Innovation in Sweden

AG highlights how Sweden is strengthening innovation in the country through programs run by VINNOVA – the Swedish innovation agency…

Sweden is seen today as a World leader in innovation. Innovation is closely linked with research and development (R&D) and Sweden is one of Europe’s top 3 countries which spends the most money in this area. In 2009, the country invested 3.6% of GDP in R&D, and in 2010 the nation was ranked 8th in the Harvard Business School’s National innovation Capacity Index. Which definitely gives it bragging rights when it comes to their innovation capabilities.

In 2012, the government launched their ‘Swedish Innovation Strategy’, which was produced by the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications. The strategy aims to “contribute a climate with the best possible conditions for innovation in Sweden with year 2020 in sight.”

Introducing the strategy, Minister for Enterprise, Annie Lööf, said: “In Sweden, we need to be more innovative to meet the global societal challenges, to increase the competitiveness and to renew the future welfare and public services. This calls for the innovation climate that provides the best possible conditions for individual, businesses, the public sector and civil society organisations to be innovative.

“The strategy presents long-term guidelines for how the work within many policy areas until 2020 can create better conditions for people in all parts of society to contribute to a more innovative Sweden through their knowledge, skills and creativity.”

The strategy states that: “the power of innovation is being able to turn knowledge, expertise and ideas into new solutions in order to meet needs and demands.”

In order to strengthen innovation in the country further, the Swedish innovation agency, VINNOVA funds research and innovation projects for sustainable growth and social benefit. The Agency runs programs and calls, which develops new knowledge and expertise in specific knowledge areas: health services, ICT, transport, environment, production and employment.

One of the key areas, production and employment helps to ensure high employment and economic growth. Sweden has a strong production and manufacturing sector where companies have successfully shifted the focus from mass production to flexible production of advanced goods and services.

Produktion2030 is a program run by VINNOVA, which aims to focus on 6 areas where the Swedish production is competitive today, but where efforts need to be made for companies to remain competitive in order to boost jobs and welfare throughout the country.

These 6 areas are: environmentally sustainable production, flexible manufacturing processes, virtual product engineering and simulation, knowledge work in the production system, production of service-based products, and processes for integrated product and production.

The programs hopes to create an attractive long-term research and innovation infrastructure, including demonstrator and training environments in order to attract new and established companies, large and small. Through programs such of this, Sweden aims to be one of the World’s top countries for sustainable production based on ecological, economic and social perspectives.



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