Region Blekinge and Blekinge University of Technology (BTH) sign an agreement on a joint investment in research and development in marine technology. The agreement involves SEK 50 million over a five-year period starting in 2024.
– This is a unique research effort together with Region Blekinge. For us, it means that we can continue to build competence in marine technology that strengthens our role as an engine in the ongoing investment in the marine technology area in Blekinge, says Mats Viberg, rector at BTH.
– We see this as an important step in realizing our regional development strategy and contributing to the positive development that we see Blekinge currently having. Through cooperation, we have great potential to benefit from the wave of success that our heavy industry is now having, says Robert Lindén (SD), chairman of the regional board in Region Blekinge.
Technology used in the marine environment Within the area of marine technology, the focus is on developing different types of technology that are used in the marine environment. Important areas within marine technology are ocean-based energy, defense and sustainable oceans. The investment will create better conditions for growth in companies and organizations and thus more jobs in Blekinge. It also gives the county a clear profile, which can help attract more companies to set up or expand their operations here.
– In order to be able to meet the challenges of society and industry, it is very important that we can develop the conditions for high-quality research across organizational boundaries, university, industry and public actors together, says Andreas Larsson, vice-chancellor at BTH.
In the agreement on the collaboration, Region Blekinge and BTH highlight various areas where joint investments need to be made. One such area is smart specialization. It is an EU term for a way of working that should help us focus on what we can be the best at. Region Blekinge is allocating SEK 50 million spread over five years, a decision that has now been approved by the regional council. Half of the money comes from the regional development funds for which the region is responsible. In concrete terms, the investment will go to support strategic recruitment at BTH to develop the area of marine technology.
– Through this reinforcement, we want to support BTH in improving its capacity to train students and conduct research in marine technology. This is beneficial for business and organizations and thus the whole of Blekinge, says regional director Peter Lilja.