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Image: Johnér bildbyrå AB/Fredrik Lundvigsson

A promised land? Drivers, challenges and opportunities related to the (green) industrialization of Northern Sweden

Research project In the coming decades, major industrial investments of billions of SEK will be launched in Sweden's two northernmost counties: Norrbotten and Västerbotten. To meet the need for new labor, up to 100.000 inhabitants may need to move to these regions, which corresponds to a population increase of 20%. This project studies the economic, social, and political challenges and opportunities that come with what can either be a green industrial revolution or, at worst, a spectacular industrial failure.

This research program aims to use an interdisciplinary approach to understand the ongoing industrial transformation in northern Sweden. The research will identify driving forces, obstacles and conditions in a historical, contemporary, and forward-looking perspective, and tie together a tradition of northern research with international themes on sustainable development.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2023-01-01 2029-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Arctic Centre at Umeå University, Centre for Regional Science, Department of Culture and Media Studies, Department of Geography, Unit of Economic History

Research area

Economic history, Economics, Human geography, Political science

External funding

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

Project description

The research will focus on the major investments in Skellefteå, Boden and Malmfälten. The group will use both quantitative and qualitative methods and build up an interview database for future research and international comparisons.

The project contributes with broad analyses, interviews, and collection of data and other information related to industrial transformation processes that appears to be at the frontline of a "green" transformation of the global economy.

We study this transformation at an early stage where the exact nature and future of the process is still uncertain. The goal is that the research results will be of great relevance to societal actors, companies and researchers who strive to create a sustainable future. The program has a reference group consisting of both practitioners and international researchers to facilitate utilization and guide the research process.

External funding

Latest update: 2023-08-21