Ericsson pumps billions into Swedish research

Swedish telecom firm Ericsson announced on Monday plans to build three new research centres, two in Sweden and one in Canada, investing approximately 7 billion kronor ($1.06 billion) in the coming five years.

Ericsson pumps billions into Swedish research

The three centres, one in Linköping, central Sweden, the other in Stockholm’s Kista, and the third in Montreal, will act as platforms to bring together the company’s 24,000 engineers scattered around the world, and will measure 120,000 square metres together (around 14 football fields).

“The one cool thing is that we reduce energy consumption by 40 percent,” Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, told The Local. “The other thing is that we can access our information much quicker.”

The ICT centres will house the latest technology, allowing engineers to connect with each other via high-speed.

The Linköping ICT centre is planned to open at the end of 2013 and the one in Kista, north of Stockholm, one year later. The centre in Montreal will begin operations in early 2015.

Around 60 to 100 new jobs will be created as well, according to Vestberg.

Finance Minister Anders Borg, who was at the press conference, said he was convinced that the investment would help secure jobs in Sweden.

“Sweden will continue to be one of the countries that are at the forefront when it comes to putting resources into research and development,” he told the TT news agency.

As to why Ericsson planned to build in Sweden, Vestberg said it was a question of efficiency.

“It might be cheaper to build them anywhere else but most important is: Where is the most efficient place to do it?” he told The Local.

“We have our largest R&D hub worldwide in Sweden, and that is the reason we built them here. The proximity is very important when it comes to test environments.”

The Swedish R&D hub of Ericsson hosts more than 9,000 employees. Other R&D sites are in China, US, Canada and Hungary. In 2012, Ericsson’s R&D expenditures were 32.8 billion kronor, reflecting around 14 percent of sales.

Steffen Daniel Meyer

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