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 CO2. 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.

Blackstone, Oatly's second-largest investor, controls a 6.7 percent stake in the brand, worth USD 675 million.