Gunnar Lindberg & Jukka Teräs, Nordregio -- Bioeconomic development in Örnsköldsvik in Sweden has a specific feature of strong clustering activity around the 'Biorefinery of the Future' initiative, but how did the regional biorefinery cluster develop over time to become one of the most interesting Nordic regional bioeconomy initiatives? What is the future of the Örnsköldsvik biorefinery?
The Örnsköldsvik region faced a serious downturn during the 1990s, when many local businesses closed, downsized, or relocated to more central regions of Sweden. This resulted in the loss of around 5,000 jobs in the Örnsköldsvik region (Arbuthnott, 2011). However, the regional decline created a sense of urgency among the local actors to create new industries and jobs in the region. The idea of generating activities based on the novel biorefinery initiative, together with the increasing popularity and awareness of clustering initiatives, paved the way for a regional biorefinery cluster in the Örnsköldsvik region. The cluster company SP Processum was founded in 2003 to gather local and regional actors, including the municipality and the local power plant.