Halland Tech Week sätter Halland på tech-kartan
Micha Björck är utvecklingsledare på Alexanderssoninstitutet Varberg och en av huvudarrangörerna bakom Halland Tech Week.
Halland Tech Week är en av de mest spännande årliga tech-händelserna i Halland. Invest in Halland har nöjet att prata med Micha Björck, utvecklingsledare på Alexanderssoninstitutet i Varberg och en av huvudarrangörerna bakom eventet. Hon berättar mer om årets program och varför eventet har blivit en viktig plattform.
Kan du berätta lite om bakgrunden och syftet med Halland Tech Week? Vad var det som ledde fram till att evenemanget skapades?
– Vi vill med evenemanget Halland Tech Week sätta Hallandsregionen på kartan inom det nationella och internationella tech- communityt. Halland Tech Week ska lyfta fram den tech-scen som finns här och visa på konkreta möjligheter med ny teknik och digitalisering.
Hur har Halland Tech Week utvecklats sedan starten, och hur har det påverkat tech-branschen i Halland?
– Halland Tech Week har sedan starten fått en trogen publik och ett starkt varumärke. Vi har arbetat mycket med att förtydliga programmet genom att dela upp veckan på fyra olika kommuner med var sitt tydliga tema. Evenemanget har gett näringslivet ett återkommande smörgåsbord av kompetensutveckling och nätverkande kopplat till ny teknik, digitalisering och affärsutveckling. Dessutom arbetar vi för att sätta Halland på kartan inom tech-communityt nationellt och internationellt.
Vilka är de största utmaningarna som tech-branschen står inför just nu?
– Kompetensförsörjningen, alltså att hitta nya medarbetare, är branschens största utmaning. Ett av syftena med Halland Tech Week är att skapa ett forum där vi kan visa upp intressanta bolag och arbetsplatser i Halland får regionen möjligheten att behålla och attrahera arbetskraft och kompetens.
Att lära av varandra är en stor möjlighet. Halland Tech Week bidrar till mer samverkan mellan olika företag och branscher så att de kan stötta, inspirera och lyfta varandra. Fotograf: Natalie Greppi
Halland Tech Week har gett näringslivet ett återkommande smörgåsbord av kompetensutveckling och nätverkande kopplat till ny teknik, digitalisering och affärsutveckling.
Vad ser du som de största möjligheterna för tech-branschen i Halland framöver? Hur kan evenemanget bidra till att realisera dessa möjligheter?
En av de största möjligheterna i en konkurrensutsatt bransch som ständigt är i förändring är att lära av varandra. Halland Tech Week skall bidra till mer samverkan mellan olika företag och branscher så att de kan stötta, inspirera och lyfta varandra.
Kan du dela med dig av några höjdpunkter från årets program under Halland Tech Week?
Höjdpunkten i årets program är den fantastiska bredden av ämnen allt från robotar till algodling. I programmet finns det något för alla, både en allmän trendspaning och mer tekniskt avancerade event.
Vilka typer av deltagare eller besökare hoppas ni locka till Halland Tech Week? Är evenemanget öppet för alla, oavsett bakgrund eller erfarenhet?
Halland Tech Week riktar sig till hela det halländska näringslivet, det är kostnadsfritt och är öppet för alla.
Halland Tech Week är öppet för alla och riktar sig till hela det halländska näringslivet. Programmet innehåller en bredd av ämnen, allt från robotar till algodling. Fotograf: Natalie Greppi
Kan du dela med dig av några roliga eller minnesvärda ögonblick från tidigare år av Halland Tech Week?
– Förra årets premiär av eventet Business, Bike & Beer var mycket lyckat. Då cyklade vi runt till ett antal företag i form av en after work där vi fick ta del av deras verksamhet, dricka gått och umgås under avslappnade former. Detta event återkommer även i år.
Hur har samarbeten och nätverkande spelat en roll i utvecklingen av Halland Tech Week och tech-branschen i regionen?
– Halland Tech Week samskapas med hjälp av en projektledare som håller ihop evenemanget. Arrangörerna som består av företag, nätverk och kommuner har en koordinerande och självstyrande roll kopplat till sin specifika programpunkt. Arrangemanget skapar ett regionalt sammanhang och bygger nätverk kopplat till tech.
Avslutningsvis, om du skulle ge en kort uppmaning till de som överväger att delta i Halland Tech Week i år, vad skulle det vara?
– Samhället utvecklas snabbt och Halland Tech Week ett utmärkt tillfälle för både en allmän orientering och en fördjupad teknikkompetens. I det breda programmet finns något för alla; kompetensutveckling på hemmaplan, nätverkande och trendspaningar.
Six unique holiday destinations in Halland.
Världsarvet Grimeton Radiostation
We know that Halland is the ultimate holiday destination, but there is so much more to experience. The business community is brimming with entrepreneurship, innovation, and opportunities. Here are some unique holiday tips that showcase different aspects of Halland’s business life. Feel free to click on the sights that might interest you.
Whether you’re interested in technology, history, or simply seeking an extraordinary experience, Grimeton Radio Station World Heritage Site is the destination for you! Make exciting discoveries at ground level or climb 127 meters and look out from the best place in the world for wireless communication. This unique place offers activities for the whole family.
The foremost Arts and Crafts facility in the Nordic region and one of the country’s most remarkable buildings. The unique and beautiful surroundings are perfect for photography and film shoots. Recently, it was recognized as one of the ”Treasures of European Film Culture” by the European Film Academy.
An open farm with its own closed-loop system. You can visit Wapnö throughout the year and witness the milking process between 8-12 am. The farm shop offers a variety of delightful products made on-site.
One of Sweden’s largest vineyards, practising organic cultivation and producing KRAV-certified wines. It also features restaurants, hotels, conference rooms, and a unique Spa inspired by the surrounding nature reserves.
The only museum in the Nordic region dedicated to drawing art. Here, you can explore exhibitions showcasing works by both Nordic and international artists, as well as pieces from the museum’s own collection. The museum aims to highlight drawing as an art form and serve as a platform for both new trends and historical perspectives.
A research facility dedicated to studying water. The research primarily focuses on environmental monitoring, fisheries and fisheries management, water management projects, and the impact of climate change on the lake’s ecosystems. At Tiraholms Fisk, Sweden’s only inland seafood restaurant, you can indulge in a variety of fish sourced directly from the fresh waters of Bolmen.
The future is made of wood
Marcus Åsgärde, site manager at Södra, Värö
Södra is Sweden’s largest forest owner association and one of the biggest private employers in Halland. At Väro, they operate one of the world’s largest pulp mills and one of Europe’s largest sawmills. The hyper modern facilities are of great importance to the business life and people of Halland.
Södra is in its current shape quite unusual. It’s an economical forest owners association consisting of 52,000 forest owners all located in southern Sweden. The founding of the association can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s and its original purpose was to secure the deposition of its members raw materials. At first, the association consisted of several associations slowly joining forces, and in 1938 the association most commonly viewed as the original Södra was founded. In 1972, Värö pulp mill was inaugurated and two years later the saw mill came into existence as well. In 2022 Södra in Värö celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Södra in Värö has gone from not having any industrial traditions at all to having a hyper modern facility with great importance to the business life and the people who live here. If we were to count what we create around our business, we have a lot of new employment opportunities.
In total, Halland is covered by about 773,500 acres of forest land. The forest and logging industry constitutes three percent of the total employment within the region, and there’s a strong tourism and organized outdoor life connected to the forests of Halland.
Forest outside of Åled in southern Halland, Sweden
Wood – a part of the solution
The main part of the raw materials from Södra derives from the forest owner’s properties. The import is around ten percent of production, some of it being Norwegian pulpwood. The pulp is Södras’s largest product and is therefore also a major source of income.
”The end products are different paper-based products like toilet paper and paper towels. We’re also a large supplier of electricity, district heating and biofuel. The total energy delivery correspondents to the energy demand of around 80,000 regular-sized family houses”, Marcus Åsgärde says.
As of late, Södra has gone from being part of the climate issue to acting as a solution to it. The raw materials from every harvested tree is utilized in the best possible way, making sure no possibilities are wasted. Materials not meeting the demands for being turned into wood-based products or pulp can become bioproducts, energy and fuel. This will be completely crucial in creating a fossil fuel-free future.
Södra in Värö is a hyper modern facility with great importance to the business life in Halland.
– If we are to succeed with the kind of readjustments necessary in most parts of the world, creating a more sustainable society, I believe the forest industry holds an important position since we have so many renewable resources even from our production line, Marucs Åsgärde says.
Putting a lot of effort into innovation and collaboration, Södra has been able to develop the world’s first large-scale process for recycling textile mixed waste – OnceMore. A couple of years ago, Södra invested in a factory able to produce cross-glued wood, consisting of stabile wood elements used in the construction of multi-storey buildings as well as replace large parts of the type of concrete being used today. For the last 15-20 years, there’s been ongoing large industrial projects, where Södra has been able to expand and invest.
Demand for replacement products
In Halland, there are many committed forest owners, which creates the right conditions for a varied forestry with much activity and development, according to Marcus Åsgärde.
– If you look at everything we do and the products we’re able to extract from the forest, from hygiene articles and packages for renewable electricity, heating and biofuel, there’s no doubt the forest industry is good business. What’s driving a lot of the demand is replacement products. Everyone wants to transfer from fossil-based products to renewable ones. The question is, based on the raw materials we extract from the forest, what should we do with it and how do we utilize it in the best possible way? This will be the big question going forward. Which are the best social benefits of this, creating the most value? We’re constantly working on this, says Marcus Åsgärde.
“It’s easier to break through the noise in a smaller town”
About 20 years ago, IT entrepreneur Ludvig Granberg came to Halmstad. Today, he’s a strong figure in the region, with many branches on his tech tree and a great involvement in innovation and start-ups. Here he shares his thoughts on investing in IT and in Halland.
Ludvig Granberg is one of Halland’s leading entreprenuers and a prominent IT figure in the region. He is the CEO and owner of R360 Resort Systems, producer of business and booking systems for ski resorts, among other facilities. He is chairman of the board for Qiwio, a company he is one of the founders and owners of. Qiwio makes solutions for e-commerce, delivering a technology which makes videos and images clickable.
From Stockholm to Halmstad
Ludvig Granberg came to Halmstad from Sollentuna outside of Stockholm to do his military service in 2003. Back then, Halmstad was a town he didn’t know too much about. But he’s remained ever since, and even started a family.
“Halmstad is a child friendly town and the right size for us. It’s big enough to house a university, which is important. Communications are good, not least to Stockholm. So there were several reasons for me and my family to stay here,” Granberg says.
After studies in computer science technology at Halmstad University, he started his first tech company, which he sold in 2018.
“So that’s when I bought R360 System, a company with four employees. In just three and half years, we grew into 18 employees and were awarded the Gazelle award for fast growing companies by economy newspaper Dagens industri.”
IT entrepreneur in Halland
During his 20 years in Halland, he has established several networks and gotten involved in the innovative driving tech forces in the region. According to Granberg, being an IT entrepreneur in Halland has several advantages.
“It’s easier to break through the noise and stand out as an employer of choice in a smaller town. Having gained attention from the community, but also being visible among potential and current employees, has been an advantage,” he says and adds, “it’s easier to find new possibilities across borders, since the place isn’t so big.”
The network Webb Helt Enkelt, visiting the IT-company Glesys in Falkenberg.
Ten years ago, Ludvig Granberg started Webb Helt Enkelt, a network that consists of more than 350 members. This is where techies from Halmstad and its surroundings gather four times a year for seminars on a hot and important tech topic, as well as for exchange of experiences.
“We try to meet at a different place each time, and at companies. Sometimes we host a special event where the actual place is the theme. Last time we met at hosting company Glesys,” he says.
Halland Tech Week – an initiative to highlight the tech field in Halland
Halland Tech Week is an event that started three years ago and visits several towns in the region. Behind the initiative are, among others, business incubator High Five in Halmstad, an important element of the Halland business ecosystem, and Alexandersoninstitutet in Varberg.
“Tech Week is an attempt to put Halland on the map. The main purpose is to attract talent to the region. Helping businesses become more visible benefits all the companies involved, including the community,” Ludvig Granberg says.
What is the tech field like in Halland?
“It has grown. I can see how several consulting companies, both national and international, have established themselves here. They have examined the stretch between Malmö and Gothenburg and have found Halmstad, a town with a university. This is an important element since it’s a source for recruitment,” Granberg says and adds, “I spend a lot of my time outside of my businesses, because I enjoy investing and putting my knowledge to use. The reason is twofold. On the one hand, it’s a way to make money, on the other it’s a way to pay back and support the local businesses.
Ludvig Granberg’s entrepreneurial engagements
- Ung Företagssamhet (UF) is a national organisation. Ludvig Granberg is a member of the board for UF Halland. Recently, 2,000 students started over 500 UF businesses in Halland alone.
- IT Halmstad is a platform aiming to attract talent to Halland. They collaborate with among others the university, vocational schools and Kattegatt gymnasiet. The purpose is to spread information about the market and what the industry is currently working on.
- Halland Invest is a regional investment promotion agency, owned by the banking and insurance company Länsförsäkringar together with Högskolan i Halmstad and thirteen informal investors from Halland, Ludvig Granberg being one of them. The vision is to create opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to develop innovative businesses and jobs in Halland. The investments are meant to close the gap between founding money and traditional venture capital.
The team from R360 System on a trip to Idre.
Halland is the Swedish export region of the year 2021!
Halland was awarded as the winning region when Foreign Trade Minister Anna Hallberg, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Daniel of Sweden, presented the Swedish government’s award, Export Region of the Year 2021.
Halland is a unique region when it comes to entrepreneurship and small business and that is something that bring effect the region’s exports. The region has many small and medium-sized enterprises in food, technology, healthcare, hygiene, design and music that, thanks to their timely support, have dared to enter the international market. Support from the public sector has been a strong contributor to give the entrepreneurs in Halland the skills, contacts and capital needed to make a successful export journey. It can be training courses, corporate networks or internationalization checks. The region is actively working on tools that strengthen entrepreneurs’ courage to move forward in their internationalisation process. Also, Hallands strengthened cooperation with Region Västra Götaland has added an extra dimension to the promotion and a qualified exchange of experience.
Want to explore your possibilities in Halland?
At Invest in Halland we are at your service. Contact us with your idea and we will guide you in the right direction.