Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas fund 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.
Five programme in the third round that started in 2015 have now undergone a major evaluation: Drive Sweden (sustainable mobility solutions), InfraSweden2030 (transport infrastructure), Medtech4Health (medical technology), Smart Built Environment (community building) and RE: Source (sustainable material use).
The evaluation shows that the programs have contributed to broad collaboration and strengthened international competitiveness of actors who participated and to the mobilization and renewal of their respective areas. The evaluations of the previous rounds of programme in the initiative have shown similar effects.
- It is gratifying that the strategic innovation programs so clearly contribute to renewal and increased competitiveness in their areas. There are many experiences and lessons to be learned from the six-year evaluations that will be valuable in the work with the next generation innovation program, says Darja Isaksson, director general of Vinnova.
The evaluation, which was carried out by Faugert & Co Utvärdering in collaboration with Technopolis Ltd and Sweco, 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 university colleges as well as research institutes. Follow-up projects and development of prototypes are common effects. Companies, universities and university colleges as well as research institutes have strengthened their international competitiveness and expectations of future commercial effects are high among the participating companies. Research within universities and university colleges and research institutes has been focused on increasing relevance for business and the public sector, while public organizations have strengthened the quality of their activities.
National gathering of forces and mobilization
The programs have achieved national strength and have 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. The programs have also addressed challenges and needs that are common to each area, among other things to support future research and innovation projects and facilitate the implementation of innovations, which may be some of the most important effects of the programs in strengthening the innovation system. The programs have also contributed to the spread of technology between industries.
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 important to Sweden. They must contribute to 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 17 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