Borlänge Municipality To Pilot Startup Commuting Mobility Solution

The solution, consisting of a station-based bike parking with integrated bike-sharing system, was developed by three startups in the Sweden Green Mobility Program.

In recent months, the Sweden Green Mobility Program has undertaken an initiative to address a climate challenge within the municipality of Borlänge. The municipality has identified Borlänge as a city with excellent accessibility for residents to commute to work using public transport or bicycles. Despite this accessibility, a significant number of individuals continue to opt for cars as their primary mode of transportation.

To address this challenge, the Sweden Green Mobility Program brought together 20 startups and SMEs with diverse skill sets and backgrounds, along with established companies such as IKEA and SSAB, and public sector organizations to jointly find innovative solutions that will help reduce the climate impact of commuting.

After an intensive eight-week period of collaborative teamwork and expert coaching, four startup teams presented their proposals to Borlänge during a Demo Day. After careful evaluation and consideration, the municipality selected the team “Urban Bike Flow”, composed of CommuteSaver, One4Tech and Pedalink, for a pilot project valued at 200,000 SEK to implement their innovative solution within the municipality.

Innovative Solution with Scalability Potential

The selected team developed a secure, station-based bike parking with an integrated bike pool. Through easily accessible bikes and smart measurement instruments, their solution aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, promote a stronger cycling culture, and motivate more stakeholders to promote sustainable travel.

Furthermore, the team has developed an app that provides a measurable approach to sustainable transportation. Through a data-driven travel report, the municipality, companies, and other organizations can track and enhance conditions for employees to engage in cycling while receiving recommendations on emission reduction.

Additionally, the solution holds the potential for future integration of a matchmaking feature, connecting commuters residing outside the cycling zone with fellow carpoolers.

CommuteSaver’s Martin Walian, explains the concept revolves around the detection of transportation modes and the collection of mobility data.

“This new type of bike parking utilizes unused parking spaces, giving individuals the option to both store their own bicycles and borrow others when necessary. We offer an entirely new system to promote sustainable travel, and it will be exciting to test this in Borlänge. If it proves successful, the concept can scale to other municipalities throughout Sweden,” says Martin.

Martin Walian (CommuteSaver)

System Innovation Followed by Municipalities Throughout Sweden

The Sweden Green Mobility Program’s objective has not only been to address a particular climate challenge but, more importantly, to foster a mindset of innovation and encourage all stakeholders to embrace new approaches, collaborate with diverse suppliers and customers, and adopt a systemic perspective. Several municipalities across Sweden have been closely observing the project to gain insights from its process.

According to Salomon Abresparr, Process Leader, Climate Neutral at Borlänge Municipality, collaborating with startups has been an exciting experience.

“We see it as a complementary approach to our existing municipal initiatives, and we were thrilled to receive tangible solutions for a specific challenge we had identified. We quickly realized that we live in different realities. The innovative startups possess expertise in their specific solutions, whereas we hold valuable knowledge about Borlänge and its unique requirements. This new approach has enabled us to think in new, different ways while at the same time contributing to society by collaborating with these companies and giving them the opportunity to enter the market on a broader scale,” says Salomon.

Salomon Abresparr (Borlänge Municipality)

The innovation program will undergo evaluation to identify the insights acquired and facilitate the dissemination of the systemic innovation process for sustainable municipalities across Sweden.

Towards a Climate-Neutral City

SSAB and IKEA are two of Borlänge’s largest employers participating in the Climate Neutral Borlänge project, which is part of Viable Cities’ initiative, Climate-Neutral Cities 2030. Borlänge, alongside 22 other municipalities in Sweden, is collaborating to address the substantial societal challenges presented by the transition to a climate-neutral future. Within the Climate Neutral Borlänge framework, a project consortium has been established, comprising representatives from all participating entities, who form the project’s innovation team.

“All initiatives to achieve climate goals are good. The entire concept is exciting, and this is an opportunity for us to be part of society beyond our premises,” say Stefan Kujanpää, Head of Sustainable Facilities, and Magdalena Larsson, Coordinator for Fossil-Free Borlänge at SSAB.

For SSAB, this is also an opportunity to support innovative startups.

“For large companies, it is challenging to work individually with smaller startups. We have our own research projects and collaborations that are already part of our organization. For us, it becomes more of a societal responsibility to be involved in a project like this with innovative startups. It will be exciting to see the results,” they add.

Niklas Walfridsson, People and Culture Manager at IKEA Gävle and Borlänge, emphasizes that active participation in the green transition is a natural commitment for the company.

“We have our own sustainability agenda, and working with innovative startups is aligned to it. It provides us with valuable insights into the future, allowing us to draw inspiration from the exposure. We must undertake this journey together. A positive side effect of being part of the innovation program is that we have had more contact with local companies,” says Niklas.

About the Sweden Green Mobility Program

The Sweden Green Mobility Program is part of Omställningslyftet, an initiative led by Tillväxtverket, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, SISP – Swedish Incubators & Science Parks, Energikontoren Sverige, IUC Sverige, IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet och SuPr, and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
This innovation program is part of Omställningslyftet’s subproject “The City as a Navigator for Green and Digital Transformation” and is co-funded by SISP – Swedish Incubators & Science Parks, Ignite Sweden, WWF Sweden, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Compare, Dalarna Science Park, Kista Science City and Viable Cities.

Learn more about the program here (note, in Swedish).

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