Gällivare Näringsliv AB has been granted 10 million SEK in EU support to establish an international testbed for circular food production in the Arctic climate.
The project, called Arctic Food Arena, aims to develop a new innovation environment for the recovery of waste heat from Hybrit and LKAB's major industrial projects planned in Gällivare.
"We are extremely happy to be part of this support; Arctic Food Arena has all the prerequisites to become an international research hub where new methods for food production using waste heat streams are developed," says Roger Hansson, CEO of Gällivare Näringsliv AB.
The green industrial transition, with the production of fossil-free steel, will provide opportunities to establish businesses in entirely new industries. When the iron sponge production facility using Hybrit technology in Gällivare becomes operational in 2026, large flows of waste heat will become available. There are already advanced plans to establish circular large-scale food production where the waste heat is used for greenhouse cultivation and land-based fish farming. The initiative has attracted great interest from both national and international players.
"With Arctic Food Arena, we have unique opportunities to create an attractive research environment where the base industry collaborates with food producers and universities to develop methods for circular food production. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to climate-neutral food production in Sweden by 2045 while significantly increasing our self-sufficiency and diversifying the economy in Norrbotten," says Roger Hansson.
During the spring, a project organization will be formed that, with the help of external experts, will work on designing the testbed to make it attractive for research and innovation.
"A large part of food production in Europe today is not sustainable from an environmental perspective. However, with the expertise being built up through Arctic Food Arena, new innovative circular solutions will be developed and can become important elements in slowing down climate change," says Roger Hansson.
The Arctic Food Arena project is financed with the help of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the European Regional Development Fund.