LKAB conducts development and industrial research in selected areas in collaboration with international research. Experienced researchers and PhD students are working to strengthen LKAB’s position and secure the company’s competitiveness. LKAB focuses on technology and methodology. Through smart collaborations with external centers of expertise nationally and internationally, LKAB changes up the own development power so that invested resources provide multiple returns. It creates synergies, increases the development work required in LKAB 5.0 and is crucial for recruiting competence.
A New World Standard for Sustainable Mining
The mine of the future is carbon-dioxide-free, digitalized and autonomous. LKAB has in June 2018 initiated an industrial development project together with ABB, Epiroc, Combitech and Volvo Group to set a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depth. In September 2020 Volvo Group decided to leave the collaboration and Sandvik stepped in as a new partner. Reaching the goals in SUM will demand a new type of collaboration, a digital ecosystem in which the partners' digital systems and operations are linked.
HYBRIT - Fossil-Free Steelmaking
LKAB together with Vattenfall and SSAB have formed a joint-venture company to develop a production process for ore-based steelmaking that is carbon-dioxide-free. The project will contribute to a fossil-free Sweden by the year 2045. Three major companies are partners and, in turn, work with international research.
ReeMAP - Today's Waste Becomes Tomorrow's Resources
The ambition of the ReeMAP Industrial Park is to become a centre for the chemical engineering industry in northern Sweden which extracts tomorrow's resources using innovative technology – an industrial park that will set a world-leading standard for clean products, energy efficiency and reduced emissions. Mine waste will become mineral fertilisers, rare earth elements, gypsum and fluorine.
Luleå University of Technology - LTU
LKAB has since many years an extensive collaboration with Luleå University of Technology, LTU, and has over the years jointly conducted a large number of development projects that had great importance for LKAB. LTU is also an important recruitment base for competence to LKAB.
Eit Raw Materials
KIC, Knowledge Innovation Centre, is a European network for raw material extraction with LTU as one of several competence centers in Europe. Eit Raw Materials mission is to strengthen competitiveness, growth and attractiveness of European raw material extraction through radical innovation and entrepreneurship. LKAB has been active since the start as a participant in projects and board work.
A sustainable supply of raw materials is a major challenge for Europe. The import demand for raw materials for metals and minerals is high in an international comparison. To reduce the need for imports, a strategic research and innovation program was launched: STRIM – Strategic Innovation Programme for Swedish Mining and Metal Producing Industry. LKAB is an active partner in the STRIM consortium.