Strategic partnerships

Umeå University is part of a number of long-term collaborations, strategic partnerships. The goal is partly to achieve mutual development and partly to raise the quality of research and education. Working together can also contribute to a better understanding of society's needs – and help meet its challenges.

Through the strategic partnerships, we can, for example, facilitate meetings and knowledge exchange, promote collaboration and joint innovation development.

Photo: Mostphotos

In 2015, we entered into our first strategic partnership at Umeå University, then with Volvo Trucks. Today, we also have in-depth collaborations with the municipalities of Umeå, Skellefteå and Örnsköldsvik as well as with Region Västerbotten.​

Participating in a strategic partnership is a way for our organisations to work towards common goals and thus strengthen each other. Together, we can also identify and work to solve societal challenges in a way that no party can achieve alone.

The partnerships include both research and education within all faculties.​

What do the partnerships mean to you?

For you as a researcher or teacher, the university's partnerships mean a clearer entry point for collaboration.

For example by:

  • established contacts that can make it easier for you if you want help finding the right unit, function or person within the respective organisation.
  • support for relationship and network building over time.
  • various joint activities. Please take the chance to participate in everything from partnership days to seminars to exchange knowledge, make new contacts and/or get ideas for your research.

Get to know our partnerships

Volvo Trucks

Since 2015, Umeå University has had a strategic partnership with Volvo Trucks.

The Volvo Group Trucks Operations in Umeå is Norrland's largest engineering industry. A large part of the production is based on advanced robots and computerized monitoring systems. In addition, the facility in Umeå functions as an introductory factory for new techniques and materials in pressing, cab assembly and surface treatment. This means that Volvo's main expertise in these areas is located in Umeå – and that strategic investments in research and development are concentrated here.

As a large workplace, Volvo Trucks is also interested in cooperation in matters related to working life and health.

The current focus areas for the partnership are:

  • Sustainable leadership
  • Sustainable working life and health
  • Sustainable production and technology

Contact person:
Katarina Henriksson
Research Support and Collaboration Office

Umeå Municipality

Since January 2018, Umeå University has had a strategic partnership with Umeå Municipality.

Umeå is the largest city in the part of the EU where the residents are deemed to have the highest quality of life. With its 131,300 inhabitants, it is also the largest city in Sweden without vulnerable areas.

The vision is that Umeå will grow to 200,000 inhabitants by 2050, and that this will happen in an economically, ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable way.

There is a rich business community here with many growing companies in areas such as biotechnology, medicine, information technology, forestry, environment and energy. As in the rest of the Western world, the aging population is a major challenge, as is the need for new businesses, talent and labor that can continue to build the city and secure future prosperity.

The current focus areas for the partnership are:

  • Digital development and AI
  • Sustainable urban development
  • Competence provision and competence development
  • Curiosum – Umeå University's science center

Contact person:
Annika Nordstrand
Research Support and Collaboration Office

Region Västerbotten

In January 2019, Umeå University entered into a strategic partnership with Region Västerbotten.

Region Västerbotten has the entire county's growth and development in focus. Among other things, they are responsible for ensuring that the county's residents receive the healthcare they need, and for offering university healthcare for the whole of northern Sweden. They also conduct cutting-edge research both nationally and internationally.

In addition, Region Västerbotten is responsible for regional development in the county. This includes areas such as infrastructure, business and innovations, international collaborations, strategic location development, labor market, tourism, IT and digitalisation, education, culture and EU project applications.

Contact person:
Annika Nordstrand
Research Support and Collaboration Office

Örnsköldsvik Municipality

In April 2019, Umeå University entered into a strategic partnership with Örnsköldsvik Municipality.

The people of Örnsköldsvik have traditionally developed a dynamic interplay between the rural industries and the city's industrial economy. World-leading industrial groups with associated subcontractors and growing companies in digitization, hospitality and the service sector operate here.

Örnsköldsvik also forms part of the High Coast World Heritage Site. The municipality currently has close to 56,000 inhabitants, but the ambition is to grow to 65,000 inhabitants by 2030.

The municipal group's administrations and municipal companies strive to maintain high quality and resource efficiency in collaboration with research environments and higher education. The partnership with Umeå University aims at mutual strategic work for the development of both the municipal group and the region.

The current focus areas for the partnership are:

  • Bioeconomy
  • Municipal health care
  • Sustainable growth

Contact person:
Martin Englund
Research Support and Collaboration Office

Skellefteå Municipality

In December 2020, Umeå University entered into a strategic partnership with Skellefteå Municipality.

Skellefteå Municipality is in the midst of a major change due to a growing, increasingly advanced business community. The municipality has long had around 73,000 inhabitants, but plans for 90,000 inhabitants in 2030. This means that 4,000 more children will go to school, that 14,000 new jobs need to be created and that 9,000 new companies need to be built. Therefore, intensive and long-term work is underway to build and plan new homes, workplaces and infrastructure.

In the wake of the rapid development, some of the municipality's major challenges are to create a sustainable society where no one is left out, as well as to meet the needs for skills provision and lifelong learning.

The current focus areas for the partnership are:

  • Strategic competence supply
  • Sustainable social development
  • Artificial intelligence, AI

Contact person:
Johanna Gardeström
Research Support and Collaboration Office


Are you curious to know more about our strategic partnerships? Do not hesitate to contact the coordinator of the respective partnership or email the Research Support and Collaboration Office.

Shared mailbox:

Lena Holmberg