Oatly starts research and innovation centre at Wihlborgs’ innovation hub in Science Village

In Wihlborgs new building Space (Kunskapen 1), in the middle of Science Village in north-eastern Lund, the world’s largest oat drink manufacturer Oatly is starting a new research and innovation centre.

Space, which will be complete in autumn 2023 by Rydbergs Torg and the tram station will become an innovation hub with offices and labs. The 6,000 square metre building will become a natural focal point for companies, individuals and research disciplines that work to develop the sustainable solutions of the future.

Space is being constructed from timber and in Scandinavian style, and will be certified to Sweden Green Building Council Gold, WELL and Zero CO\2\. In accordance with the agreement signed in the second quarter, Oatly is leasing 3,100 square metres across three floors.

The objective of Oatly’s investment in Lund is to thoroughly examine 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 is establishing a research and development organisation that can benefit from the leading expertise and technology in the academic environment around Lund University. While Space is being constructed, 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 limitations, and oats have a major unrealised potential and could become an important part of the solution. Now that we are investing heavily in more research on this crop, Lund and Science Village is a natural location for us. The research environment has world-leading expertise in plant improvement and unique instruments to study material at nano-scale thanks to the international projects ESS and MAX IV. We hope to attract even more expertise to the area,” says Sofia Ehlde, Global Innovation Director at Oatly and a key person in the development of the company since the late 90s.

“This is an important milestone for Science Village where, following an extended planning period, we have reached the start of the implementation phase.   It is particularly pleasing that Oatly intends to locate its research and innovation centre to Science Village and that with Space, Wihlborgs has been able to match Oatly’s need for innovative and sustainable solutions”, says Christian Lindfors, CEO of Science Village.

“With its focus on sustainability and innovation, Space will become an iconic building in Science Village and Oatly is a very important tenant. The innovation efforts and expertise that Oatly will bring with their establishment will benefit the entire area. Science Village is an area that is particularly important to us since we have a significant and long-term commitment here stretching back to the construction and continued development of MAX IV,” says Ulrika Hallengren, CEO of Wihlborgs.

Climate research, protein analyses and new types of biomaterial are examples of research areas that are already being conducted at MAX IV. Oatly’s establishment in the area further strengthens food tech profiling.

“It is especially pleasing that Oatly selected Lund for such a major research investment. At Space, we want to offer Oatly an innovative research environment and stimulating work environment in a fantastic location. The building also meets the utmost sustainability requirements in terms of everything from the choice of materials to energy optimisation,” says Maria Ivarsson, Regional Director at Wihlborgs.
 

About the area

The Science Village area is located between MAX IV and ESS and is linked via the so-called Route of Knowledge to other knowledge-intensive operations like Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering (LTH) and Ideon.

Wihlborgs has a long-term commitment at Ideon, Brunnshög and Science Village. In 2010, the MAX IV project started, for which Wihlborgs’ part-owned subsidiary Fastighets AB ML4 carried out the project and owns the facility. Wihlborgs currently owns over 30 properties along the Route of Knowledge. Wihlborgs has additional planning permits in Science Village and continues to work to make the area an attractive location for innovation and new businesses.
 

About the certifications

Sweden Green Building Council (SGBC) is a Swedish certification where only the most ambitious buildings meet gold level requirements when it comes to environmental performance and an excellent working environment. SGBC for new production comprises 15 compulsory indicators in the fields of energy, indoor environment and materials.

Zero CO\2\ is an add-on certification to SGBC, BREEAM-SE, LEED and Swan that sets requirements for the reduction of the building’s GHG emissions by setting limits for GHG emissions for the production and processes of construction and indirectly by setting limits for the building’s energy consumption. Zero CO\2 \also sets requirements to ensure that the building’s remaining climate impact is balanced against climate measures for an overall climate impact that is net-zero.

WELL is a US health certification that focuses on the areas that, according to research, have the greatest impact on our wellbeing, such as diet, mind, community, sound, light, air, water and movement.

Wihlborgs Fastigheter AB (publ)


Wihlborgs Fastigheter AB (publ) is a property company that focuses on commercial properties in the Öresund region. Its property portfolio is located in Malmö, Helsingborg, Lund and Copenhagen. In Malmö, Lund and Helsingborg, Wihlborgs is the leading property company. The book value of the company’s properties totals SEK 47.1 billion, representing an annual property rental value of SEK 3.3 billion. Wihlborgs’ shares are listed on the Large Cap List of Nasdaq Stockholm.