Industries in Blekinge
In Blekinge there exists an international business environment that is modern, open and friendly. The region has numerous large and successful companies operating in different industries but on a global scale – Volvo, Ericsson, SAAB, Tarkett, Roxtec etc. are all very positive about cooperating with other companies in the region. Three focus industries where Blekinge are considered to be among the best in the world, are: IoT, Marine technology and Stamping. Within these industries excellence exists in the region – both within the companies present and the research conducted. The companies have the financial muscles to invest in research and development and Blekinge Institute of Technology, BTH, have tailor-made programs in order to meet the competence needs of the region.
Internet of Things
With Ericsson and what is now Telenor as forerunners, the world’s first telecoms cluster saw the light of day in Blekinge some 30 years ago. The cluster has since been a role model for how commercial, public and academic interests can work together to create innovation and growth. As a result, many international ICT-companies have established themselves in the region and today Huawei, Nokia, Sierra Wireless, HiQ, CGI and Sigma among others are present in Blekinge.
National center for Internet of Things
Sweden is a world leader when it comes to connected households, the internet of things with by far the most number of “things” connected to the internet – cars, refrigerators, lights etc within the OECD. The region of Blekinge plays a big part in this development and the region was recently named “Sweden’s center for Internet of Things” by Vinnova, the country’s official organ for innovation. In addition to world-class technical excellence, the municipalities in the region contribute with concept development and testing of IoT – services as a value service to people.
North European Cyber-security center
With more and more connected devices, the need for IT-security increases as well – and this is another strong area of interest in Blekinge. Blue Science Park in Blekinge is one of the co-founders of, and the Swedish represent in, North European Cyber-security Center (NECC). With other members representing Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Iceland.
The competence within marine technology in Blekinge has developed over some 300 years. Shipbuilding was the main reason king Karl XI founded the city of Karlskrona in 1680, four years after Sweden had won the war with Denmark. Ever since, the biggest part of the Swedish navy has been both developed and stationed in Blekinge. Today, SAAB Kockums run the shipyard and have through large investments, created one of the world’s best naval production sites for submarines and other vessels. Looking at the underwater technology specifically, the competence in Blekinge is outstanding. Besides SAAB Kockums, there is also NKT (previously ABB High Voltage Cables), a global leader in producing and deploying ocean cables for the energy sector. But also Roxtec International, a global market leader in the area of smart and flexible cable and pipe sealings for industries in the marine sector.
National center for underwater technology
The Swedish Navy and national Coast Guard have their headquarters in Blekinge with both taking part in the establishment of the National Underwater technology Center, NUC, in Blekinge. NUC, inaugurated by the Swedish Minster of Defence in April 2018, act as a hub for research and innovation within underwater technology in Sweden. At BTH there is in addition a Master of Science program within marine technology – aiming at providing the marine cluster in Blekinge with advanced competences. Core competence is primarily to be found within marine information systems and underwater technology.
Volvo, Porsche, Audi, Ford, Land Rover and Aston Martin are just some of the car manufacturers that have chosen to buy body parts from Blekinge. The reason being the extreme competence in material processing and stamping that has evolved in the region since the first ironworks was established in Blekinge almost 300 years ago. Already in the 1920’s, body parts for automotive was produced in Blekinge at the then new company Volvo. Today, a large cluster of companies with stamping and assembling of body parts as their expertise exist, working with some of the biggest automotive brands in the business. One success factor behind the positive development of the stamping sector in Blekinge is the well-established cooperation between public and academic sector and the automotive industry. BTH have Bachelor of Science educations in machine engineering and industrial economy in addition to a very close collaboration with companies in the regional cluster around research. Areas of research include simulation-driven product innovation, structural analysis of material and constructions, dynamics of material and how AI and Big Data could be used to increase efficiency in production processes for stamping. The companies in the automotive cluster also have access to Sweden’s largest research institute, “RISE”, who have placed their office for material and production in Blekinge due to the regional focus on the automotive industry.