July 5, 2012 – reporting from Almedalen

So, what have happened on Thursday July 5 in Almedalen? Well first of all, the weather has not been as beautiful as earlier in the week.

Almedalen - on Thursday July 5

Almedalen - on Thursday July 5

Many of the seminars however remain of the same high quality as in the beginning of the week. I would actually rate Swedish Water House’s and NMC’s seminar on ”finansiella grundbultar för en grön och hållbar innovationsstrategi” (in English: a seminar about what needs to be done politically and finacially to secure a green and sustainable innovation strategy) as the best seminar I have visited so far. They had gathered academia (Tomas Kåberger from Chalmers and Hans Bernhoff from Uppsala University), one large company Preem (represented by Helena Samuelsson) and a small start-up company Biotain (represented by the entrepreneur Per Ewers), and politicians Lena Sommestad (S) and Lennart Källström (C). The discussion was very open, positive, and optimistic. The feeling was clearly that a lot of green-tech solutions to the environmental challenges do exist, solar and wind power innovations for instance, and that the ”only thing” that needs to be done in order to move in a more sustainable direction is for politicians to remove contra-productive tax-regulations and dare to take infrastructure investment decisions.

The message from academia was that politicians need to have better understanding and knowledge about technology and innovations and move away from the idea that all their decisions should be ”technology neutral”. On the contrary, the should dare to prioritize, and support, the best! Industry wants robust systems (”stabila och långsiktiga spelregler”) to enable investments. We are all looking forward to government’s Innovation strategy in August and the Research and Innovation bill later on this fall.

During the seminar Preem received a lot of cred from all participating actors for their development of bio-diesel from pinewood oil (I mentioned it in my blog post yesterday). And later on during the day I visited another seminar where yet an additional bio fuel was discussed: St1 manufactures ethanol from food waste. With innovations of this kind, and longterm robust systems put in place by politicians, we might actually reach the objective to have a fossile free fleet of vehicles 2030. It looks pretty promising! And that’s a good feeling, since in many other areas we are not moving in the right direction…

So, what more to comment upon? I participated in CSR Sweden’s seminar called ”Corporate Social Responsibility – whose responsibility is it?”. A good discussion and especially interesting to listen to Jan Noterdaeme from CSR Europe when he descibed the Enterprise 2020 initiative. And then I also of course visited the so called MiljöAktuellt Arena where a lot of environmental issues have been discussed during two days (July 4 and 5). And that is also where I stayed after the party leader speech in Almedalen (today it was Jan Björklund) when MiljöAktuellt opened up their Arena for ”Stora Miljökvällen”. Party all night long!

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