On 26 June, it was announced that Småland’s application to develop the innovation environment Smart Housing is one of three winners in Vinnova's big programme “Vinnväxt”.
This means that Småland has the opportunity of funding over 10 years to develop entrepreneurship, research and innovation in the context of Smart Housing. The application was backed by the regional councils, county boards, Jönköping University, Linnaeus University, research institutes SP and Glafo and businesses across the province of Småland.
"I am thrilled that Jönköping University are participating in this. We get to be part of a major long-term Vinnova project, one that brings together both business and technology. It is also great to position JU among these other players", says Professor Johan Roos, Dean and Managing Director of JIBS who represents Jönköping University in the steering committee.
In view of the importance of this highly strategic and cross-boundary project, the President of Jönköping University Anita Hansbo has committed a little over SEK 1 million as co-financing.
“This is a huge opportunity and an investment that will be a very important part of the growth of the Småland counties, and even of Sweden,” says Per-Erik Eriksson, SP Wood, process manager for the project.
The vision is that Smart Housing will develop into a leading international innovation environment which will, with the user in mind, offer smart accommodations and sustainably built environments based on glass and wood. New forms of cooperation will be developed between industry, research and the public sector by including environments for testing and demonstration. Meeting places, business development projects and prototypes will be developed in the context of Smart Housing.
“As early as in the first year, we will launch workshops, feasibility studies, business coaching, product compilation and begin to establish a prototype shop,” says Deputy Process Manager Marianne Grauers from Glafo. T
he efforts to develop an application have been made through the widest possible participation. Over 100 people have participated in open workshops, meetings and written parts of the application. Among other things there have been three “future workshops” where business, public organisations and academia have met to create visions and action approaches to the application.
In its decision, Vinnova writes: " The growth potential and the will to innovate is considered high. The initiative has high credibility in its implementation capacity by skill, commitment and a very strong regional leadership for the initiative. Overall this is a very well developed proposal from a region with clear ambitions and good opportunities for investment."
The regional funding from the regional councils and the county administrative boards of Småland, business life and the universities and institutes comprise SEK 28 million for the first 3.5 years. Vinnova has granted a further SEK 22 million for the same time period with the intent to finance the investment for 10 years.
During the summer the process management will begin to form the first efforts in the project and this autumn, the first phases of Smart Housing will take shape.