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Oatly starts research and innovation center in Wihlborgs innovation house in Science Village

In Wihlborgs new house Space (Kunskapen 1), in the middle of Science Village in northeast Lund, the world’s largest oat drink manufacturer Oatly is starting a new research and innovation center.

Space, which will be completed in the autumn of 2023 right by Rydbergs torg and the tram stop, will be an innovation building with offices and lab operations. The 6,000-square-meter building will be a natural hub for companies, individuals and research disciplines working to develop the sustainable solutions of the future.

Space is built in wood and in Scandinavian style, and will be certified according to Miljöbyggnad Guld, WELL and NollCO2. In accordance with the agreement signed during the second quarter, Oatly rents 3,100 square meters on three floors.

The purpose of Oatly’s investment in Lund is to dive deep into the potential of oats to lead the transition to a more plant-based food system. Together with the global innovation department, Oatly’s new research team in Lund will establish a research and development organization that can benefit from the leading competence and technology that is gathered in the academic environment at Lund University. While Space is being built, the newly established research team will move into Wihlborgs’ Delta 5 property at Ideon in Lund.

– A shift to a more plant-based diet is crucial for creating a food system within the planet’s boundaries, and oats have great untapped potential and can become an important part of the solution. As we are now investing heavily in more research on this crop, Lund and Science Village are a natural place for us. The research environment has world-leading expertise in plant breeding and unique instruments for studying materials down to the nano level thanks to the international projects ESS and MAX IV. We hope to attract even more global cutting-edge expertise to the area, says Sofia Ehlde, global innovation manager for Oatly and a key figure in the company’s development since the late 90s.

– This is an important milestone for Science Village where, after a long planning period, we have reached the start of the implementation phase. It is particularly gratifying that Oatly intends to locate its research and innovation center in Science Village and that Wihlborgs and Space succeed in matching Oatly’s need for innovative and sustainable solutions, says Christian Lindfors, CEO of Science Village.

– With its focus on sustainability and innovation, Space becomes an iconic building in Science Village and Oatly is a very important tenant. The innovation work and the expertise Oatly adds with its establishment will benefit the entire area. Science Village is an area that means a lot to us because we have a large and long-term commitment here that stretches back to the construction and continued development of MAX IV, says Ulrika Hallengren, CEO of Wihlborgs.

Climate research, protein analyzes and new types of biomaterials are examples of research areas that are already underway at MAX IV. With Oatly’s establishment in the area, foodtech profiling is further strengthened.

– It is really gratifying that Oatly has chosen Lund for such a large research investment. At Space, we want to offer Oatly an innovative research environment and stimulating work environment in a fantastic location. The house also lives up to the very highest demands on sustainability in everything from material selection to energy optimization, says Maria Ivarsson, regional manager at Wihlborgs.


About the area

The Science Village area is located between MAX IV and ESS and is connected through the so-called Knowledge Route together with other knowledge-intensive activities such as Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, LTH and Ideon.

Wihlborgs has a long-term commitment to Ideon, Brunnshög and Science Village. In 2010, the Max IV project started, where Wihlborgs’ partly owned subsidiary Fastighets AB ML4 carried out the project and owns the facility. Today, Wihlborgs has just over 30 properties along Kunskapsstråket. Wihlborgs has additional building rights in Science Village and continues to work to make the area an attractive place for innovation and new companies.

About the certifications

Miljöbyggnad is a Swedish certification where only the most ambitious buildings reach the gold level requirements for environmental performance and a very good working environment. Environmental construction for new production consists of fifteen mandatory criteria in the areas of energy, indoor environment and materials.

NollCO2 is an extension certification to Miljöbyggnad, BREEAM-SE, LEED and the Nordic Ecolabel which requires that the building’s greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by setting limit values ​​for greenhouse gas emissions of the building component production, of the construction processes and indirectly by setting a limit for the building’s energy use. Zero CO2 also requires that the building’s remaining climate impact is balanced with climate measures to a net zero climate impact.

WELL is an American health certification that focuses on areas that, according to research, have the greatest impact on our well-being, such as diet, mind, community, sound, light, air, water and movement.

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