Lindholmen – openness, attractiveness and a unique environment
How could a former shipyard evolve into a leading innovation environment? Why is it so unique and what does it mean for development in the Gothenburg region? We invited a few people to explain Lindholmen's success.
Pernilla Johansson, Executive Vice President Sigma Young Talent, talks about openness, attractiveness and a unique environment.
"Sigma IT Consulting is a fast-growing IT consultancy. We help our customers with innovative solutions and have done so since the internet was in its infancy. There are plenty of good ideas out there for new products and services, but the innovators are often unable to develop them on their own.
"Lindholmen is a natural arena for Sigma. We moved here early so we've seen the area grow and expand, which has been a great experience. Today, Lindholmen is known well outside the Gothenburg region, and many companies, researchers, organisations and – not least – investors are seeking the unmatched combination of stakeholders found here. The general feeling is that Lindholmen is where it's at, this is where people want to be.
"I'd like to emphasise the openness that characterises so much of what goes on here. We can't really take it for granted that such openness would be found among competing companies, but here in Lindholmen it's strikingly evident. I think that in part it's down to all the companies in Lindholmen with a passion for technology development and the realisation that open partnerships often result in new technologies and great innovation. You need to test new ideas and help each other with them, and you can't do this alone.
"For me, openness is about all of us contributing to a better future, something we try to achieve in many different ways here at Sigma. One way is this very spreading and sharing of knowledge, as it contributes to innovation. We have, for example, Lindholmen Open Day and a number of networks and forums, all of which create various interfaces between different industries."
"We have a number of companies in Lindholmen which are leading the way in research and development. What's more, there are fantastic opportunities to collaborate with Chalmers University of Technology, the IT University and secondary schools. This makes it a very attractive environment in so many different ways. Maybe for a student wanting to approach working life, maybe for a startup company wanting to benefit from the community and collaborative spirit found here, maybe for a multinational wanting to establish operations here. No matter what you're looking for, Lindholmen is the right arena, and it's this very combination which makes Lindholmen so appealing. There's tremendous international interest in Lindholmen, we have countless investors who want in. Take CEVT, for example, which is continually building and investing.
"Many may not realise what a magnet Lindholm has become and how this benefits the entire region. Personally, I'm immensely proud of what we've created here between us. We've obviously found the right equation for creating a mix of innovation and collaboration which delivers both attractiveness and diversity, and we'd really like to let even more people know what's happening here and how we contribute to Sweden's technological future."
"I don't know of any other environment with such diversity as here in Lindholmen. We've attracted investors, employees and researchers from every corner of the world. Lindholmen is located in the middle of Gothenburg, but the atmosphere is extraordinarily cosmopolitan and it's fascinating to work here. It's no longer a given for Swedish to be the preferred language anymore. I attend many meetings held in English, for example, because the concept has attracted so many international experts. There really are people of all nationalities and ages in Lindholmen.
"Naturally, working with young people is particularly heartening for us at Sigma Young Talent. Technology development moves incredibly fast today and what you studied at university two years ago has often already been left behind in the corporate world. We've noticed a knowledge gap between what's studied at school and what companies need. This is why we devise our talent programmes together with our clients. We recruit recent graduates who we then help with further training to give them the specialist skills our clients need, something I usually refer to as hybrid expertise. After a year, the client is given the option of employing the consultant. About 90 people have joined our talent programme and all of them have been employed by our clients. And they further strengthen the unique environment in Lindholmen."
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