To cope with the transition to a sustainable society and meet the challenges we face, radical changes are required with the help of new knowledge and innovation. The whole society needs to gather strength and change in order to achieve the 17 global goals in Agenda 2030.
The challenges are complex and difficult, sometimes impossible to break down into smaller sub-goals that an individual actor must be able to solve. To cope with the transition, we must change both individual parts and entire systems.
- We need to jointly accelerate innovation that responds to the great challenges of our time. For this to be possible, the innovation system must be developed, which is a main task for Vinnova to contribute to. It requires a clearer direction and sufficiently ambitious and long-term investments in collaboration with the business community, says Darja Isaksson, director general of Vinnova.
Innovations for a sustainable future is about more than competitiveness, it is an existential issue for all of us. Radically improved technology is needed together with innovative methods and solutions that ensure sustainability. But there is also a need for radical changes to systems, so-called system innovation.
- The short time we have to convert to a sustainable society requires new ways of working of everyone, also for us as an innovation authority, says Darja Isaksson.
Entire systems need to change
System innovation involves radical changes in social and technical systems, and at the same time needs to include several levels in the systems. System innovation usually takes place through small and gradual changes in combination with more large-scale and radical changes.
Therefore, it becomes important with the mechanisms that drive the interplay between, on the one hand, innovative solutions of a technical / methodological nature, and on the other hand the infrastructure, regulations and demand required for innovations - individually or in clusters - to make a difference.
Sweden has long been a leading innovation country, where investments in research, innovation and collaborations have been the key to our success and competitiveness. The strengths we have now need to be used to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society in Sweden, and in the world.