Imagine what life would be like without the internet, people who care, holidays and shopping. That thought made us focus on IT, health and social care, the hospitality industry and logistics. You might think that sounds boring. But it’s not at all. It means that we are now home to cutting-edge research within the field of AI, Sweden’s best hospital, lots of tourists who visit us and an insane number of companies setting up here. Which means masses of jobs.
Since we came up with the smart idea of connecting business, academia, research and the public sector, we haven’t just become one of Sweden’s AI hubs, but we have also seen a wealth of start-ups focusing on technology popping up. Here you will find Moon Smart Focus, a company aiming to revolutionise Hollywood with artificial intelligence; Transfer Galaxy, a company that enables people to send money to their nearest and dearest all over the world; the award-winning BeeScanning, a company that aims to save the world’s bees with the help of AI; and SiteVision, the company behind Sweden’s most popular Content Management System. To name but a few.
If we weren’t so modest, we would call ourselves Sweden’s Silicon Valley. We guess the Americans would sue us if we did. So we don’t. But we are!
Buildings that look like Lego houses. Charming! This is how Sascha Benes experienced Örebro when he first came to the city. Sascha comes from the Netherlands, but has now lived in Sweden for 14 years. Today he work for the city and is involved in developing a 3D model of Örebro.
It was love that took Sascha to Sweden 14 years ago. First to Stockholm, and after a few years Karlstad. But Sascha, who has lived in big cities all his life, felt that Karlstad was too small. This, combined with the fact that he became a father, meant that the moving truck went to Örebro.
"When I moved to Örebro, I felt that I had ended up at the right place. It's not that much bigger than Karlstad, but somehow it feels more like a big city."
Sascha was charmed by Örebro. Some of the city buildings reminded him of buildings he built in Lego as a child. And even though you can feel the big city feeling, there is always nature close by.
”I spend a lot of time in nature. I hike and like climbing. Here we have a lot of this."
Sascha thinks Sweden and the Netherlands are very similar. Except at one point. If you are going to have coffee in the Netherlands, you sit down at a table and someone comes and asks what you want.
"When I came to Sweden, I just sat down at a café, and sat there for about half an hour before I realized – I think I'm doing something wrong. Everyone must have thought I was wacky!”
Sascha is working on developing a 3D model of Örebro, a so-called digital twin. A 3D model of Örebro is not only a cool thing that allows you to visit the city from all corners of the world, but it is also an important tool for developing the city.
"It is linked to a lot of databases and information about the city that allows the model to change in real time. The digital twin makes it possible to keep track of the city's development in a way that was not possible before. It also opens up for making analyzes and simulations of events in the city. In the future, we want to be able to invite the inhabitants to the model. There is also a strong will to implement Artificial Intelligence. The desire to involve the citizens and AI is something that makes the project completely unique."
The 3D model is still in its infancy, but the goal is for it to function as a tool for creating an even better city for the people of Örebro. But it does not have to stay there.
"Once in place, it is only the imagination that puts a stop to what we can do with it."