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New member joins Climate neutral industry


At the beginning of June, the Government appointed Östen Ekengren, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, as a new member of the Climate neutral industry partnership group. Östen Ekengren hopes to be able to contribute by strengthening collaboration with the export and innovation platform Smart City Sweden.

Photo of Östen Ekengren, IVL.
Östen Ekengren, IVL IVL

Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, Ibrahim Baylan, who is also the minister responsible for innovation partnership programmes, welcomes the appointment of Östen Ekengren as a new member:

“He has a great deal of experience and a profile that fits in well with the composition of the partnership group, as well as the programme’s focus on exporting sustainable innovation. He also has several colleagues who are already involved in various working groups in the programme, so there’s every reason to believe he’ll get up to speed quickly,” says Ibrahim Baylan.

Östen Ekengren has extensive experience from the energy and environmental sector, including in his role as business developer in Smart City Sweden. He has been working at IVL since 1978, where he established the environmental technology unit, as well as the unit concerned with sustainable production and consumption. He is positive about the work of the innovation partnership programme:

“The combination of increased involvement from the business sector and heightened political engagement provides a firm foundation for achieving established goals. But I believe we need to speed up the pace of the transition, which is why we must remove a number of bottlenecks that are impeding progress. Examples include the excessively long processing times and lack of an integrated approach when new businesses are being established. I’m delighted that innovation partnership programmes are addressing these challenges and that they also have a proactive agenda to create sustainable, exportable solutions,” comments Östen Ekengren.

Passionate about sustainable climate solutions

Östen Ekengren has been active in China since 1986, but also in many other countries, where in addition to capacity building, he has also helped boost the export of Swedish solutions. The Smart City Sweden assignment offers an opportunity to transform visits by interested parties into business opportunities.

“I have a relatively good sense of the challenges we face, but also the solutions that are emerging. We can export more of these solutions and that’s where I hope to be able to make a contribution, chiefly by strengthening cooperation with the export and innovation platform Smart City Sweden, but also via my knowledge of the situation for emerging economies. I also see significant opportunities for Swedish business to assert its position by leading the way. I hope to be able to make a valuable contribution here too. We should be able to build on the combination of strong, primary industries and leading ICT companies and demonstrate the benefits of digitalisation.”

Östen Ekengren is looking forward to getting up to speed with the progress that has already been made and the current focus of the partnership group.

“I want to contribute as much as I can. I’m passionate about creating sustainable, exportable climate solutions. This will be our most significant contribution towards helping the world achieve its climate goals, while generating meaningful employment in Sweden.”

Footnote: Östen Ekengren’s appointment as a member of the partnership group coincides with Stefan Krook’s decision to step down from the group due to time constraints.

The Government’s innovation partnership programmes

The objective of the Government’s innovation partnership programmes is to identify innovative solutions to major challenges facing society and to contribute to Sweden’s competitiveness. The themes are based on Sweden’s strengths and on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

  • Climate neutral industry
  • Skills supply and lifelong learning
  • Digital transformation of industry
  • Health and life sciences