The Swedish-U.S. Connection

Pop quiz.   Consider all the items in your house or apartment; do you know which ones are Swedish?

You might have a piece of IKEA furniture in your living room, a bottle of Absolut Vodka in your kitchen, or a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug developed by AstraZeneca.  Perhaps you own a cellphone manufactured by Ericsson.  There’s also a chance that Swedish industrial firm ABB fabricated a component in the power grid that brings electricity into your home.  If you’re lucky, maybe there’s a Volvo parked in your driveway.  Many of us saw the movie or read the book the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,  and it’s OK to admit here, you probably have an ABBA song or two somewhere in your I-Tunes library.

Swedish culture and products have a large effect on our daily lives in the United States – even if we don’t realize it.

Our Consulting Abroad Project (CAP) revolves around assisting three firms seeking to expand the Swedish presence in the United States, specifically in the U.S. clean technology market.  Our task?  Develop a U.S. market entry strategy for each company’s core products.  George Washington MBA students have been divided into three teams, with each team assigned to a specific company as a client.  Our roster of clients includes:

  • ClimaCheck (pronounced “klee-ma-shek”):  an energy efficiency company that sells diagnostic and monitoring equipment, as well as accompanying software-as-service, for refrigeration and cooling systems.
ClimaCheck_Performance Analyser

Up to 20% of global energy consumption is for refrigeration and cooling. This device, sold by Swedish firm ClimaCheck, can reduce refrigeration energy use by 10 to 40%.

  • Cortus (pronounced “cor-toos”):  a firm that uses a proprietary technology to build state-of-the art biogas generators that can substitute fossil fuels in any process.
Cortus Syngas 500 kW Prototype

Cortus recently constructed a 500 kW prototype of its gasification plant in Stockholm, representing an important step towards commercialization of its proprietary technology.

  • Stamo Maskin(pronounced “stah-moo”):  a manufacturing firm founded in 1949 that manufactures agitators – a key component of many industrial and clean technology processes, including biogas production.
Stamo Maskin Propeller Blade

An example of a propeller blade, fabricated by Swedish firm Stamo Maskin, being installed in a water treatment facility.

I am part of the ClimaCheck team, and will be blogging regularly about my team’s experiences.  In the weeks and months to come, I will also feature some insights from my classmates working on other teams so that readers receive a more complete picture of our CAP experience.

And who knows?  If all goes well with our project, next time you take a pop quiz about Swedish products in the United States, the word “ClimaCheck” will hopefully roll off your tongue as effortlessly as “Volvo.”


2 thoughts on “The Swedish-U.S. Connection

  1. Greg, I might not have aced the quiz that Turkey CAP had yesterday. But, I definitely aced you Sweden Pop Quiz!!

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