Smart policy development can bolster society

Can adequately formulated regulations help in the development of innovations? Will the implementation of ideas that benefit our society go faster if we are able to adapt the regulatory framework based on them? We certainly believe that to be the case.

Demand for a more open and agile public sector is increasing in line with changes and the increased complexity of societal development. Innovations and new lifestyles are putting pressure on applicable laws, regulations and the ingrained approaches of authorities and other public sector actors.

There is a risk that public-sector organisations will prioritise stability and the avoidance of mistakes over taking necessary initiatives in which the needs of citizens and/or companies become the focus.

  • How can we accelerate the design of modern rules of play for markets and the public sector?
  • Can we use innovative methods inspired by the most innovative startups and apply them to policy development in public administration in order to improve quality and efficiency?

Vinnova’s investment in its own policy lab is one of a number of initiatives intended to make policy development smarter. The purpose is to enable innovations which bolster sustainable societal development.

Darja Isaksson on Smart policy development in Sweden

What is a policy lab?

A policy lab is a temporary or permanent group of people with different competencies who use and develop innovative, user centric, methods for developing or modifying regulations. The aim is to develop an agile approach and capacity to developing regulatory frameworks that stimulate instead of hinder innovation for sustainable development.

Read more about how innovation and policy development are connected

Initiatives and collaborations in the field of policy development

Vinnova is working together with a number of authorities in order to adapt regulations based on society’s demand for sustainable development through experimentation. Here are some examples of the collaboration projects that we have worked on for an adaptive and innovation-friendly policy development.

<p>So-called policy labs are helping to fulfil society's new needs, to bring about regulatory change, and to facilitate innovations that drive sustainable social development.</p>
<p>As a result of the cooperation with Vinnova in a policy lab initiative, fintech companies have gained a dedicated forum to which they can turn when they have questions: Finansinspektionen’s new innovation centre for the financial market.</p>
<p><span><span lang="EN-US">It may become simpler for individuals to rent out their car in the future, following a smart policy development initiative encouraging users to help change the regulatory framework.</span></span></p>
<p>The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s work with a policy lab approach led to the development of smarter policy instruments with positive effects and made the decision-making process easier for politicians.</p>
<p><span lang="EN-GB">When Livsmedelsverket, the National Food Agency, tried working <span>&nbsp;</span>together with the reindeer herding industry within the context of a policy lab, they began to develop smart regulatory changes which can really work for, and not against, the industry.</span></p>
<p>The Swedish Transport Agency is now testing a policy lab approach in order to simplify the process of obtaining permits for experimentation with autonomous vehicles.</p>

Do you wish to participate?

Are you an authority ready to tackle a challenge related to both policy and innovation? Or can you think of parties that might be interested and/or relevant? If so, we would really like to hear from you at Vinnova. Contact details below.

Our mission is to provide support in creative policy development and create shared learning and experience.

This may involve

  • identifying regulatory frameworks that need to be renewed, designing new rules, or testing them before they are launched
  • adapting operations to current regulatory frameworks to facilitate compliance; e.g. supervision, application processes, controlling bodies, information, training, and administrators’ and employees’ contact with customers.

Policy development now and in the future

In Autumn 2018, the government appointed a committee for our national work with changes in policy development and regulatory systems based on a number of emerging technologies. The committee will coordinate the policy work in Swedish organisations and agencies and facilitate rapid changes. Above all, the aim is to facilitate the implementation of innovative and sustainable societal changes. Initially, priority will be given to the areas of Precision Medicine, Connected Industry and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Vessels and Systems.

Learn more about the Committee for Policy Development


Do you want to know more about Vinnova’s work with policy labs? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jakob Hellman

Acting Head of Division Health

+46 8 473 31 05

Last updated 15 April 2019

Page manager: Liselott Bergman

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