UNOPS opens global innovation centre in Sweden at Ideon Science Park

November 28, 2018News
Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director and Kjell Håkan Närfelt, Chief Strategy Officer at Vinnova
Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director och Kjell Håkan Närfelt, Chief Strategy Officer på Vinnova

UNOPS, the UN Office for Project Services have decided to open a global innovation centre in Sweden and Lund in collaboration with Ideon Science Park. The venture is funded by Vinnova. The new centre is the second science and innovation centre launched by UNOPS this year, following the launch of a similar initiative in Antigua and Barbuda. This is a part of their strategy to reach the global development goals within Agenda 2030.

“The 2030 Agenda aims to create a world that is sustainable, environmentally secure, economically prosperous and inclusive. To achieve the Global Goals we must work together – building new partnerships to innovate and deliver better value for money. The ideas of today are not enough,” said Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director.

“This new centre shows our commitment to innovation, and to help nurture better solutions for people in need across the world,” said Ms. Faremo.

Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director
Grete Faremo, Executive Director UNOPS

Ideon and UNOPS have been working over the past year to set up this collaboration and on November 27th 2018, an agreement was signed between UNOPS and Vinnova, where Vinnova will provide funding until 2022. There is a previous signed agreement between UNOPS and Ideon Science Park about the support of the establishment of the innovation centre.

“Vinnova welcomes this initiative. The mission of the centre is well aligned with Vinnova’s commitment to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova.

Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova
Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova

This means that Swedish startups and innovation companies that are medium sized or already global will have access to a global innovation ecosystem for developing world-class innovations and at the same time connections to the UN purchasing channels.

Ideas that can change the world

UNOPS chose to establish an innovation centre at Ideon Science Park based on the park’s long tradition of developing cutting-edge innovations in Lund. Ideas that truly can and has changed the world. Ideon is also a prime example of private-public partnerships, which is how UNOPS operates and they mean is the best way to truly bring about changes in the society.

“We are incredibly proud of this mission,” says Mia Rolf, CEO of Ideon Science Park.

“It is a strong message that the UN has chosen our science park and Lund. Innovations from this region have already improved the world and this will give us further global leverage, knowledge and networks to help innovation companies, both within the park and nationally, to continue improving the world. I look forward to national and international collaborations through this ecosystem “, Mia Rolf concludes.

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

As a part of this process, Ideon Innovation, the incubator at Ideon, have decided to only accept companies who are working towards the global goals.

“For a long time, we have been alarmed by reports about climate change and how the inertia in our current systems makes it difficult to adapt to new conditions. Therefore, it is enormously gratifying that in this venture, there is a broad support for the importance of promptly changing the setup of innovation eco systems towards generating new solutions linked to the global goals,” says Anna Branten, CEO Ideon Innovation.

Anna Branten, VD Ideon Innovation
Anna Branten, CEO Ideon Innovation

How the innovation centre works

Located at Ideon Science Park in Lund, the centre’s focus area will be on cutting-edge and disruptive technology based on engineering, mathematics, medicine, physics and science, which can have a positive impact on the lives of individuals and society.

UNOPS Global Innovation Centre will serve as a two-way channel between key innovation resources in Sweden, UN organizations, other UNOPS Global Innovation Centres and a global network of innovation partners.

Phase one in the establishment, which is managed by Ideon Science Park in collaboration with UNOPS, is funded by Vinnova and will include the development of a prototype for how the global innovation centre will work for the greater good of the UN and Sweden. This will be managed by local entrepreneur Jonas Michanek on assignment by Ideon Science Park.


United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the UN project office. UNOPS are focused on implementation, committed to UN values and private sector efficiency, and are the only part of the UN not receiving core funding from tax payers.

In total, UNOPS delivered around $1.8 billion in peace and security, humanitarian and development projects in 2017. In 2017, more than 11,000 people were working under UNOPS contracts.

Sweden is hot right now! A summer greeting from our CEO Mia Rolf

June 28, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

The weather in May was extraordinary. Sunny and hot, giving us the feeling that there are no cares in the world. The same goes for the business climate in Sweden. Swedish export companies are working on high steam and in the development sector, our pool of software and IoT competences has never been hotter or more sought after. Yes – there might be a risk the well is drying out, but right now we are all feeling pretty good!

Mia Rolf och Yasemin Arhan Modéer
Mia Rolf and Yasemin Arhan Modéer at the Yes Day 2018

In fact, one factor that can stop our companies at Ideon Science Park from growing is the lack of senior software developers. This is one of the few clouds in the sky moving into the summer vacation time. This is why we are so proud of the cooperation with Lund University, Region Skåne, Arbetsförmedlingen, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola and Region Blekinge, where we attract incoming academics and give them a University level fast track education within different areas of programming, project and job culture skills and some Swedish/English skills, and then put them into internship in the companies in and around the park. If you are interested in these internships candidates, just let us know.

Many international delegations – a chance at new partnerships and markets

I am happy to receive lots of interest from international delegations, looking to Sweden and Ideon Science Park for the best innovations and innovation ecosystem in the world. We try to match make with as many of you as possible, I hope you notice our efforts to help you find international partnerships and markets.

From startups to gigants – they are all here

I am also happy to see the increase in female entrepreneurs in the park, due to the thorough work from Ideon Innovation on inclusive and sustainable entrepreneurship. I am just as proud to see that creative connections between startups and large corporations are becoming a standard when reaching for innovation success though the method open innovation. Something that Ideon Open, including the WIN organisation, is working hard with every day. Together, we have an assignment from the Swedish Energy Agency to find and push for more energy related innovations, so if you are developing one of those, you might be hotter than ever right now! Please contact Olof Blomqvist to make sure you are on the hot list!

To conquer the future you need partnerships

At the end of May we had a crowded event called Visioning the Future, where some of our larger companies in the park shared their visions of the future. Karin Stigbahr, our Communications Manager, made an excellent reflection over this day, that was published with IASP, the global association of Science Parks, you can read it here – You can’t survive tomorrow without partnerships.

Let’s keep the heat going

All in all, the sun is shining on us, let’s make the most of it! We all deserve a nice break now, with friends and families. But in August, when we meet again, let’s all keep this heat going! In order to stay hot you need to keep the energy level up. We hope you feel that there is no better place to be than right here, if you want to change the world.

Have a great summer! Stay hot!


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

Practice your pitch with Ideon Innovation

February 10, 2017News, Startups

Get up on stage and pitch your idea, dream, thought – anything is welcome.

The audience will give you instant and valuable feedback so that you’ll be able to improve your pitch. The winner gets a SEK 1 000 prize!

Pitcher’s Corner is organized by Ideon Innovation, every other Tuesday 09:30 AM, at Ideon Agora.

Want to get up on stage next time? Contact Per Gavell. Welcome!

See all dates for Pitcher’s Corner here

Pitcher’s Corner, the audience giving feedback
Pitchers-Corner Winners
One of the Winners – new chance every other Tuesday!