Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas finance 17 strategic innovation programs for collaboration in research and innovation. It is a government effort totaling SEK 8 billion on programme that can receive funding for up to 12 years, where business and other actors contribute equally.
The first five programs have now undergone a major evaluation six years after the start. The programs evaluated are Lightweight, Metallic Materials, Processindustriell IT and Automation (PiiA), Production2030 and the strategic innovation program for Swedish mining and metal mining industry STRIM.
- The evaluation shows that the programs have contributed to increased knowledge, new collaborations and to companies investing in research and innovation in Sweden. This type of player-driven national investment is becoming increasingly important as the rapid societal changes are taking place in Sweden and globally, says Darja Isaksson, director general of Vinnova.
The evaluation, carried out by Faugert & Co Utvärdering in collaboration with Technopolis Ltd and Sweco Society, forms the basis for the authorities' decision to continue funding programs.
Some of the most important conclusions of the evaluation:
Broader collaboration than in previous ventures
The programs have contributed to broader collaboration in research and innovation than previous public initiatives, and many small and medium-sized companies also participate. From all five programme there are examples of project results that have been commercialized by the participating companies. The companies have high expectations for future results in the form of, among other things, new methods, processes, goods and services that in the long term are expected to give them increased competitiveness, sales and exports.
Technology spread across industry boundaries
The programs have been very successful in achieving national power gathering and mobilization, both across traditional industry boundaries and along value chains. There has been a significant spread of technology between companies in different industries and there are great expectations that it will continue.
Strengthened international competitiveness for universities, colleges and research institutes
Universities and research institutes that participate in the programs have been given a more industry-relevant focus in research and innovation based on the needs of the companies. They also state that their international competitiveness has been significantly strengthened. Publications created through collaboration within the programs are largely of high scientific quality.
Facts about strategic innovation programs
Strategic innovation programs are a joint effort of Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas on actor-driven programme through collaboration in areas that are strategically important for Sweden. They will contribute to creating the conditions for sustainable solutions to global societal challenges and increased international competitiveness. All programme undergo a comprehensive evaluation after six years. In 2020, the six programme that started in 2014 will be evaluated.