Umeå is home to many growing companies, mainly in the fields of biotechnology, medicine, IT, the environment and energy, and modern forestry and engineering industries.
Six of Umeå's export companies each have an annual turnover of more than a billion Swedish kronor. A typical characteristic of Umeå's small and medium-sized companies is that they are "niche" companies with a focus on quality rather than quantity. Umeå has developed from slumbering county seat, via expansive university city, into a multi-facetted regional capital with the largest industry sector in Norrland and an expanding service sector. Employment in private trade and industry has grown by more than 30 percent in 10 years and has today overtaken the public sector in terms of the number of people employed. The population has doubled since the beginning of the 1960's and Umeå is today one of the ten largest municipalities in Sweden and the largest north of Uppsala.
Information and communication technology is strong in Umeå. The number of broadband connections per capita is among the highest in the world, not least thanks to the fact that Umeå built a fibre-optic metropolitan area network very early on. Umeå was named IT Municipality of the Year in 2007.
Exceptional computing power and high competence
Other factors of importance are that Umeå has computing power and computing competence with few parallels in Sweden thanks to the Computer Centre of Umeå University, UMDAC, and the High Performance Computing Center North, HPC2N.