Umeå eNews - June 2018

Making the innovation accessible


The engagement and enthusiasm is high in Umeå´s innovation district. The solutions have reached the implementation phase and for us involved it is possible to understand how everything is connected and how each part depends on the others. The partners involved all have a joint vision of where we are heading, but how can we communicate and involve others in this?

Our 3D-map has the purpose to involve people and share our vision. We are also developing a mobile based dialogue tool to make it more interactive. But it is only a virtual experience – not like the real thing where you can talk to people and maybe touch the solutions. I am not an engineer and sometimes I joke about them, hinting that it is hard to understand what they are talking about. But it is also a little bit true – especially when they get enthusiastic. Many of the solutions are not so accessible to look at or understand. That is why we have started the “RUGGEDISED bike-guiding”. People are invited to a 2-hour bike tour around the innovation area together with all solution managers who can tell  the story of our Smart City: how everything works, evolves, expected results etc. People are really interested and no-one has said that it is hard to understand. That must mean that most people are able to understand engineers or that engineers are able to explain their work so that anyone can understand

PROJECT TIMING: Month 20 / 60


It is happening ! The solutions have all reached implementation phase


Making the solutions and lessons learnt understandable and interesting for a larger audience


Electric Power

The goal is to reduce the use of fossil based margin power. We are learning how to do this by monitoring, controlling and optimising the demand of electric power. That has also opened up new possibilities to extend the collaboration within the RUGGEDISED partnership to include matters of power quality.

Heat Power

The utilities district heating networks usually have a low emission production, but during the periods of extreme cold when temperatures drop to below 20 degrees Celsius (normal Umeå-winters), the Utility is forced to top up the production to cover the demand. This peak load is sometimes fossil-based, not sustainable and more expensive too. To reduce or completely avoid the peak load, we are investigating and testing methods to constrain the demand. We will use the buildings as thermal energy storage, as thanks to the development of the automated peak load management system in the innovation area, we are now able to asses and exploit heat variations in the different buildings. The technical platforms have successfully been installed and we have done the configurations and start-ups. The optimizations and the tests of the system properties have shown good results. The test schemes that we now are developing will give us more information.



Innovation workshop: Smart Homes and behavioural changes

During the innovation workshop, more than 30 participants from the partners, residents, students, companies and others, worked together in different groups to come up with processes and concepts that will reduce our environmental impact. We are developing new smart technology that will take care of some of this reduction. But we are also striving for increased citizen awareness and long term behavioural change. One tool we are using to facilitate the change is “gamification” – a playful way of influencing people's behaviour in a sustainable direction. We asked the workshop participants: "How can we make it easier and more fun to do right? What products, services and processes can create or accelerate development towards the climate smart district?"

All groups came up with a variation of interesting ideas. We noticed that all groups focused on “carrots rather than sticks”. Now the partners are working together to decide which idea, or which combination of ideas, should be developed into real tests.