Live Blog from Urban Magma

Sankt_Gertrud_KonferensFrom the beautiful conference venue of Sankt Gertrud,in the Swedish harbour town of Malmö, we present you some highlights of Meeting Point Urban Magma.

You can follow the proceedings of the conference live on the website of Urban Magma

Titus Tielens, Port of Amsterdam, Urban Magma conferenceOne of the keynote speakers is Titus Tielens, Manager Strategy & Business Development, Port of Amsterdam. He talks about the circular economy in port areas. Title of his presentation: Circular Reference – How the chain of companies, research instituties, and (port) authorities can kickstart the circular economy.
Amsterdam is a large port, leading especially in products like oil, coal and cocoa. The 2.000 companies in the harbour districts are working hard on innovation in fields like energy, biobased products and waste recycling. A more or less traditional company like waste incinerator AEB now has started to drive innovation in for example water treatment and bioplastics.
The success factors on company level are to manage the myriad uncertainties. You have to be adaptive and flexible. That goes for the city level too. As a city planner, try to assemble as many feedstocks and as many technologies as you can, by attracting different types of companies.
Titus sees three roles for the city planner and port authority. First provide the grid and the infrastructure: the Market Master. On top of that, Titus states, we are a Match Maker, bringing companies together, locating companies where they can exchange energy and waste with neighbours. On top of that, Amsterdam wants to be a bit more: a co-creator. The port authority provides incubator facilities, helping companies to develop new initiatives. This can mean investing in new companies, an activity that sometimes is debated: does a port authority have to step into commercial activities?

Johan Möllerström, Malmberg Water, Urban Magma conferenceJohan Möllerström, Managing Director, Malmberg Water AB presents Key factors for Cleantech business growth. The company develops biogas installations. Johan remarks: there has for years been a lot of talk about the possibilities of biogas in Sweden, but in reality only a few projects came on the market. So we decided to try and win contracts in Germany, a much larger market. We had to go for larger projects than we ever had managed. It took a lot of courage to sign contracts for projects that we had no experience in. We had to change the organisation of our design process to make it much faster. And it worked out, we are now one of the market leaders in this field in Germany.
One of the key factors for a succesfull innovation is sheer luck! Malmberg is one of the founders of the Swedish Water Industry, a cooperation of a number of companies in the field of waste water treatment, “all individually too big for Sweden but each too small for the world.” The cooperation choose to target projects in Ukraine first, and got contracts for three big projects.But then the political situation in Ukraine got very complicated. “We had done everything right, but you need some luck too.”

Sylvia Michel, CEO, KraftringenSylvia Michel, CEO, Kraftringen talks about The Utility as a driver for innovation. Kraftringen is owned by four Municipalities in Sweden, and provides energy to about 300.000 households. The company cooperates with the region of Skane to make the region fossil fuel-free by 2020. The solution of Kraftringen to reach that goal was accepted by the region, and now already 83% of the energy consumption is renewable. Kraftringen also is involved in two very innovative local energy projects, the new neighbourhood of Brunnshögg (‘the Town as Powerplant’, see the picture below), and the ESS-project that will couple a new research facility producing lots of waste heat to the local district heating system, both in Lund.


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