Arctic Food Arena aims to reshape food production in the Arctic region by establishing an international hub of innovation and knowledge, mixing human collaboration and technological expertise. The mission is to advance circular food production, utilizing waste heat and other residuals for greenhouse cultivation and land-based farming. Business Region Gällivare (Gällivare Näringsliv AB) has recruited Laura Redmond as sustainability and innovation manager for the Arctic Food Arena project. With her expertise in aquatic biology and environmental management and policy, combined with her recent thesis on industrial symbiosis, Laura brings a perfect match of skills to the project. Her role officially started September 11th.
Originally from Canada, Laura’s professional journey has been shaped by her dedication to sustainable practices. While completing her second master's degree in environmental management and policy in Lund, she has been working with WA3RM, a company specialized in utilizing industrial symbiosis, exchanging waste materials and resources between industries to promote sustainability, reduce waste, and enhance industrial efficiency in Sweden. An experience that has deepened her understanding of how different industries can collaborate and share resources for mutual benefits.
– I'm very excited about this opportunity! It's the perfect alignment with my skills and interests. I also have a deep passion for the Arctic. Being in the north feels like home to me and I'm genuinely excited to soon be moving there and getting started, says Laura, expressing her enthusiasm for the project.
A hub for innovative research in arctic environment
Arctic Food Arena, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Region Norrbotten, is set to become a hub for research and innovation. The project will explore industrial symbiosis models for large scale circular food production in our arctic environment. It will bring together locals, experts and visionaries for collaboration in developing sustainable solutions. The recruitment of Laura is one of the first milestones in the project's journey. The long-term goal is to harness industrial waste streams and make use of residual heat from industries to achieve sustainable food production. With the vision of making Sweden and Scandinavia self-sufficient in certain food items, the project strives to make the Arctic region a hub for circular food production, exporting sustainably grown produce to the rest of Europe.
– This initiative is truly groundbreaking. Northern Sweden is leading the way in exciting developments, and it's fascinating to see the progress that have been made in sustainability here. As a Canadian, I am eager to learn from Sweden's ambitious journey towards a greener future. The innovative policies, infrastructure, and the commitment to the green transition in Sweden are inspiring, says Laura.
A journey towards climate neutral food production
In her role as sustainability and innovation manager, Laura will be responsible for managing stakeholders, fostering collaboration, organizing workshops, and attracting competence and innovators to northern Sweden. Her leadership will be instrumental in shaping the project's direction and fostering a culture of innovation and sustainability.
One of her first tasks in this new role will be to explore similar projects around Europe. Connecting with other initiatives and visiting other project sites could present invaluable opportunities to gain important insights and knowledge for the Arctic Food Arena.
While the Arctic Food Arena's vision may seem ambitious, Laura remains optimistic about achieving the goal of climate-neutral food production in Sweden by 2045.
– I’m very optimistic. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if we bring together the right people and innovators who can collaborate and generate disruptive ideas, we can achieve the advancements required for creating climate-neutral food systems. Moreover, these systems can hopefully act as inspiration for other industries as well, Laura explains.
CEO welcomes Laura Redmond and calls for collaboration
Roger Hansson, CEO of Business Region Gällivare (Gällivare Näringsliv AB), is delighted with the recent appointment of Laura Redmond.
– We look forward to the valuable contributions Laura and her potential collaborations will bring to the Arctic Food Arena, says Roger.
He also extends a hand to experts in the food industry, inviting them to join forces with the Arctic Food Arena in shaping the future of food production – and urging them not to miss out on this opportunity.