Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas finance 17 strategic innovation programs for collaboration in research and innovation in areas that are important to Sweden. The programs will contribute to creating the conditions for sustainable solutions to global societal challenges and increased international competitiveness.
The programme that started in 2014 have now undergone a major evaluation six years after the start: BioInnovation, SIO Grafen, IoT Sverige (Internet of Things), Smarter electronic systems, Swelife (life science) and Innovair (aviation).
The evaluation shows that the programs have contributed to broad collaboration, strengthened international competitiveness of participating actors and to mobilization and renewal in their respective areas. An evaluation made in 2019 of the first five programs in the initiative showed similar effects.
- This type of player-driven national investments in research and innovation are important to drive the adjustment and renewal that is necessary for the future. This is something we need to continue to develop. Other countries have looked at Sweden and made similar investments, says Darja Isaksson, director general of Vinnova.
The evaluation, which was carried out by Faugert & Co Utvärdering in collaboration with Technopolis Ltd and Sweco Society, forms the basis for the authorities' decision on continued funding of the programs.
Collaboration and strengthened competitiveness
The evaluation shows that research and innovation projects within the programs have contributed to broad collaboration between companies, public organizations, universities and research institutes. Follow-up projects and development of prototypes are common effects. Companies, universities and research institutes have strengthened their international competitiveness and expectations of future commercial effects are high among the participating companies. Research within universities and research institutes has been focused on increasing relevance for the business community, and public organizations have strengthened the quality of their activities.
National gathering of forces and mobilization
The programs have brought together a national pool of forces and mobilized actors to work together according to a common agenda in their respective areas, not least through the participation of many small and medium-sized enterprises. They have also identified and corrected schemes related deficiencies by introducing the missing input forms and by implementing individual project, which can be one of the most important effects of the programs in terms of strengthening the innovation system. The programs have also led to the spread of technology between industries and the establishment of several spin-off companies.
Facts about strategic innovation programs
Strategic innovation programs are an effort by 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. It is a government effort of a total of eight billion kronor on programme that can receive funding for up to 12 years, where the business community and other actors contribute the same amount. All programme undergo a comprehensive evaluation after six years. The first five programs were evaluated in 2019 and in 2021 the penultimate round of the current programs will be evaluated.