For two days in June, the Gävleborg region was host to cluster enthusiasts of seven European countries. They all started monday morning by listening to the county governor Per Bill who enthusiasticly explained how the region Gävleborg is building growth on old industries in combination with new thoughts and ideas. Then Cecilia Johansson took over and told us about the new national program the innovation and growth agency just launched and where the Hudiksvall regional cluster will get a chance to develop their professionalism as a cluster in the regional smart specialization (S3 pilot) context. 

The third presentation was by Anna Eriksson. She told us that the driving force for the agency for land survey to participate in the cluster of Geo life region/FPX was that they need to be in the frontline for new services and products in our digitalized world and that this has to be done in a trustworthy way. To get access to different perspectives is important. The Geo Life region cluster has just started a 3D testbed with a real life sensor in Gävle open to anyone. All the ClusterFY partners were invited to explore this opportunity. An other novelty came from Albert Haan, Dutch ClusterFY partner, he told us about the Open Innovation Call which was just launched in the Northern Netherlands.

After lunch we got on the bus for an 1,5 hour trip further north, through mainly forests, to RISE/Acreo fiber lab in Hudiksvall. There we got a quick tour around the facilities while the production of fiber was still going on. Christine Hummelgård from the high tech company Sensair and also present at RISE emphasized how important it is to build up key competences and have access to researchers and people with the right competences. Unlike many other companies, Sensair is situated in the countryside because the founder prefers to live in the countryside and felt attracted to this type of life. So from the Swedish countryside Sensair cooperates with universities and companies both local and around the world. They have a global market. Sensair is a member of the Fiber optic Valley cluster because it makes it easier for them to find the right people to employ and work with.

Åsa Claesson (RISE) explained what fiber can be used for and told us about the early financing 2007 – 2012 from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova. These five years were an important period for the development of knowledge around photonics in Sweden and the finance helped them develop a demand for new photonic products in various industries. Conclusion: it is needed to study the whole value chain and support tools may vary over time.

At the end of the day we visited HIAB and we played around with the 3D glasses and simulators in their lab. The final episode on Monday was our dinner with a view of the Baltic Sea.

On Tuesday morning, we got some interesting insights about the policy platform by Carl-Arvid Dahlöf. The rest of the day we spent in workshops. Many interesting discussions and thoughts about how we can work with KETS and Clusters passed. All was documented and visualized in a beautiful drawing. We ended the day visiting an very old house in Forsa, built in 1600, called Ystigårn.