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Co-working will be innovation hub on Umeå Campus

Monday, 25 May 2020

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In the recently opened co-working environment A Working Lab Universum, businesses, students, start-ups, researchers and public organisations share office space and hopefully also ideas and involvement. A Working Lab Universum has its sights on research and business that can strengthen Västerbotten’s position as an innovative and creative region.

Backers of the initiative include Akademiska Hus, along with the Innovation Office at Umeå University, SLU Holding, Umeå University Holding, Västerbotten Health Innovation Development Office and Umeå Science Park. 

“A good co-working environment involves so much more than just sharing space. The establishment of A Working Lab Universum will further strengthen the Umeå University campus by offering a dynamic place of collaboration between researchers, students, businesses and public sector stakeholders,” says Ulf Däversjö, Head of Innovation and Sustainable Development at Akademiska Hus.  

The first phase of A Working Lab Universum includes an 800 m2 co-working environment in the Universum building, which is centrally located in the middle of the Umeå Campus. The facilities consist of modern and flexible rooms for work, meetings and events, as well as a lounge and a café. A Working Lab Universum is aimed at everyone active at Umeå University who needs to rent a workplace for a short period and who wants to work with others. It is also a gathering point for young people, start-up companies and large established businesses. 

The next phase, which is already being planned, will have an additional 600 m2 of flexible workspace at A Working Lab Universum, which may ultimately be expanded in a third phase. 

“Umeå University’s innovation office and holding company moved parts of their operations to the premises at A Working Lab during the spring. The strategic location of Universum on campus provides major advantages for innovation activities, including expanded accessibility and new opportunities to collaborate with other participants,” says Camilla Viklund, project coordinator at the Innovation Office at Umeå University.

A Working Lab – a national concept  

A Working Lab is Akademiska Hus’ national concept for co-working, makerspace, short-term leases, Learning Lab and other flexible meeting places. This service offering creates a setting in which completely new ways of researching, working and studying can thrive in the property company’s campus-based premises. Several initiatives are currently underway around the country, at different stages and under development in various ways. In the autumn of 2019, A Working Lab – Johanneberg Science Park opened at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and in May 2020 A Working Lab Innomedicum opened in Solna.      

Membership provides access to all A Working Lab sites around the country and a strong community with the potential to network, learn from and be inspired by others who also use A Working Lab’s services. Together the different environments form a nationwide network that opens and binds together Sweden’s campuses, where everything from expertise and experience to appointment systems and development costs are shared. For example, members could easily work at A Working Lab Universum in Umeå one day, even if their usual workplace is in Stockholm.