The latest issue of Magasin Göteborg was distributed as a supplement of Dagens Industri newspaper on 15 May. The supplement focuses on innovative and modern aspects of Gothenburg as well as the latest news and trends from the city. “Caring intelligence” is the main theme of this year’s Magasin Göteborg.

Magasin Göteborg Photo: Katja Ragnstam

“A lot is going on in Gothenburg right now. New ideas are hatching, opportunities are everywhere and there’s a lot of interest in the city. More and more people are discovering Gothenburg as an attractive city to work in, live in and visit. A foreign journalist recently described Gothenburg as a ‘pocket-sized metropolis’. That’s quite an accurate description of this city and region which we’re so fond of,” says Lennart Johansson, Director of the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

The theme of this year’s issue of Magasin Göteborg is “Caring intelligence”. Artificial intelligence and urban development require an understanding of smart new ways of living and working, but it’s also crucial to use these resources carefully to allow as many people as possible to enjoy all the things that make Gothenburg so attractive. Topics covered in the magazine include use of 3-D printing technology to create human body parts, how Gothenburg landed a Nobel prize, this summer’s choral invasion and the six companies to watch right now. You can also read about how a man from Borås helped to design Dubai, discover the street fashion from Gothenburg that’s conquering the world and find out about this year’s exciting new development at Landvetter airport.

The Magasin Gothenburg supplement is published in collaboration with Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group and Business Region Göteborg. Magasin Göteborg is being distributed in Gothenburg for the eighth consecutive year, and is one the Dagens Industri newspaper’s most popular supplements.

Read Magasin Göteborg online here and give us your feedback at #magasinGBG


Aniara, a film screened inside coffins during the Göteborg Film Festival in January this year, has generated worldwide media attention. This unconventional film experience challenged the traditional way of viewing movies and reached 500 million people through various media.

Photo: Studio Mint

“We’re delighted with the worldwide impact of the World’s Most Claustrophobic Cinema, not least in the USA where several hundred articles have been published about the screenings. It’s great to know that articles about Gothenburg and the screenings have appeared in 140 countries. Having our completely self-produced event spotlighted by the likes of Perez Hilton, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The Times is extremely encouraging and bodes well for the festival’s future development,” says Andreas Degerhammar, Communications Manager, Göteborg Film Festival.

During the Göteborg Film Festival, an expectant public was challenged with an extraordinary movie experience. Each viewer watched the movie in isolation while enclosed in a coffin. The unusual movie concept generated huge international media interest and was publicised on TV, radio, in newspapers and in social media. The claustrophobic screening was mentioned in over 500 articles and social media posts and shared in more than 100 countries There were frequent tweets on the launch day, and on the first day one tweet was aired every three seconds. There is no doubt about the huge interest generated by the movie experience, and all 28 screenings quickly sold out.

The partnership between the Göteborg Film Festival and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group resulted in a larger international press following, which included The New Yorker, Variety, Cineuropa and the Telegraph.

The Göteborg Film Festival is a non-profit association. Their annual film festival runs for ten days starting in the third week of January, showing films from all over the world at cinemas around Gothenburg. This year the Göteborg Film Festival was nominated for Guldägget (The Golden Egg Award), The One Show and The Webby Awards. See more information here about the Göteborg Film Festival.



Gothenburg Tech Week took place in Gothenburg on 6–11 May 2019, when tech and startup events were held all around Gothenburg. This is the fifth consecutive year that Gothenburg Tech Week was carried out. The event is designed to raise awareness about Gothenburg’s tech and startup scene and showcase Gothenburg as a city of enterprise.

Photo: Wesley Overclift

“Gothenburg Tech Week is finally here, and we’re seeing the results of months of hard work. We were quite nervous on Monday morning, but also very excited! The week got off to a fabulous start and the atmosphere is buzzing. This year there are 32 events spread out over the week and we’ve put together the best line-up ever, which we’re really proud about. Many organisations have expressed interest in taking part and there have been many visitors, which we’re delighted about. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week, which will be packed with fascinating events and new meetings,” says Malin Kjällström, organiser of the Gothenburg Tech Week.

The week’s programme includes inspiring lectures by distinguished speakers such as Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s former Prime Minister, Lena Apler, entrepreneur and founder of Collector Bank AB, and Erik Gatenholm, CEO of Cellink AB, to mention just a few. There will also be workshops, hacks and launches relating to technology, startups and enterprise at various venues around Gothenburg. All the events are free of charge and open to everyone. See the full programme here.

Gothenburg Tech Week is based on a partnership between Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group and Region Västra Götaland. The Trade & Industry Group is a partner of Gothenburg Tech Week, and aims to raise the profile of Gothenburg’s tech and startup scene. Gothenburg Tech Week is a non-profit organisation founded to support Gothenburg’s entrepreneurs and startup companies by organising and coordinating a week-long event in May each year.

At the Skarpt Läge job fair in February, young adults aged 18 to 30 met with employers with one hope in mind: to leave the venue with a job. Two months later, 184 of the job seekers had found employment as a direct result of the fair. Today, Skarpt Läge is more than a job fair; it’s an important meeting place for forging partnerships.

Skarpt Läge job fair. Photo: Fredrik Karlsson/Skarpt Läge

“Today, Skarpt Läge isn’t just a job fair, it’s a meeting place that generates many synergy effects. For instance, this year we collaborated with Hvitfeldska and Aniara upper secondary schools, which sent 25 wonderful and positive third year students to work as volunteers at the fair. We regularly visit youth organisations such as MiM Kunskapscenter (MiM Knowledge Centre) and SOS Children’s Villages, where we teach young people how to seek jobs, expand their contacts and network with employers. Many of the resulting contacts have led to job offers,” says Lotta Forsberg, project manager at Skarpt Läge.

On 22 February, the Skarpt Läge fair opened at a new venue, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. For three hours, young adults, regardless of their training and qualification backgrounds, had the opportunity to be matched with employers ready to offer jobs on the spot. The concept is simple: all the employers exhibiting at the fair had something to offer in the form of jobs, training or internships, and the young job seekers all turned up well prepared with their CVs. A follow-up study two months later showed that 184 of the job seekers had found jobs, of which 94 were full-time. Most of the jobs were in the warehouse logistics and hotel & restaurant sectors. Recruitment and interviews are still in progress. After six months the outcome will be measured again, and is expected to be even better.

With 1,831 participants, the fair broke its previous visitor record. It is hoped that Skarpt Läge will not only be the best job fair for young people in Gothenburg, but will become the best platform for young people seeking to enter the employment market in Sweden.

Skarpt Läge is built on a partnership between the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, Gothia Towers/Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, the Swedish Public Employment Service, Visita and Labour Market and Adult Education (Arbetsmarknad och Vuxenutbildning).

The prize was presented on 2 April during the meeting of Börssällskapet at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in front of a capacity audience. A silver Gothenburg statuette and a cheque for SEK 25,000 were presented by the Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, Axel Josefson, and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group. The winner of the Gothenburg Company Prize 2018 is I-Tech, a biotech company that has developed a sustainable method for preventing barnacles from settling on vessel hulls.

Axel Josefson, Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group present the Prize to I-Tech AB (Left to right: CFO Magnus Henell, Chairman of the Board Stefan Sedersten, CEO Philip Chaabane). Photo: Tim Kristensson/Happy Visuals

“In a country with so many exciting and promising companies, we feel very humbled to be winner of the Gothenburg Company Prize. I-Tech, a company born out of local academic research and largely backed by local financiers, is at the centre of a global expansion of the marine sector which is so important to Gothenburg. We share this honour with everyone who has been part of our almost 20-year journey,” says Philip Chaabane, CEO, I-Tech.

I-Tech was founded in 2000 and is a spin-off from research at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. It is a research-intensive company that applies biotechnology to one of the maritime industry’s major problems, barnacle settlement. I-Tech’s product Selektope is a substance that is added to marine coatings to prevent barnacles from fouling vessel hulls. Selektope is unique in being the world’s only marine anti-fouling agent that does not kill barnacles.

Facts about the Gothenburg Company Prize:

  • Every year Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group awards the Gothenburg Company Prize to successful companies that are run and developed in the Gothenburg region.
  • The prize consists of SEK 25,000 and a silver statuette.
  • Since it was established in 1994 the Gothenburg Company Prize has been awarded to around 60 companies.

Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group is a platform for collaboration between trade & industry, organisations, municipal administrations and academia, and is aimed at making Gothenburg even more competitive and attractive. The Trade and Industry Group uses initiatives and projects to stimulate inclusivity and long-term skills provision, in order to contribute to an attractive, dynamic and sustainable metropolitan region.

Intensive work is underway to finalise the organisation of the big IAGG-ER congress on gerontology and geriatrics, which will be held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg in May. Boo Johansson and Marie Kivi are two of the key organisers of the congress.

The planning of The 9th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress, abbreviated as IAGG-ER, is in full swing. Boo’s role is Congress President, while Marie, as Deputy General Secretary, has the task of coordinating a complex network. Normally, when they’re not involved in planning the congress, they work at the University of Gothenburg as lecturers and researchers on the subject of ageing. Among other things, they study the effects of ageing on memory, cognitive ability and psychological health.

Inspired by the Nordic congress

Boo Johansson Göteborgs universitet
Boo Johansson. Photo: Johan Wingborg

The process started in 2014 after the 24th Nordic Gerontology Congress was held in Gothenburg. Following the big success of this congress, the idea was hatched of Gothenburg also hosting a European congress.

“That was how it started, as a result of the experiences from the 2014 Nordic Gerontology Congress in Gothenburg. The congress had been a huge success in all respects, and we felt we could do it again,” explains Boo.

AgeCap, the Centre for Ageing and Health at the University of Gothenburg, was also involved in the process. AgeCap had recently been established, and the European congress would serve as a means of promoting the University and everyone involved.

In conjunction with this, the Gothenburg Convention Bureau contacted Boo to ask if he would work on helping to bring the European congress to Gothenburg. Several parties suggested that we host this congress in 2019.

The organisation decided to seek support from the European organisation IAGG-ER. The organisation also contacted PCO MEETX, the meeting organiser that helped to organise the Nordic meeting.

“Things proved more challenging than expected, since all the available funds had been used up by the previous IAGG-ER congress. Finding funding was a challenge right from the outset. One might wonder why we would choose to organise this type of event, given the financial risk. But in academia we’re motivated by other driving forces such as generating opportunities to network with colleagues and promote our research projects,” explains Boo.

IAGG-ER is held every four years. During the 2015 congress, Gothenburg won the hostship in competition with Málaga, which had Antonio Banderas acting as ambassador for his home city. The decision to hold the 2019 congress to Gothenburg was taken at a council meeting, where delegates from all member states and organisations voted on the matter. The organisation succeeded in convincing the council that Gothenburg was the best and most obvious choice for the next congress.

“That was definitely a wonderful acknowledgement. It meant a lot for those of us who were involved, and we also realised how it would benefit AgeCap. We will get exposure far beyond the University of Gothenburg and Sweden. I think we’ve been successful in marketing the congress internationally too. It’s a win-win situation organising this type of meeting,” says Boo.

Marie Kivi
Marie Kivi. Photo: Peter Nilsson

“Since Gothenburg was elected to host the congress, we’ve attended several other international congresses, such as the IAGG World Congress in San Francisco in 2017. We also visited the Nordic meeting in Oslo in 2018 to market the congress in Gothenburg,” says Marie.

Boo and Marie believe the main reason that Gothenburg was chosen to host the IAGG-ER was the success of the Nordic congress in 2014, an experience shared by many of the delegates who voted. Another contributing factor is Scandinavia’s reputation for high quality and good organisation when it comes to meetings and congresses.

“We are very grateful that the congress will be held at a venue like the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. Without this venue, we wouldn’t even have considered holding the event in Gothenburg. One of the venue’s main strengths is its ability to offer a complete range of services including hotel accommodation, meeting rooms and restaurants, right in the city centre. This is a huge competitive advantage we have over other cities,” says Boo, who adds:
“We also appreciate the fact that Göteborg & Co provided initial support and helped produce marketing material for the congress.

Capability in ageing – from cell to society

The congress is about ageing, covering a wide range of aspects such as what happens in our cells and what happens in society as people age. Because of this, many different scientific disciplines will be involved in the congress to cover all aspects of ageing.

“At AgeCap we’ve chosen to emphasise something we call capability: we examine the question of whether people can realise their potential based on what they want to achieve in old age. How do we want to live, and how can we ensure we age well? This is a general theme,” says Boo. He continues:

“In order to age well, our cells have to work well, and so does the social system. This is the theme for the congress: “Capability in ageing – from cell to society”.

Boo points out that with regard to ageing, society often tends to emphasise negative aspects. This manifests in prejudice and discrimination, a phenomenon known as ageism. He believes it is important to ascertain what people’s actual capabilities are later in life, and to challenge actions and attitudes that are based on people’s chronological age rather than on their actual capabilities.

Besides the many parallel sessions held during the three days of IAGG-ER, various activities will take place on open stages during the breaks, where organisations will have the opportunity to present themselves and their work.

“A wide variety of activities will take place on the stages during breaks and at lunchtime. For instance, music will be performed by Margaretakören, a choir where older people and children sing together. There will also be a fashion show presenting fashions for older people. While these things aren’t strictly scientific, they still contribute to the conditions for ageing well,” explains Marie.

In conjunction with IAGG-ER in Gothenburg, a World Council Meeting will be held for the whole international organisation.

“It’s always a challenge holding meetings within meetings,” says Boo. “But in this case it will help us attract participants from all over the world to the scientific programme.

The congress will rely on a large number of voluntary workers for its implementation. Volunteers of all ages, from students to pensioners, will contribute their time and efforts to make the congress as successful as possible. Boo and Marie are confident that the volunteers will also gain many new and valuable experiences from their involvement.

Public activities

Photo from the Årsrika exhibition. Sten with Ludde the dog. Foto: Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin

As during the European Stroke Organisation Conference(ESOC), hosted by Gothenburg in 2018, many additional public activities are being planned outside the congress venue. Årsrika, a photographic exhibition, will be held at Gothenburg City Library. It presents elderly people with different backgrounds and experiences. The photographs illustrate different aspects of people’s lives, telling stories of joy, love, happiness and death. Parts of the exhibition will also be shown in other locations around Gothenburg.

The Carin Mannheimer Award is awarded to emerging scholars affiliated with AgeCap for all types of research on ageing. The award will be conferred during the congress. After the award ceremony, the winners will go to Gothenburg City Library, where they will be presented along with previous years’ winners.

In addition to this, the organisers hope the congress will receive coverage via the press, radio and TV in order to reach a wide public.

Foto från utställningen Årsrika.
Gothenburg residents Iris and Gunvor are pictured in the Årsrika exhibition. Photo: Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin


Nearly 1,300 participants have registered for the congress to date, but this figure is expected to increase. Boo and Marie hope that about 1,500 people will participate. While meetings held in the Nordic region tend to be of high quality in terms of content, logistics and technology, there are many potential obstacles.

“If you look at the expense for the individual participants – the whole package, travel, accommodation etc., it is very costly to take part. Moreover, in this type of broad congress, which covers a wide number of areas, it can be difficult to motivate people since they also need to attend smaller, more specialised meetings in their own area of specialism,” explains Boo.

The organisation would like to see many junior researchers at the congress, as they would benefit enormously from it.

“Of course we offer a discount for pre-PhD researchers. It’s always a challenge to make congresses accessible to junior researchers with limited financial resources, even though it is this generation that will ultimately lead future research. However, a larger number of students have registered for this congress than previously,” says Boo.

Most of the registered participants are from Europe, but there are also participants from South America, USA, Canada and Australia.

“Region Västra Götaland is a partner that has provided a lot of funding and staff for the congress. The congress offers a valuable opportunity for training staff locally,” says Boo.
“The same applies to the City of Gothenburg,” adds Marie. They have an option for participating with 200 staff members, who could benefit greatly from taking part. Based on our planning experience, both of us recommend that Region Västra Götaland and its bordering municipalities take advantage of this type of meeting as a means of offering their staff advanced training, and to encourage local research and development.

– …an amazing congress, the best ever!

When asked what they would like participants to take away with them from the congress, in terms of knowledge, experiences, thoughts and ideas, both Boo and Marie agree:

“We want them to feel it was an amazing congress, the best ever! They should go home with many new ideas and new contacts. They should feel it was well organised,” says Boo.

Marie adds:
“Well organised, good premises, a wonderful city and great content. We have created themed symposia and a scientific conference that tie in with each other. It’s much more inspiring to take part in things that are interrelated, rather than attending isolated activities without a greater context.”

In conclusion, Marie says, “I think this will be a fabulous meeting!”

If you would like to work as a volunteer at the IAGG-ER congress, contact our volunteer coordinator

When the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra recently gave a guest concert at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Gothenburg Convention Bureau took the opportunity to visit Berlin together with staff from the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. Whilst there, they visited several customers and invited strategically important partners to the concert.

Photo: Dick Gillberg/Göteborg & Co

To strengthen relations and promote Gothenburg as a meeting destination, visits were arranged with several professional conference organisers in Berlin. These visits provided an opportunity to present Gothenburg’s strategic plan drawn up in partnership between industry, academia and the city, which will provide a basis for future efforts to promote Gothenburg as a destination for conferences and meetings. The conference organisers were also invited to the concert given by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

“It was extremely valuable for Gothenburg to have this opportunity to invite strategic business partners to hear the Swedish national orchestra, especially in Germany, where there is a long-standing interest in Sweden and Gothenburg. This will strengthen Gothenburg’s position as a meeting destination by proving that we can deliver world-class events,” says Ulrika Scoliège, project manager at the Gothenburg Convention Bureau.

During the concert intermission, Sten Cranner, General Manager and Artistic Director of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, gave the guests an exciting presentation of the orchestra and its history.

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – the Swedish national orchestra

The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra gives about 100 concerts per year. Besides performing at the Gothenburg Concert Hall and touring internationally, the GSO plays every summer at Götaplatsen square during the Gothenburg Culture Festival and in Slottsskogen city park on 6 June, as well as giving guest performances at Vara Concert Hall.

The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, pianist Alice Sara Ott and percussionist Martin Grubinger gave guest performances in Stockholm, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Vienna and Salzburg on 16 February–1 March 2019.

With a few days to go before the event of the year in Gothenburg, intense preparations are underway and expectations are high. The Associations World Congress & Expo (AWC) will be held on 7–10 April at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg.

Close to 500 participants are expected to attend the AWC, and everyone involved is hard at work preparing for the congress. The AWC is an annual congress for leaders from international organisations. This event offers great opportunities to showcase the city and its strengths while reinforcing Gothenburg’s position as the ideal city for meetings. Industry press representatives from all over Europe are expected to visit the congress.

First time this year

This will be the first time that the AWC is held in the Nordic region, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the Nordic market. The Nordic Pavilion is the only place at the Gothenburg congress where this will be done. There are many advantages of participating in the Nordic part of the exhibition. It is an opportunity, on the one hand, to present the best the Nordic region has to offer, and on the other hand to introduce the possibilities of holding future congresses in the Nordic region. The general theme this year is Midsummer, and participants will be invited to social activities with a Nordic touch. There has been enormous interest in the Nordic Pavilion, where all the spaces sold out a long time ago.

Distinguished list of speakers

More than 60 speakers have been booked, including Paul Welander, Senior Vice President Volvo Car Group, and Laura Sprechmann, Deputy CEO Nobel Media. Among other things, participants will learn how public activities organised during the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) contributed to the conference’s success, and how to effectively promote a scientific conference to the public. This subject will be addressed by speakers Turgut Tatlisumak, Professor of Neurology, and Christian Blomstrand, Senior Professor of Neurology, both from the University of Gothenburg. Guy Bigwood, Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), has long been a leading name in sustainability. In 2015 he started the annual Global Destination Sustainability Index to drive the development of sustainable destinations in the business tourism and events industry. Since 2016, Gothenburg has enjoyed top ranking in the GDS-Index, where the city is rated as the world’s most sustainable destination. Today, over 50 destinations are ranked in the GDS-Index.

List of AWC speakers

Follow this link for more information about the speakers at the AWC:

Those who have registered will be able to follow parts of the congress live online.

Environmentally certified congress

As the world’s most sustainable destination, it is natural that we should set a good example. For this reason, it was decided at an early stage that the AWC would be certified according to the Swedish Environmental Base (Svensk Miljöbas). One of the environmental aspects for gaining the certification is the food that will served to the + 400 participants. A large proportion of the food will be made with organic and locally produced ingredients, and only vegetarian meals will be served on one of the congress days. Great efforts are also being made to minimise food wastage at the congress. Moreover, each participant will be provided with a water bottle and encouraged to drink tap water.

Destination Day

After the conference, participants will be invited to remain in Gothenburg for an extra day to explore more of the city. Participants who stay on for this Destination Day will learn more about Gothenburg and its strengths, for instance how Gothenburg works to attract conferences and meetings, and about the city’s strong partnerships in the field of research and development.
AstraZeneca and Lindholmen Science Park are two of the places that participants will visit during Destination Day.

AstraZeneca och Lindholmen Science Park
Photo: AstraZeneca och Lindholmen Science Park


The Associations World Congress & Expo is an annual international congress for managers and decision makers in strategically important congress organisations. This is the first time the congress will be held in the Nordic region.

Associations World Congress & Expo Logo

You are invited to Sweden’s first beer week on 5–13 April! How about a tour on a Paddan canal boat, stopping at various breweries along the way? Or walking the dog from the Beerbliotek to Brewdog breweries? Or enjoying an IPA session, tap-room party or beer crawl in central Gothenburg? The possibilities are almost endless.

Photo: Peter Bergqvist

Gothenburg is often called the beer capital of Sweden. And for good reason. The number of breweries has rocketed in Gothenburg and the surrounding area. The highpoint is GBG Beer Week, which was the idea of Petur Olafsson and Fredrik Berggren and is about to take place for the fifth year in a row.

“The aim of GBG Beer Week is to make the city’s beer culture thrive and grow even stronger. For one brilliant week in April we celebrate the diversity of Sweden’s rejuvenated beer culture,” says Petur Olafsson.

Every brewery has a place at GBG Beer Week: small or large, local or international, broad in appeal or specialist.

“Together we have set in motion a series of events, arranged by breweries, importers, restaurants, pubs and associations, that get the whole city fizzing with refreshing experiences. The culmination is A Beer & Whisky Fair, a two-day event that attracts over 23,500 visitors,” continues Fredrik Berggren.

So why has Gothenburg become the Swedish beer capital?
“Gothenburg has always been a beer city with a proud history of brewing. That tradition continues today, in a unique cooperative spirit as new and established breweries help and encourage each other. Many of these breweries are leading the way internationally, in quality, innovation and ambition,” says Petur Olafsson.

By the way, it is probably not so strange that Gothenburg should be called Sweden’s beer capital. As reported in the regional newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten, in February, two 400-year-old beer taps were unearthed during the construction of the Västlänken rail link in the area around Skansen Lejonet. Beer taps like these were originally used to serve beer from barrels. In those days the people of Gothenburg brewed and drank a lot of beer. A tradition that the people of Gothenburg still hold close to their hearts!

To find out more about Gothenburg’s microbreweries:

GBG Beer Week, 5–13 April:

A Beer & Whisky Fair, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, 12–13 April:


The first CapitalOnBoard one-day event was held in March. CapitalOnBoard provides an arena for forging connections between West Swedish start-ups and national investors on a return trip to Fredrikshamn on the Stena Danica ferry. A successful event with 150 participants and over 300 pre-booked meetings.

Lectures on the Stena Danica. Photo: CapitalOnBoard

On the morning of 12 March, 150 expectant participants gathered in the departure lounge for breakfast and registration before boarding the Stena Danica ferry. During the trip, they had the opportunity to network with West Swedish and national investors. The day also offered inspiring lectures, panel debates, business pitches and over 300 pre-booked one-to-one meetings.

“Our vision was to create a new networking arena for start-ups, investors and industry stakeholders. We knew the demand was there, and after carrying out the first CapitalOnBoard event, we have received highly positive feedback and immediate requests for the next event. The participants were partially isolated from the outside world during the day. This encouraged them to focus completely on each other, which we believe resulted in even more new meetings and future relations. We now have clear proof that there is a need for this type of arena. We look forward to developing the concept and following up on the effects of the first event,” says Alexandra Björk, organiser of CapitalOnBoard.

The event was organised by Peter Kurzwelly and Alexandra Björk, who both have extensive experience of start-ups and the innovation system. They wanted to avoid the classic conference venue scenario where participants can come and go as they please. This lead to the idea of holding the event at sea, in true Gothenburg spirit.

“We have plenty of excellent businesses in West Sweden, but there is a lack of capital. In light of this, we wanted to connect capital with start-ups and promote future relations with investors,” explains Peter Kurzwelly, organiser of CapitalOnBoard.

CapitalOnBoard is organised in partnership with Region Västra Götaland, Venture Cup, Business Region Göteborg, Chalmers Ventures, GU Ventures, Delphi, Fabbelito and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group.

For more information on CapitalOnBoard:

On 19 March, the park Jubileumsparken in Frihamnen harbour won the Siena Prize, which is awarded by Architects Sweden for Sweden’s best landscape architecture project. In the Jury Statement, Jubileumsparken was lauded as an inspiring example of citizen-powered urban development and innovative sustainability.

The sauna in the park Jubileumsparken, Frihamnen. Photo: Beatrice Törnros/Göteborg & Co.

“The Siena Prize is a prestigious architectural award. It is particularly exciting that Jubileumsparken won because this is such a special urban development project. We worked with the Passalen community association to create a meeting place for everybody which is operated, designed and managed by young people,” comments Jessica Segerlund, Älvstranden Utveckling.

Jubileumsparken is being built in response to residents’ requests for more green spaces and better access to the water, to mark Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary. The first phase of Jubileumsparken will be completed in time for Gothenburg’s anniversary in 2021, and today the park already boasts a sauna, a fresh water swimming pool next to Göta Älv river, a small salt water pool, a sailing school, a playground, a roller derby track, raised planting beds, test cultivations, a café and more.

Jubileumsparken is run via a community partnership where young people from all areas of Gothenburg are employed to operate and develop a meeting place for everyone. Last year the park attracted over 80,000 visitors.

“Winning the Siena Prize will not only publicise Jubileumsparken among Gothenburg residents and visitors, but also means our partnership will leave an imprint in the industry,” comments Kristoffer Nilsson, process leader, City Planning Administration.

Siena Prize 2018
The Siena Prize was established in 1987 to promote good outdoor environments. The Prize is awarded to a work and its architect. The Prize was presented at the Architecture Gala in Stockholm on 19 March 2019. What the Jury said: “It goes without saying that a municipal park should be built in partnership with local residents and in harmony with local conditions. This project demonstrates the importance of letting more people have a say in urban planning, and of promoting local communities. When an industrial wharf is transformed into a park, the landscape architecture becomes an engine for change, social inclusion and emerging local economies. The winner is an inspiring example of citizen-powered urban development and an innovative approach to the concept of sustainability.” Read more about the prize on

Jubileumsparken in Frihamnen
The Siena Prize is one of several nominations and awards earned by Jubileumsparken since 2014. The Park won the architecture prize of Architects Sweden Västra Götaland in 2014 and was nominated for the Kasper Sahlin Prize in 2015. The development of Frihamnen, in which  Jubileumsparken is located, won the Urban Planning Prize in 2016. Jubileumsparken is being developed in a partnership between the Parks and Landscapes Administration, the City Planning Administration and Älvstranden Utveckling, and is one of the initiatives to mark Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary in 2021. So far, the Park has been built according to a strategic urban development method and is part of the local development plan. The construction site was opened at an early stage and provides a convergence point between vision, plan and implementation.

For 40 years, Gothenburg’s large hotels have been engaged in a unique partnership in which competitors team up to attract more visitors to Gothenburg. Today, the Association of Large Hotels is comprised of Gothenburg’s 23 largest hotels and is working more actively than ever.

Kristian Andreasson and Alice von Geijer

Kristian Andreasson is Regional Manager for Scandic Hotels in western Sweden, while Alice von Geijer is Hotel Director of Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel. But they are also colleagues, acting respectively as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Association of Large Hotels, Gothenburg.

“The association works together to promote travel to Gothenburg and develop reasons for visits and overnight stays. We collaborate up to the point where a visitor decides to visit Gothenburg, which benefits all of us,” explains Kristian.

“Of course we’re competitors, but we’re also colleagues with similar jobs. Together we address many ideas and issues of common concern, such as skills provision and how to ensure that Gothenburg and our industry continue to evolve and remain at the cutting edge. We maintain a high level of integrity and are good at keeping our roles separate,” says Alice.

The Association of Large Hotels, Gothenburg, was founded in 1980 as a non-profit association. Back then, far fewer hotels met the membership criterion of having over 100 hotel rooms. Today there are 23 member hotels with approximately 7,000 hotel rooms and 4,500 employees between them. Gothenburg also has an association for smaller hotels: the Association of Gothenburg Hotels.

Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel at Lindholmen. Caption: Per Pixel Petersson/Göteborg & Co

Both associations participate actively in Göteborg & Co’s efforts to attract meetings and events and grow Gothenburg as a destination.

“Our partnership allows us to discuss matters at a different level than is usually possible. For this to work, it is necessary to have Göteborg & Co as a coordinating link. Everyone knows they are a neutral party with no profit-making interest,” says Kristian.

This working model allows all the hotels to be involved at an early stage in Gothenburg’s efforts to attract large scientific conferences or events. For an organiser, it is easier to have one point of contact for all hotels than contacting each hotel separately, as is common in other cities.

“We want it to be simple to do business with Gothenburg, and this method works well. The partnership is unique and causes some degree of envy in Stockholm and Malmö,” says Alice.

The business plan of the Association of Large Hotels comprises four focus areas: Cooperation, Accessibility, Safety and Skills Provision. The association deals with issues such as developing reasons for visiting Gothenburg, making the city more accessible, and conducting marketing and training.

Examples of projects supported by the hotels include Autumn City and Halloween at Liseberg, the Volvo Ocean Race, and supplementary events in conjunction with major events. Other matters dealt with by the partnership include common safety and environmental certification and attracting conferences and events to the city.

“Major conferences and events are extremely important: they bring many guests to our hotels and promote a positive image of the city. The visitors are often hugely impressed,” says Kristian.

Several new hotels are being planned in Gothenburg. There is a strong will to invest, and Gothenburg will have about 4,000 new hotel rooms by the second half of the 2020s. This is over 30 per cent more than today. Meanwhile, housing and workplaces are being built at a rate not seen in Gothenburg for many years.

“The whole city will grow, and this expansion benefits Gothenburg. Another of our aims is to actively develop new reasons for visiting. We in the hotel industry feel a need to participate and contribute in this respect,” explains Alice.

Another role of the Association of Large Hotels is to collaborate with decision-makers over urban planning and development. A hotel contributes to a lively urban environment by attracting a flow of visitors and residents. Staycations are becoming increasingly popular. This is a form of tourism where residents or visitors from the region treat themselves to a weekend in a hotel rather than travelling further afield.

“The initiatives we support and develop should also benefit Gothenburg’s residents. We want Gothenburg to be a great city to live in, both now and in the future,” says Kristian.