Nils Rydbeck – a visionary leader at Ericsson envisioned phones that would fit into a matchbox

April 26, 2018Ideon35, WeAreIdeon

(foto: Johan Wessman, 2008)

#IDEON35 Nils Rydbeck was head of development in Lund for the team developing cell phones at Ericsson here at Ideon. Here he is showing off the Hotline phones; Hotline 900A came in 1986, as did the smaller NMT 900 c, which used battery, contact and charger from the company’s police radio. To the far right you can see the GH 172 which came in 1992 and was Ericsson’s first GSM phone.

The Ericsson lab at Ideon was opened on September 29, 1983. Nils Rydbeck became the head of development in 1985.
“My vision was to create freedom – in every pocket. When others asked how many would use mobile phones, we talked about how many mobile phones each person would have in the future”, said Nils in an interview with Sydsvenskan in 2008.

Mats Lindoff, later the head of technology at Sony Ericsson, offers this description of his first meeting with Rydbeck while Lindoff was a young researcher: “I was working in the computer department at the Lund Engineering faculty and would probably have stayed on there. But then Nils Rydbeck came to see me and a number of other young engineers and showed us the new mobile phone that ERA had developed. It looked like a police radio and was pretty large and cumbersome. ‘In 10 years it will all fit into a matchbox,’ he said. I went in to my professor’s office and said goodbye and thanks for everything. Then I started working in a shed at Ideon along with 25 others.”

More on the story of Ericsson

Slottsmiddagen som gjorde Lund till mobilcentrum (Sydsvenskan, 19 september 2008)

Ericsson history, complications

Arne Hansson becomes new CEO of Ideon Open

April 25, 2018News

Arne Hansson becomes the new CEO of Ideon Open AB, starting May 1st. Arne has worked as Innovation Consultant at Ideon Open since 2015 with clients like Stora Enso, Bona, Sandvik, Perstorp and the Swedish Energy Agency. He has previously worked with companies such as Trelleborg AB, Mars Inc., Ericsson and Sony Ericsson. Arne has also started various companies, such as the WalkMeHome Personal Security Application, launched globally in 2012.

Arne Hansson, Ideon Open
Arne Hansson, Ideon Open

“The combined experience from both large companies and startups is an important foundation of our business and a prerequisite for being able to work effectively with open innovation and entrepreneurial methods in mature organizations,” says Arne Hansson and adds “I look forward to leading this amazing organization!”

Ideon Open’s clients concist to 80 percent from industry and 20 percent from public organizations. The company is a commission-funded, non-profit company. “Ideon Open has a mission to promote growth in business and society,” says Stephan Müchler, chairman of Ideon Open. “I look forward to working with Arne and to continue the development of this exciting and important business.”

Mats Dunmar, who started the business in 2011 and who has been instrumental in the creation of Ideon Open, will take up a new position with Skanska where he will work with the development of future homes and offices.

About Ideon Open AB

Ideon Open AB is part of Ideon Science Park and supports the Swedish industry with services and working methods based on open innovation and lean startup methods. The company is owned by Lund University, Lund Municipality and Wihlborgs AB. The chairman is Stephan Müchler, CEO of the South Swedish Chamber of Commerce.

Ideon Open offers three different concepts for business development;
– ASSIGNMENTS – Challenge-driven innovation assignments tailored for each client
– WIN – a model for open innovation in networks that accelerates development through active matchmaking between innovators and companies. WIN Water and WIN Guard are well established models and WIN Energy is under development.
– BEYOND – a collaborative corporate accelerator for companies that want to develop disruptive business ideas at a high pace. Inwido, Saint Gobain/Ecophon and Alfa Laval all have one or more team in place.

For more information, please contact

Arne Hansson, Ideon Open, +46 703 194 740
Stephan Müchler, Chairman of the Board, +46 40 690 24 05

Curious about Ideon Open?


How public private partnerships can help us reach the 17 sustainable development goals for the world

April 25, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

Reflection from our CEO, Mia Rolf, on public-private partnerships

Last week, I had the honour to be a member in a panel discussion at the World Association for Sustainable Development in the Palais de National, the UN centre in Geneva. The topic was Partnership for innovation and they called it ”a crazy mixed meeting”. This crazy mix included different UN organisations, non-profit organisations like WHO and representatives from the private sector, and the focus of the meeting was how to enhance the Public Private Partnership (PPP) within different fields.

Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park
Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park

You may have heard of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a UN Summit. Over the next fifteen years, with these new goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. Everyone agrees that change must happen quicker than today and in order to achieve this, the UN must get support from private companies, as well as citizens and non-profit organisations.

In the panel about PPP activities to support innovation, I participated representing Ideon Science Park and Sweden. The moderator was Jonas Svensson, the UNOPS global director of Innovations, and the panel also included representatives from the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, USA, Zound Industries, Sweden, the private investor Atomica, UK, Humanitarian Innovations at Innovation Norway and the non-profit organisation Ocean Generation. In this group we all agreed that there is a need to define exactly what we mean with the term innovation. But I leave that for now.

No profit – no tax. No tax – no science. No science – no innovations. No innovations – no economic growth

From the reactions of the audience, I learned that private companies are not always let into the inner circle – they are perceived by many as dangerous, greedy and should be treated with suspicion. Especially wanting to generate a profit was something of a warning sign. This pushed my buttons, as I know that by striving to create a profit, companies can grow and create more jobs and become a growth engine in a region. My answer to one man, admitting he actually saw profit as something evil, was:

”Then I have a message from Sweden and the Scandinavian countries. No profit – no tax. No tax – no science. No science – no innovations. No innovations – no economic growth.” OK, I might have made it look all streamlined and easy, but I still mean it. Of course, Sweden is lucky to have many successful founder families that donated large amounts of money into science research, but this money came from some kind of profit. Another example is Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA, who were important donors in creating Ideon Science Park 35 years ago.

In fact, there was an interesting analysis made by Andrew Brown, Quid Europe, that the most driving sector towards all the 17 SDGs were actually happening in the private sector. Today, many large and medium sized companies, as well as startups, have made it their core business to save the world in some way, which is truly fantastic. Doing good, while doing business.

We are all in this together

Creating a healthy and productive Public Private Partnership (PPPs) is not easy, we all have different perspectives and incentives. But PPPs have in fact been a success factor in the growth of Ideon Science Park over the years, supporting the development of almost 1 000 new companies, and a long range of deep tech innovations. So here are my recommendations for a better PPP:

  1. Make sure that you put together a diverse mix competences, gender, age and nationalities when you gather a team or meeting members for input on how to develop your organisation. The different perspectives alone will be a starting point for creating understanding, respect and trust and could grow into partnerships over time.
  2. Acknowledge that we are all in the same boat (world) together, so we might as well put an effort in to paddling in the same direction. Find you role and the role of your organisation in this one team.
  3. Connect to national and international initiatives to make the most of the partnerships and contribute to the SDGs and the world.
  4. Be proud. Tell the success stories to inspire others to pitch in and make a difference.

And remember, we are all in this together. No one can save the world alone.

//Mia Rolf, CEO of Ideon Science Park

Want to know more?

Here are some links to find out more and connect with the UN:

Find out more about the conference, Public private partnerships for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations System

Sustainable development goals

Ideon launches mentorship program for entrepreneurs

April 12, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon


Ideon, Sweden’s first Science Park, celebrates 35 years during 2018 and in order to celebrate the Ideon spirit, where we all help and support each other in the park, we are now launching a mentorship program where successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders will offer advice and connections to selected entrepreneurs.

The program will be open for everyone who has a business at Ideon today and they can sign up to be a mentor or a mentee. To kick-start the program and celebrate a bit extra during the anniversary, Ideon has enlisted prominent Ideon figures to be the first mentors; Martin Gren, co-founder of Axis Communications, Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel, Charlotta Falvin, experienced CEO and experienced board member, Pierre Elzouki, co-founder of Scalado and Staffan Gestrelius, co-founder of QlikTech.

”With the Ideon mentorship program, we want to connect the experienced leaders in the park with entrepreneurs who want to learn more about how they can grow their business. The mentors, the experienced leaders, have great knowledge to share and a large network that they can offer the mentees. By helping each other, they both grow and who knows, this could be the start of something amazing!” says Mia Rolf, CEO of Ideon Science Park.

The mentorship program with the five mentors starts in September and the program will then continue after the turn of the year, and then all Ideon employees will have the opportunity to sign up as a mentor or mentee to exchange experiences and ideas.

”Ideon has meant a lot for me on my entrepreneurial journey and now I look forward to sharing my learnings to hungry Ideon entrepreneurs asking me wise questions”, says Martin Gren.

Who can apply?

Entrepreneurs who have companies at Ideon Science Park can apply for the program, and in the application, they will write down information about their growth goals, backgrounds and reasons as to why they should win a place in the program.

Announcement of winners

Five mentees will be selected by the mentors and the winners will be presented during the Ideon anniversary party on September 28th.

Read press relase here

Find more information and apply for the program here!


AgVital wants to create a support for a healthier lifestyle

April 11, 2018News, Startups, WeAreIdeon

STARTUP NEWS We continue our series of startup companies who are working at Ideon Innovation. The purpose of this series is to introduce the startups to the other companies at Ideon to see if there is a possibility of working together and doing business with each other. Kind of an electronic networking.

Company name: AgVital

Lars Norrman
Lars Norrman founder of AgVital

Hello Lars, can you tell us more about what inspired you to be an entrepreneur and a bit more about your background?

I have worked many years within large corporations like Alfa Laval and Tetra Pak, mostly as a General Director abroad. I helped companies in their change process, supporting them in mapping their challenges and turning them around.

The reason I decided to create AgVital is that when I saw the global food industry and talked with customers I noticed that there was a lot of sugar and starch involved in many foods. Hence, I started thinking about why we are not making better alternatives, but I realized that the market doesn’t have people’s health as their primary goal. Hence, I decided to try and change it on my own by starting AgVital.

Can you tell us a bit more about what AgVital is and does?

AgVital is a digital platform that will help individuals to unconsciously make the right food choices. The digital platform can help people that want to change their eating habits or those that just want to continue eating healthy and make the right food choices. The platform will be personalized to you and provide you with the best possible nutrition information and advice that applies to you. Moreover, AgVital are planning to make a direct connection between the farmers and the consumers at a later stage of our company’s development.

What have been your biggest struggles until now?

When I worked in General Management, everything was much easier and faster because I had a management team and good resources in the company. Together we could make things happen rather quickly, because they were experts in their field.  Now I do not have any of that, hence if I want to learn something I need to do my own research and find my own resources. Hence, it is taking much longer to build the foundation and knowledge of the company and only after those steps can I start to implement the business model and launch the product.

You are part of the incubator at Ideon Innovation; what has that given you?

I think it is a fantastic place, because of the network that it provides, which I think is very important. Pelle, Ola and Kristoffer are great and I get a lot of support from them and others with advice and connections to financial support in and around the park. Whatever kind of resources and network you need, you can find it here. For example, during the Tuesday breakfast I meet so many interesting people that are helping me to bring my business forward and I have even found future partners and customers. It is a great meeting place and a lot of knowledgeable and interesting people that like sharing ideas are here.

What is in the future for AgVital?

We will develop our value proposition and segment our market. After that we will have a beta version of our platform to test it out. Hopefully after that it should take off on a global scale, which has been my goal from the beginning.

In order to contact Lars Norrman you can email him at , call +46 709 361000 or visit him at Ideon Innovation

A passion for nature and sports brought the creators of Suntribe together

April 6, 2018News, Startups, WeAreIdeon

#INSTATAKEOVER Next week, VentureLab company Suntribe will be taking over our Instagram account, so we took the opportunity to talk to co-founder Julia Beyer to find out more about the company and what they will be sharing with us.

Suntribe team
The Suntribe team; Hampus, Karl and Julia

Hey Julia, can you tell us a bit more about who you are and what inspired you to create Suntribe? Who are the people behind Suntribe and your background?

Hi, I’m Julia and one of the co-founders of Suntribe. What inspired me to create Suntribe together with my friends Karl and Hampus was basically our shared passion for nature and sports. None of us was satisfied with the existing offer of sunscreen: more and more studies prove that they cause harm to coral reefs and disrupt our hormones among other side-effects, and neither did they did convince us when it came to water resistance for when we go surfing for example. We became friends during our master’s studies of entrepreneurship at Lund University and decided to take the matter into our own hands and create a sunscreen that we and others are happy with: sunscreen with only good stuff, completely without any dangerous chemicals.

So what makes your product unique?

What makes our sunscreens unique is that they offer insanely effective sun protection completely based on natural and organic ingredients. Our sunscreens block 97% of UVB rays and provide broad spectrum sun protection from UVA and UVB rays thanks to the mineral UV-filter we use, called zinc oxide. All our ingredients are scientifically validated to be safe for both the environment and our health.

You are a part of VentureLab, the student incubator. How long you have been there and what has it given you?

We have been a part of VentureLab since August 2017. What is has given us is a highly motivating and supportive working environment as well as access to a very valuable network spanning all of Ideon and beyond.

What’s in the future plans for Suntribe?

The future is looking very sunny for Suntribe. 🙂 We’re currently planning the launch of some new products and that will continue to be one of our focuses over the next years. We’re also constantly expanding into new markets to spread the word about sunscreens to markets in Europe and other parts of the world.

What are you going to show us during your Instagram takeover week?

I will take you with me on my sales trip by tuk-tuk here in Sri Lanka, you’ll get to see beaches where people surf wearing Suntribe sunscreen as well as what my life looks like at the moment, eating curry in the sweltering heat. It’ll be fun!

Follow along on Instagram

Find out more about Suntribe

See Suntribe’s latest press release

How can we use technology developed for space to develop smart cities here on earth?

April 5, 2018News

How can we bring space technology to Swedish industry and create new innovations? How can Ideon companies benefit from new solutions developed for space? That was the theme for our latest Innovation Square, this time with Per Persson, Director of the Department of Innovation & Economic Development at Lund Municipality.

The minimalist principles of designing technology for space is something that Per Persson wants to make use of when developing smart cities here on earth. It can be to use smart materials for insulations that are very thin, but still insulating enough to work during cold winters, how to use residual head from buildings or how to create circular systems for water and waste.

“We want to make use of space technology when we are planning solutions for smart cities here on earth”, said Per. “One goal is to help companies Lund to become suppliers to ESA and NASA”, he said. “Lund is unique with ESS, MAX IV and the Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics at Lund University, which is one of the leading departments in the world in their field. And ESA has seen that”, he continued. That was one of the reasons that ESA placed their Space Impact workshop in Lund last year. (See a clip about the event below)

Plans to create Space Node South and a Space Incubator in Lund

“We have space nodes in the North, East and West of Sweden and we want to create Space Node South here in Lund. We also want to create a space incubator and it could be placed at Ideon, as there is a working innovation support system here”, Per explained.

As the innovation square is a platform for discussions and not just a seminar, there were a lot of questions, suggestions and input from the audience. One question was regarding the competences needed to create a space node in Lund, at which Per replied that all fields of knowledge will be needed, not just engineers and programmers. One suggestion from the audience was to promote innovations that promote a better health for the astronauts, such as intelligent indoor lighting and living plant walls, something that Ideon companies could supply to ESA and NASA.

Lund is a hotspot for entrepreneurship

In March 2017, ESA held their Space Impact Workshop in Lund together with Lund Municipality and Umbilical design. One of the innovation workshops was organized by FutureByLund and they asked the Frank M. Saizgeber from ESA on why they placed the conference in Lund:

“We always go to hotspots in Europe and when we were looking for hotspots for entrepreneurship we found Barcelona, Berlin and Lund. I think Lund is a fantastic case where you bring research, education and also the essence of entrepreneurship together. I have seen only a few locations and few universities that have made that connection as excellent as Lund” he said.

“We are recycling innovations. Innovations means not to create new technology but to reapply it and bring it to the market. At the moment we support around 140 new startups at ESA”, he continues. You can see more from the workshop here:

Want to make sure you don’t miss any events? Check out our events calendar!