Accelerate Startup Partnership is an effort within the Vehicle Strategic research and Innovation (FFI) program. The purpose of the investment is to facilitate and accelerate partnerships between Swedish vehicle manufacturers and small and medium-sized companies in the transport industry.
Experience shows that partnerships between large and small companies create value for both parties. Large companies get access to innovation in fast cycles as well as new technology, new business models and new skills. Small and medium-sized companies get an entrance to a potential customer as well as access to experience regarding the industry, industrialization, upscaling and access to new markets.
The main goal for Accelerate Startup Partnership is to establish and implement an efficient model for identifying, creating and coordinating partnerships between small and medium-sized companies and vehicle manufacturers in Sweden in the areas of automation, connection and electromobility that include technology, services and solutions.
If the investment is to reach its objective, it must succeed in removing or lowering the obstacles that exist for partnerships between a large and a small company. Some of these challenges are the identification of appropriate SMEs, cultural differences, lack of contacts and networks, working methods, differences in processes and the management of intellectual property rights.
Accelerate Startup Partnership runs for four years with a total budget of approximately SEK 125 million. The investment is judged to be able to strengthen and accelerate the renewal of the Swedish automotive industry and small businesses and contribute to sustainable development.
More about the investment
It is industrial partners who formulate a need or theme for innovation where partnership is needed. With the support of ecosystem partners' networks and experience in scouting and matchmaking, the most suitable small and medium-sized companies for this partnership are then identified.
The next step is to initiate a collaborative project in the form of a concept test (Proof of Concept), between the industry partner and the smaller company. The goal is partly to validate that the company's offer meet the industrial partner's needs, and partly to develop a structure for a long-term partnership.
If the concept test is successful, the parties can initiate a major integration project. The purpose here is to balance between the slower development rate of industrial partners and the higher speed of smaller companies, so that a collaboration in development and implementation attracts and benefits both parties.
Applications for project within Accelerate Startup Partnership are handled continuously by its program office, which consists of FFI's office and participating industry partners. The process for assessment and approval must be fast. A prerequisite for high speed in the assessments is that there is no evaluation of the probability that the project will succeed in bringing the concept to market. It is assumed that industry partners have already ensured this through their participation, and the projects are then evaluated on the basis of their outcome.
The investment is evaluated every year, and it is the program office's responsibility to implement the identified opportunities for improvement.