New Delhi, Oct. 26: Bengal’s failure to draw Swedish investments appears to have denied Calcutta an opportunity to experience a week-long festival that will showcase Sweden’s innovations in six other Indian cities tomorrow.
The Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week that will feature academic seminars, competitions, exhibitions and cultural performances will begin tomorrow in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, but won’t touch Calcutta.
The festival seeks to showcase Sweden’s innovations — from the zipper to the pacemaker to Skype — and is a part of initiatives by the Swedish embassy to strengthen relations between the two countries, embassy sources said.
But the embassy is hosting the week in partnership with several Swedish companies that have established large offices or manufacturing units in India. The sources said the location of such units was a key factor in picking sites for the festival.
Some of the companies supporting the festival include telecom major Ericsson, cosmetics maker Oriflame, construction and mining equipment company Atlas Copco and auto-maker Volvo, the sources said.
“The companies (involved in the Nobel Memorial Week) do not have an office or a factory in Calcutta,” said Daniel Wolven, deputy chief of mission at the Swedish embassy in New Delhi. “But given Calcutta’s links to the Nobel Prize, and the 100th year of Tagore’s (Nobel) prize next year, we’re hoping to organise something in Calcutta next year. Next year is a special year.”
Academic round tables, quiz competitions for college students and exhibitions are among activities planned during the week whose theme is titled “Innovations: Co-creating the future”.
“I believe this theme fits well with my vision of where we should strive to contribute and also sums the way forward,” said Harald Sandberg, the newly appointed ambassador of Sweden.