved this problem with an advanced system for air heating and cooling.

Sara Cultural Centre – One of the World’s Tallest Timber Buildings

Sara Cultural Centre – One of the World’s Tallest Timber Buildings

Sara Cultural Centre, one of the world’s tallest timber buildings, is located in Skellefteå, just below the artic circle in the north of Sweden. The building houses venues for arts, performances and meetings as well as a hotel, and has been constructed with the latest energy solutions.

Smart Living Lab: Innovation Hub Helping Make Umeå a Smart City

Smart Living Lab: Innovation Hub Helping Make Umeå a Smart City

Umeå is a fast-growing, environmentally conscious city in Northern Sweden that’s aiming to continue growing based on ecological, economic and social sustainability. The Smart Living Lab is a central hub for innovations and ideas to achieve this vision.

Sharing Economy Solutions for a Smart and Sustainable City

Sharing Economy Solutions for a Smart and Sustainable City

The city of Umeå is a pioneer in developing the sharing economy. The city has established test beds for a number of sharing services and digital solutions that lead to a more sustainable society.

Gender Equality and Inclusiveness in Urban Planning

Gender Equality and Inclusiveness in Urban Planning

As segregation and inequality are increasing in many parts of the world , inclusiveness in the planning process of cities and communities is becoming even more important. The city of Umeå in northern Sweden is working hard to create an inclusive, safe environment for all.

Climate smart use of district heating system to warm up parked aircraft

Climate smart use of district heating system to warm up parked aircraft

Luleå Airport is one of two pilot sites testing a new way to heavily reduce the carbon emissions. By using the district heating and cooling system for parked aircrafts, the airport’s electricity demand has dropped by 95 %.

Stormwater Research Centre Is Brimming with New Ideas

Stormwater Research Centre Is Brimming with New Ideas

‘Drizzle’ is a centre of excellence committed to high-quality R&D in pioneering stormwater solutions that address several challenges: minimising pollution loads on receiving waters; minimising the risk of urban flooding; and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by stormwater run-off.

Energy, Heat and Steam Generated from 99% Renewable Fuels

Energy, Heat and Steam Generated from 99% Renewable Fuels

Hörneborgsverket, a biofuel-based cogeneration plant, is at the heart of Övik Energi’s energy production. Hörneborgsverket produces roughly equal amounts of district heating, steam, and electricity. Some 99% of the fuels used at the plant are renewable, and the steam is distributed to local industries.

World-Class Biorefinery for Sustainable Cellulose Production

World-Class Biorefinery for Sustainable Cellulose Production

Domsjö Fabriker is part of the Aditya Birla Group, the world’s largest of viscose fibre producer. This cutting-edge biorefinery is developing the textiles of the future for the world’s catwalks, from northern spruce trees. This is creating a sustainable bioeconomy that uses the forest’s unique renewable resources.

MTC – a Full-Scale Test Bed for New Solutions within Waste and Pollution

MTC – a Full-Scale Test Bed for New Solutions within Waste and Pollution

Increased efforts in environmental technology is crucial to achieve a more sustainable use of society’s resources. MTC in Umeå specialises in the implementation of emerging environmental technologies, focusing on waste, contaminated water and contaminated soil.

Processum – Biorefinery Development for a Fossil-free Future

Processum – Biorefinery Development for a Fossil-free Future

Processum is an international research- and innovation partner in biorefinery. In their unique research environment, Processum can test new ideas and products all the way from laboratory to demo scale. The aim is to develop methods for converting all kinds of biomass into useful materials such as proteins and chemicals and into bioenergy to replace fossil based raw materials.

Unique Swedish Solution Improves Water Purification

Unique Swedish Solution Improves Water Purification

A new water purification system uses floating walls, or baffles, to improve purification. The solution has been developed by a Swedish company and can be used in all kinds of dams, for surface or storm water, leachate, industrial water and sewerage water.

Windpower in Hörnefors

Windpower in Hörnefors

Wind power is an endless and renewable source of energy that has been used for thousands of years. It plays an important role in Umeå Energis investment in renewable energy and is in line with the company’s aim to be completely carbon neutral by 2018. In total, the municipality owned company Umeå Energi owns ten wind turbines, which provide significant climate benefits. These turbines are situated in the towns of Hörnefors, Holmsund and Robertsfors.

Umeå’s Most Important Environmental Facility Is Its Water Treatment Plant

Umeå’s Most Important Environmental Facility Is Its Water Treatment Plant

Umeå Municipality has a total of 19 wastewater treatment plants. The largest handles waste water from households and various companies in the area. Every year, it receives about 13 million cubic metres of waste water, containing 3,000 tonnes of organic material and 80 tonnes of phosphorus. And every day it produces 23,000 kWh of biogas.

Umeå Neighbourhood Integrates All Aspects of Sustainable Urban Development

Umeå Neighbourhood Integrates All Aspects of Sustainable Urban Development

Sustainable Ålidhem in Umeå is a unique urban development project, encompassing the social, technical, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. The objective of the project is to reduce energy usage, create a safer and more comfortable environment and transform Ålidhem into a sustainable neighbourhood.

Green Zone – a Unique Model for Circular Management of Waste, Water and Energy

Green Zone – a Unique Model for Circular Management of Waste, Water and Energy

Green Zone is a unique pioneering project, proving that it’s possible to create an almost waste-free environment even when building and operating services like a car wash and petrol station. The synergy-based solutions for air, light, energy and water make Green Zone a centre for learning about circular sustainability.

Gimonäs Recyclingcenter

Gimonäs Recyclingcenter

At Gimonäs Recycling Center the households can submit their bulky waste, garden waste and the hazardous waste at no additional charge. The municipal company, Vakin, owns and operates seven recycling centers in Umeå municipality and one in Vindeln municipality.

Umeå’s CHP Plant Sets New Standard in Turning Waste into Power

Umeå’s CHP Plant Sets New Standard in Turning Waste into Power

The generation of both district heating and electricity almost entirely from waste makes the Dåva CHP (combined heat and power) plant extremely energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. Its renewable sources include sorted waste and forest industry residues.

Älvsbacka Bridge – Building a Sustainable Future with Timber

Älvsbacka Bridge – Building a Sustainable Future with Timber

The Älvsbacka Bridge in Skellefteå is one of many pedestrian bridges constructed by Martinsons since the late 1980s and an innovative example of wood construction. It takes advantage of the environmental and other benefits from greater use of wood in building projects.

Biogas plant Tuvan, Skellefteå

Biogas plant Tuvan, Skellefteå

The municipalty of Skellefteå collect waste from homes and workplaces and produces there own biogasfuell for use in the municipality cars and in the public buses.

Combined heat and power plant Hedensbyn

Combined heat and power plant Hedensbyn

CHP Plant

Hedensbyn was Skellefteå Kraft’s first bioenergy combine when it started operations in 1996 and has been a world leader in the development of modern bioenergy technology ever since.

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