About expression

eXpression Umeå is Sweden's leading business incubator that enables the development of driven creators with ideas, innovations or businesses in the cultural and creative industries. We offer effective and innovative methods, a creative coworking environment and prototype lab. 

Brand promise

Our brand promise demonstrates the core benefits to customers and stakeholders that we promise to deliver.

We pledge to work with creators to challenge norms in business development with a focus on artistic, cultural and creative industries.

We do this by offering creators:

  • Ability to iterate on business models for their ideas, innovations and companies.
  • Test their entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills.
  • A safe place to succeed and fail.
  • A community to build strong relationships for the future.

Innovative environments

We offer a wide range of creative technologies in image and sound, from start to finish. Motion Studio, Sound Studio and Media Studio provide the technology you need to work with still images, moving images and sound in a professional environment with powerful equipment. Film, software development, game development and 3D modelling are just a few examples of how our studios can be used.

In Media Studio, you can work with still and moving images and 3D modelling for films, apps and games. There are five workstations.

The environments are driven by Curiosum and their skilled technicians will help you use the software and machines to create prototypes for your own business.

The 3D Lab at Curiosum


The Makerspace is two open workshops with a variety of digital production and prototyping machines, such as 3D printers, a range of multi-purpose sewing machines, laser cutters and software for drawings and designs.

Makerspace 1

Tools for visualisation, digital fabrication and development of ideas, prototypes and products. 

Makerspace 1 is a prototype workshop used to create ideas and visualisations for teaching, research and collaboration between companies and Umeå University. 

Together with researchers, teachers and creators, methods and tools are developed to use rapid prototyping and digital production in teaching, research, idea development and strategic work. 

Makerspace 2

Innovation workshop for textile experimentation, digital fashion and wearable technology.

Makerspace 2 is a prototype workshop for textiles, wearable technology, digital fashion production and the Internet of Things. It brings together researchers, students, artists, entrepreneurs and creators to explore ideas related to textiles and wearable technology.

Owners and financiers

eXpression Umeå is owned by Umeå University Holding AB and Umeå Kommunföretag Aktiebolag. Umeå Kommunföretag is the parent company of all Umeå municipality's limited companies.

In addition to our owners, we also have external partners and funders for our various projects and industry initiatives.

A regional fund project and collaboration between eXpression and Umeå School of Economics.

A regional fund project and collaboration between eXpression and Umeå School of Economics.

The aim of the project is to continuously develop a cross-sector test and development environment that strengthens innovation and new thinking in the region through cultural and creative industries.

The aim of the project is to develop a cross-sector testing and development environment that uses cultural and creative industries to strengthen innovation and new thinking for the whole region. A test and development environment where large and small, as well as start-ups and creators, meet across borders and benefit from the knowledge development taking place in academia.

Here we strengthen cross-sector networks and collaboration between companies in the creative industries in the north and in Sweden through partners. Researchers at the School of Business and Economics explore sustainable business models, shared business models, and different forms of value creation within the industry that contribute to sustainable growth.

Funders: the EU, Region Västerbotten, Umeå municipality

- an accelerator for the internationalisation and growth of creative industries

eXpressions second regional fund project that we run together with High Coast Creatives in Örnskoldsvik. The overall aim of the project is to create growth in creators i upper norrland through the will to grow, develop digital strategies and reach the global market from both rural and urban areas. The project objective is to increase the internationalisation and export opportunities for KKN companies in the ÖN through a developed business development support, new digital business models and co-location of resources.

In the project, we collaborate with High Coast Creative to develop methods and knowledge to support and develop the creative industries in the north.

Funders: the EU, Region Västerbotten, Umeå Municipality, Övik Municipality, Företagarna Örnsköldsvik

A Vinnova-funded collaborative project with Companion, Umeå Municipality and the Innovation Office at Umeå University.

The aim is to exchange knowledge and experience on social innovation and to build a strong constellation of actors in the North for strengthened business support for social innovation and social entrepreneurship.

Our focus area KKB

Artistic, cultural and creative industries (ACCI) consist of companies with cultural creation or other creative processes as their business concept or raw material.  

KKB companies can create in one or more different cultural expressions, such as architecture, crafts, film, computer games and so on. 

They can also be companies that provide services in design, marketing communication or media and base their delivery on cultural competence or those that build on the creativity of others. 

The national definition of KKB is taken from the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the Kreametern analysis report produced a few years ago on behalf of the government.  

In this definition, nine industry groups are described, some of which have additional industry categories underneath them. eXpression Umeå is based on this division when we define our focus areas, but in some projects and collaborations we may target additional industries. 

Industry group

Industry category

Architecture Architecture

Audiovisual storage media

Data game

Film & TV


Image & Form




Cultural Heritage



Historical and archaeological sites

Literature & Press




Literary and artistic creation Literary and artistic creation
Fashion Fashion
Advertising Advertising

Performing Arts


Cultural education

Performing Arts

Projects and collaborations

eXpression Umeå is part of several collaborations and runs and participates in several projects.

Carpe digem is an EU project within Interreg Europe.
The project develops the regional capacity to engage citizens in digital transformation through the development of smart services and products that create jobs and growth, attract investment in research and development and generate urban-rural balance. The project develops an action plan on how to strengthen participation and ownership in the design, implementation and monitoring of future regional strategies by developing the use of open and social innovation. The target group includes - in addition to the actors traditionally involved in the development of regional and local strategies - civil society and community citizens, i.e. it encompasses the whole pentahelix perspective.

The project involves:

Digital Nievre Joint Authority (FR)
Mallorca Chamber of Commerce (ES)
Business Development Institute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (PT)
University of Ljubljana (SL)
Republic of Slovenia - Ministry of Public Administration (SL)
European Regions Network for Application of Communications Technology (IE)
Business Agency Association (BG)
Republic of Bulgaria Ministry of Economy (BG)
Region of Vasterbotten (SE)
Uminova Expression (SE)

Link to the project websitewww.interregeurope.eu/carpedigem

Carpe digem In Social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterregCARPEDIGEM/
Instagram: carpedigeminterreg

Start date
Closing date
Västerbotten Region
Beneficiaries County
Beneficiary municipality
Net amount allocated
77 940 €

Umeå has an effective and inclusive innovation support system with world-class academic and business incubators [with a strong focus on everything from biomedicine to creative and cultural sectors]. The environment these actors operate in is incredibly important and fortunately it is in Umeå's DNA to work inclusively and to challenge norms, creating a reflexive and stimulating environment to work in.

Design by Umeå brings together innovation actors who want to work inclusively and challenge norms. In addition to eXpression Umeå, the following actors are part of the network: Umeå Institute of Design (UID), RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden AB, Umeå Institute of Architecture, Umeå School of Art, Bildmuseet, Curiosum and Region Västerbotten.

Young Startup Day is an annual event that aims to inspire entrepreneurship. The next generation of entrepreneurs is a key group for Umeå and Västerbotten to continue to grow. To strengthen this development, we need even more people to start and run businesses.

Young Startup Day is organised by eXpression Umeå, Aptum, BIC Factory, Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten, Umeå municipality, Uminova Innovation and Ung Företagsamhet Västerbotten. 

More info about the event is available at http://youngstartup.se

eXpression Umeå is a proud member of SISP - Swedish Incubators & Science Parks. SISP is the membership-based trade association for Sweden's incubators and science parks with 65 members who operate nearly 80 innovation environments across Sweden, and who together have over 5,000 companies with approximately 72,000 employees.

A trade association for business promotion activities in the artistic, cultural and creative industries.

Is a pure trade association for the creative industry in the High Coast. 

The project Sustainable tourism of the future aims to increase the knowledge of businesses in the tourism, hospitality and experience sectors with a commercial element. Through the dissemination of experience and knowledge, the project will help businesses and other stakeholders to be better equipped for the challenging sectoral transformation that is underway and which is currently accelerating due to the ongoing corona pandemic. The project is part of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth's Knowledge development in the corona pandemic and will be implemented during the period 1 February 2021 - 31 December 2022. 

Get news about the project, in-depth material with reflection questions and exercises for entrepreneurs or those working in a business support organisation here.