What is a test bed and why are they important for the region?
"A test bed can be anything from a test bench in a lab environment where products can be tested in an orderly fashion to full-scale environments, artificial or real, in which a solution is put in its intended context. The test bed in Gothenburg will probably have fairly broad applications with everything from a development lab for electric motors and batteries to full-scale testing of future transport solutions in our everyday urban environment. One important aspect for us is that we're able to take part and participate in its development while simultaneously developing our own expertise and growth."
Why is it being located in Lindholmen?
"Western Sweden has always been a centre for the Swedish automotive industry and, as the transportation solutions of the future have evolved, the cluster has been broadened and interconnected with the region's extensive expertise in IT, communication, alternative engine technologies and renewable fuels. Some like to say that if you go and eat lunch at Lindholmen Science Park then you've done half a day's work. There are so many people and stakeholders working there. It's a melting pot."
What will its establishment provide in the short and long-term perspectives?
"In the short term, it's an important acknowledgement for the Gothenburg region that the Swedish state is making this investment and the principals, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and Chalmers University of Technology, will align their missions with other stakeholders in the business and public sectors, such as the city and the region, as well as others in academia and research. The initiative itself will need a core of enthusiastic and skilled people. In the long term, I believe that it will attract more international commissions and stakeholders, and that it can boost employment in the cluster and attract international expertise."
What does this investment mean for Gothenburg's position when compared with other innovative cities working with test beds in electromobility?
"Of course, there are similar initiatives in Asia, North America and Europe, but as is often the case our advantage is cooperation. Cooperation between large and small, private and public, and different industries and clusters is kind of part of the Swedish disposition, and this is perhaps most true in Gothenburg. I believe that few cities or regions can match the willingness and mutual commitment that all stakeholders in the Gothenburg region stand for. Sweden is small, but if we cooperate both within the country and with the best in the world, then we'll gain a prominent position in future development."