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.
We make machines smarter and more efficient
Jon Lindén, CEO of Ekkono Solutions
Yesterday, everyone was online. Today, everything needs to be online. Ekkono Solutions specializes in edge machine learning and virtual sensors, and wants to make machines and vehicles smarter and more efficient. To do this, machines need to learn how they themselves actually work.
In Träslövsläge, Halland, Ekkono is a rapidly growing enterprise dedicated to creating a consciousness for machines sophisticated enough to make them bascially self-sustainable. And smart.
“We’re at a very interesting stage in technological evolution. Never before has there been so many shifts in technology as right now. You have AI, IoT, VR, blockchain, and so on, forcing companies to relate to and make active decisions about,” says Jon Lindén, CEO of Ekkono Solutions.
Yesterday, everyone was online. Today, everything needs to be online. Which is natural, according to Jon Lindén. Primarily, it has to do with IoT, or the Internet of Things. A lot of things already have their own mind in the form of sensors, making them capable of seeing, hearing and sometimes even feeling. Using IoT, they are connected and able to communicate with other things. Throw Ekkono’s software in the mix, and the things are able to learn and draw conclusions from the same data. The question is, how should the data collected be utilized?
What we do at Ekkono is edge machine learning on all types of things that have gone online. What’s really neat about this is that the machines are able to teach themselves where, how often and for what purpose it’s being used. Which basically means that we’re able to view the health of the machine, how it’s being used, make sure it’s being operated in an optimal fashion, and provide updates or configurations if needed. As a product supplier, you’re able to improve the product even after being sold and put into use.
Using this type of smart, connected machines and vehicles you’re able to plan for maintenance of products even before they eventually break down, and programe them to perform at the highest of their abilities, and as efficiently as possible.
Ekkono has a strong client base in Scandinavia, Alfa Laval, Husqvarna, Volvo and ABB are some of them. They also have businesses in Germany and Japan, while their main office is still in Halland, in Träslövsläge along the coast south of Varberg.
In 2016, Ekkono Solutions was founded as a virtual company since the four co-founders live in Varberg, Borås, Malmö and Madrid, Spain. Today, Ekkono has thirteen employees and even though the main office is located in Träslövsläge, working from other locations is very much welcome since the aim is to hire people with the best and most fitting competence, independent of where in the world that might be.
“To have physical meetings and working together in a particular place is important to establish a company culture, because without it, it doesn’t really matter who you work for. We just had a guy move here from Spain, and another from India. We’d love to gather as many people as possible here in Varberg in order for us to build this culture and unity,” says Jon Lindén.
So how do you get people from all over the world to come to Varberg?
“Well, thankfully, it’s not a very hard sell. If you value a nice lifestyle and you’re at a stage in life where you’re ready to start a family, Varberg is a very good place to live. We have a closeness to Gothenburg, an international airport, and nature just around the corner. Almost everyone from Sweden that I interview for positions have vacation memories from Varberg where they’ve gone to visit an aunt’s house at Södra Näs, spent summers at Läjets Camping Site, or chased waves in Apelviken.”
If you value a nice lifestyle and you’re at a stage in life where you’re ready to start a family, Varberg is a very good place to live. We have a closeness to Gothenburg, an international airport, and nature just around the corner.
Ekkonos main office is located in Träslövsläge, Halland. The company culture and the quality lifestyle attract talent from all over the world.
Make a real difference
Being able to foresee maintenance needs and optimize parts for repair in the way Ekkono’s technology works creates positive effects on the environment, if anything because of the energy efficiency. For example, the components of an air conditioner are always getting better, more efficient and demand less energy. But none of that matters if it’s used the same way in Spain as in Sweden.
“Naturally, climate is one thing. As well as different seasons, how many people are in a room – the AC will keep going. However, if the unit is able to learn what kind of environment it’s located in, what kind of comfort climate it’s supposed to be set on, and so on. If it had all this information, it could work proactively to heat or cool rooms efficiently, through AI,” Jon Lindén says.
Huge environmental benefits
Using AI, every individual AC unit can become more efficient in its use case. The collected amount of energy saved by applying this technology to AC units around the world, not to mention other types of machines, would be tremendous according to Jon.
“We’re all about maximizing the use of a machine based on how it’s supposed to be used. To prolong efficient production with efficient use,” says Jon Lindén and continues, “In order for this to become a reality, we feel it’s a question of mindset. To really understand that these products or machines can learn and become better at what they’re actually made to do. Technically, almost everything is possible, but it’s more a question of attitude and being open to change. This isn’t science fiction, and nothing is built in a day.”
Facts: Ekkono Solution AB
- Owners: The four co-founders, employees, Almi Invest, Walerud Ventures, Lindblad Venture and Etteplan Oyj.
- Business idea: Ekkono is a software company developing Edge Machine Learning, used to make machines, vehicles and other things smart and self-learning.
- Revenue: Just under ten million Swedish kronor per year.
- Geography: HQ in Träslövsläge outside of Varberg, global business with subsidiary in Germany and partner in Japan.
- Number of employees: 13
- Competence: Four PhD data scientists, and world leading embed software developers.
- Sustainability goal: For every client project to make their products more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan through proactive maintenance.
- Why Halland: Because one of the co-founders lives here – but also because of the region’s enormous quality of life
“Blockchain is the key to a fairer future”
By using blockchain technology in innovative ways, Zara Zamani, Chief Solutions Officer at ChromaWay & co-founder at Neoki, believes that it can be used to revolutionize data ownership and create freedom and borderless communities.
If you were to ask a dozen people to explain blockchain technology, you’d be hard pressed to get a clear, correct answer. To put it extremely simple – blockchain is a type of database, consisting of several blocks, or records, linked together in a chain because each block retains information about the previous block.
Zara Zamani is a researcher in blockchain at Halmstad University, and has a strong belief that blockchain technology can affect our lives for the better, even though we don’t realize it – yet.
In the public eye, blockchain is still very new and the majority of people aren’t really aware of how this can change our everyday lives.
Blockchain technology was introduced to serve as the public distributed ledger for bitcoin cryptocurrency transactions.
“It took a long time for crypto to establish a credit in the market. The more you start innovation in a regulated space, the more difficult it is to move it,” Zamani explains.
Applying blockchain to less regulated markets
After some time, companies realized they needed to use the blockchain technology in less regulated industries through everyday cases, to prove the usability of it.
“At ChromaWay, we decided to aim our efforts at sectors like fashion and gaming, which are less regulated than finance or healthcare. Additionally, art and music are really big for blockchain, yet we are to introduce that one big game changer application to the market which we are hoping to do it by creating Chromia, a permissionless blockchain that makes it super easy to build blockchain based on decentralized applications,” Zara Zamani says.
Apart from being a researcher in blockchain solutions at Halmstad University, Zara Zamani is also the Chief Solutions Officer at ChromaWay, a leading blockchain company in the Nordics. The road from her native Iran to Sweden, Halland and Halmstad hasn’t exactly been devoid of bumps. On the opposite, it’s been filled with challenges, cultural demands, and gender-based workplace challenges.
“I left Iran as a teenager, and studied in England, Malaysia, and worked as a field engineer in the oil and gas indutry in twelve different countries. In 2012, I moved back to Iran and started my own company, which was a successful venture after some failures. But for many different reasons, I couldn’t continue working there. I didn’t fit in the environment, and I refused to comply with that glass ceiling whether it was being told how to look, how to dress, how to behave. I didn’t want to be controlled like that,” Zamani says.
Halland offered interesting innovation opportunities
Zara Zamani always saw Sweden as a lovely, small country but had little faith in the opportunities offered to grow – especially in tech. It wasn’t until she attended a conference about innovation in payment systems in Iran that she became more aware of Sweden.
“The speaker after me was a Swedish woman, and I loved how she presented and everything she said about innovation in Sweden. So I reached out to her and told her I wanted to do more and begin researching blockchain, since this was a new technology at the time. We got to know each other and kept in touch for about a year. Eventually I got a PhD offer in blockchain adoption in Sweden, and the same lady, professor Susanne Durst, that I’d gotten to know, became my supervisor and I moved here,” Zamani says and continues:
“There’s an incubation center attached to the university and they’re doing a good job and I think the startup space of Halland could grow even more. There are so many possibilities for larger manufacturing companies to look into how they could be sponsoring startups and push those spaces to grow. There is a lot of potential for opportunities here.”
After stabilizing her new journey in Sweden, Zara Zamani, together with Hamid Azarak, chose Halland as their new home. Here, they founded an open world, multi metaverse platform to democratize the world of design and allow people to experience extended virtual life. Today, Neoki is nominated among the top five blockchain companies of Europe and has closed multiple global partnerships, bringing tremendous value to Halland.
Currency of the future
For Zara Zamani, it’s all about scrutinizing the application of blockchain and its use cases. If you create data, and that data is being used to generate value that means you and your actions, and the time you invested in creating and adding the data in the value chain, should include you in the economy your data creates. However, this economy is rather in control of centralized big entities. Blockchain changes this and brings financial inclusion and ensures you are part of the value chain reward system, and be part of its economy, according to Zara Zamani.
I think our data is the currency of the future and blockchain is the future economy platform enabler. Since you’re going to own the data that you produce, you should be very much involved with the economy of the data.
“As an example, in healthcare there’s an abundance of data but it’s not 100% owned by healthcare. Instead, your anonymous data is sold in data packages used in research to governments, research centers, universities, and so on. You’re not part of that economy. But the blockchain changes that and traces the records, allows to to have full control over your data and is included in the economy. By applying blockchain in healthcare data management systems, for end users it will bring inclusivity, transparency and usability,” Zamani explains.
“With Neoki, we want to bring accessibility, democratization, inclusivity, diversity and monetization to the space of art, design and creativity by creating community owned and controlled worlds and in a way give power back to them. These are the real values that this technology is going to be bringing to the public.”
Virtual art project improves quality of life for seniors
Virtual reality is stepping into the wonderful world of art. With today’s VR technology, anyone who isn’t able to physically be present for exhibitions is now able to virtually be a part of what’s actually happening in society, says Emma Börjesson, project leader at Leap for Life.
Research shows that cultural activities have positive effects on our well-being. Sweden also has a national goal where everyone should be able and allowed to participate in cultural life. However, many senior citizens are struggling with participation in cultural events.
Our VR solution is a wonderful way to make art available to whoever experiences difficulties in physically attending our museums and art halls.
Leap for Life has been conducting the project “An Art Walk With Digital Glasses”, with the purpose of bringing local art with a strong sense of recognition for senior citizens to those who no longer aren’t able to attend art halls.
“It’s really about testing and exploring the possibilities around utilizing VR for this target group,” Emma Börjesson says.
Emma Börjesson, project leader at Leap for Life
Filmed with 3D camera
In a collaboration between the cultural administration, the home care administration, the geographical information system in Halmstad municipality, and Danish company TakeAwalk, VR was tested on the target group to investigate the level of susceptibility for this type of technology and how it might be utilized. Leap for Life were responsible for compiling the experience.
“People in the test group were able to have their voice heard and affect the way we produced the VR experience. We had a lot of positive feedback from this part of the project,” says Emma Börjesson.
Because of TakeAwalk’s platform fitting the essential needs of the project, Leap for Life were able to create a local art walk which was then filmed by a 3D camera.
“We documented local art at Halmstad City Hall together with a speaking guide. Afterwards, we compiled a VR viewing which received very nice reviews.”
Navigating with your eyes
For safety reasons, the user, or visitor, is situated in a chair throughout the virtual art walk. For this particular occasion, an office chair was used with the ability to swivel and turn, without forcing the visitor to turn their head – something many senior citizens would otherwise not be able to do.
“This obviously hinders a walk-around-experience, but being able to swivel and turn still creates a sense of actually being there.”
There are symbols in the VR glasses which are activated with the assistance of the user’s eyes. This way, the visitor is navigating between art works and rooms by themselves.
“Our pilot’s quickly understood what they were able to do, and how to do it. We deliberately chose not to have too many symbols, in order to keep things simple.”
There were seven different pieces of artwork being presented. Among them, a mural, a textile piece, a sculpture and a relief. The average visiting time came out to around ten minutes.
All in all, the results were fair and Leap for Life is hoping to have this project further developed and used in different contexts, especially in senior citizen’s homes.
“We’re able to tailor the experiences based on need, there really is no limit to what experiences could be offered,” says Emma Börjesson and continues, “For us, it’s wonderful being able to offer a chance for senior citizens or people with certain restrictions to visit places like this, which they otherwise would not be able to. Only our imagination can stop us now.”
Want to know more about innovation in Halland? Contact us!
Silicon Valley goes Halland
In Mellbystrand outside of Laholm on the coast of Halland, two cousins – a computer nerd and an IT specialist – grew up close to each other. In 2016, their professional paths crossed and they founded Meta Bytes, a company offering software solutions to businesses when there aren’t any off-the-shelf products.
Oskar Lundgren is a full-fledged computer nerd. His everyday routine for a very long time has been to write code, from early morning to late at night. “As you do when you’re a nerd,” he suggests. Lundgren has always been drawn to tech and computers and to build what he calls “meaningless hobby projects”. He’s a computer engineer with a degree from Halmstad University, and is mad for developing and data structure.
Oskar Lundgren’s older cousin, Henrik Assarsson, who had been working as CTO and IT specialist at several companies in the US for many years, returned to Sweden in 2016. He called up Oskar to see if he knew of any good programmers.
– I was a little put off. I’m a computer engineer and the best there is, I thought. But I pulled myself together, and recommended myself. And that’s how it started, says Lundgren.
Today, Henrik Assarsson is CEO and Oskar Lundgren is CTO at Meta Bytes. First and foremost, the company, headquartered in Laholm, is a consulting business building technology for many branches within several fields.
– When you can’t find an off-the-shelf product, we build it. If there aren’t any ready-made solutions on the program shelf, we’ll solve that problem with the necessary solution. We develop cloud-based software, he says.
From small to big business
Laholm is a small municipality in Halland on the west coast of Sweden with a population of 25,000. That an innovative tech company like Meta Bytes chooses to locate itself here might make some people wonder…
It’s something of a Silicon Valley in the region, with no less than nine companies developing digital products.
Meta Bytes has a staff of 45, including consultants. Most of them are super nerds, daily constructing systems. Considering Meta Bytes’ business, there’s really no disadvantage being situated in the small town of Laholm, according to Oskar Lundgren.
– I have nature right outside, which is very calming. Personally, I like being part of something smaller, with the option to choose something bigger at my leisure. If it was the opposite, I would always have to travel from something big to a place of calm. You’re not disconnected from the rest of the world, just because you live in the countryside, he says, and adds, “I have eight minutes to the train station, from where I can easily go to Gothenburg, Copenhagen or an international airport.”
I have eight minutes to the train station, from where I can easily go to Gothenburg, Copenhagen or an international airport.
Humor is part of the culture
When you enter the Meta Byte website, you are asked: “Do you want to make your business more efficient?” The two answers to choose from are: “Yes, tell me more!” and “No, tell me a bad joke.”
– Our long-term vision is to have a billion turnover and still be able to make bad jokes, says Oskar Lundgren.
– We’re somewhat juvenile and often notice that we are a breath of fresh air for many customers, which inspires them. If you break the ice and take the conversation down to a more casual level, it makes a huge difference. The discussion becomes more productive and honest, which in turn builds trust. We don’t want to be this uptight and boring consulting agency – it’s supposed to be fun to work with us.
Part of a platform
The world is becoming digitalized at record speeds. In just a short amount of time, Meta Bytes has gained a reputation, with many companies lining up to seek their expertise. They can also see how demand for digitalization is increasing, with more companies asking for their help.
– Being consultants, we see many, similar types of problems. Especially at manufacturing companies, where many processes are manual, Oskar Lundgren says.
Innovation and growth in the AI field requires stimulation. That’s the purpose with the platform Swedish AI Startup Landscape, designed to help startups within AI grow by making them more visible. Being featured on the platform is a stamp of approval, issued by a group of selected experts. Meta Bytes became part of the platform in October 2022.
– The goal is for startup companies to be able to connect with the innovation ecosystem with investors, authorities, and academia. The platform also works as a guide for stakeholders, which opens even more doors for AI startups.
Meta Bytes in numbers:
Owners: Henrik Assarsson and Oskar Lundgren
Business idea: “To help our customers remove obstacles using the right technology.”
Revenue: Ca 30 MSEK (2021)
Geography: Laholm, Halland
Competences: Software development, AI; Machine Learning, Advisory & Enablement
Sustainability goals: “We are working actively with sustainability, and have set the company’s overall goals based on the three sustainability pillars: environment, economic and social. As of that, all decisions in the company are taken with this in mind.”
Why Halland: “Since both Henrik and I live in Laholm, it was natural to have the office here when we decided to go into business together. Now, after some years and many more people, we’ve kind of turned it into a thing. It is unusual for a tech company to be based here (and in smaller towns in general) so why not benefit from it? There is also something special about working together with other local companies. It creates a different vibe. And of course, it feels good to contribute to the success of the region by helping other companies.
“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.
How Glesys created the holy grail of data centre cooling in Falkenberg.
Hosting company GleSYS uses residual heat from the data centre to warm up the homes of Falkenberg.
Having roots in Falkenberg, it was natural for the hosting company Glesys to build a new data centre in Halland. Through a unique collaboration with Falkenberg Municipality and Falkenberg Energi, the surplus heat from the data centres can heat up to 1,700 homes.
When the new, modern data centre was completed in Falkenberg a couple of years ago, it was after a unique collaboration between the hosting company Glesys and municipal energy company Falkenberg Energi. Glesys represents a new generation of infrastructure providers, offering resource-efficient cloud solutions through modern and environmentally friendly facilities.
“One of our goals was to be able to harness all the residual heat created by every server in operation and transfer it to the municipal district heating system. It’s by far the best way to make use of the excess heat generated in a data centre,” says Sebastian Westman, marketing manager at Glesys.
Focus on sustainability
The facility in Falkenberg is powered by 100% renewable ecolabelled energy under the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s Good Environmental Choice ecolabelling scheme, and is designed to consistently focus on the environment and sustainability. Glesys is also certified to ISO 14001 – an internationally accepted standard for companies that want to pursue effective and structured environmental management. The company operates servers for over 4,000 customers in 67 different countries, although the vast majority of customers are in Sweden.
“The cloud that everyone is talking about today is really an industrial space, or rather a data centre, with several data halls and a lot of hardware, cables and other equipment running around the clock. In our data centres, customer data is managed in the most sustainable way currently possible,” says Sebastian Westman.
Cooperation with the municipality
Together with Falkenberg Municipality, Glesys found a plot of land that was connected to the municipal district heating system. This led to a collaboration with the municipality’s energy company Falkenbergs Energi on finding a solution that would benefit both parties.
The residual heat goes straight into the muncipalitys heating system.
“These were optimal conditions. The cooperation includes connecting our data centre to Falkenberg Energi’s district heating network, which enables us to share with local residents the heat generated in our data halls when all the servers are running,” says Sebastian Westman.
The ability to use residual heat in this way requires investments from both parties, including the possibility for Falkenberg Energi to receive the heat. It’s a rewarding collaboration that we’re very happy about,
Facts about Glesys:
- Glesys is a leading Nordic IaaS provider with its own data centres in Falkenberg and Stockholm in Sweden and Oulu in Finland. They also have offices in Malmö and Gothenburg, along with several partner data centres in Europe and the UK.
- Glesys was founded in 1999 in Falkenberg, back then with the ambition of selling web hosting and e-mail accounts with associated domains. At the time, operations were based on a server in the US, but the value of having data and servers on home turf was quickly realised.
- Glesys is certified to ISO 14001 – a standardised management system for the environment – and provides support in the active, structured work for a better and more sustainable climate.
- End-of-life equipment is recycled through Mirec Recycling Solutions and replaced with more energy-efficient alternatives wherever possible.
- Glesys’ backup power supply runs on EcoPar – a fuel that, among other things, reduces CO2 emissions by up to 50% over its entire life cycle, to ISO 14040.