Impact Innovation was inaugurated – Sweden's major innovation investment for the 2030s
Impact Innovation is the major innovation investment for the coming decade that will increase the pace of the green transition and strengthen Sweden's international competitiveness. Tuesday, March 7, Impact Innovation was inaugurated at Fotografiska in Stockholm, where Minister of Education Mats Persson and the directors general of the Energy Agency, Formas and Vinnova gave their expectations for the investment.
Johan Kuylenstierna, Darja Isaksson och Robert Andrén. Foto: Stefan Ek
The world faces complex challenges. In a short time, the whole society needs to be restructured; our cities, our value chains and consumption patterns. Something that requires us to think new and do differently.
This is the starting point for Impact Innovation, which is about establishing large, long-term partnership programs in research and innovation that will accelerate the transition to a sustainable society.
On Tuesday, March 7, Impact Innovation was inaugurated at Fotografiska in Stockholm, with around 250 participants from business, academia, public activities and civil society in the audience.
One of the speakers was Education Minister Mats Persson, who emphasized that the climate issue, globalization and digitization are connected and that a systems perspective is needed.
- There has been a shift in the last five, ten years where the debate on the climate issue has gone from being very much about personal responsibility and individual choices to being about structural changes, where individual choices can play a role but where political decisions and decisions at system level are also required . If we are going to solve the problems, we have to reduce industrial emissions and we have to get an energy system that works better. And we must come together so that the transport sector can carry out the transformation that we are now beginning to see.
- It is very important that we create arenas where we network and meet, but also where we clearly set up action plans and where we have an idea of how to reach the objectives we jointly set. Therefore, I think this is a very important initiative, said Mats Persson.
New ways to collaborate
At the opening, the directors general of Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas, the authorities behind Impact Innovation, participated on behalf of the government.
Vinnova's director general Darja Isaksson emphasized that new forms of collaboration are needed to accelerate the transition.
We must work together smartly at home so that we can make the maximum difference away from home.
- We must work together smartly at home so that we can make the maximum difference away from home. It is a prerequisite for our competitiveness and our welfare. It is of great value that those who sit with the multinational perspective, often large companies, work together with academia, the small companies and with the public sector and say that here we should really invest and bring out the knowledge and the new solutions.
Forma's director general Johan Kuylenstierna was on the same page.
- We have a very fast rate of change right now with different types of actors, the business world is leading, cities and regions are working on. There is an incredible amount happening and we have to get better at tying this together, because the challenges and opportunities we see are linked to each other. We hope that this program, where we put a lot of emphasis on innovation, also in forms of collaboration, will be able to connect the different parts of the innovation system.
The international perspective was also highlighted.
- Sweden accounts for a small part of the global emissions of carbon dioxide, but if we can sell the solutions we have, we will be able to have a huge impact globally. It's also about bringing things home to Sweden - talent, competence, innovation hubs who want to be here because Impact Innovation works in such a way that you want to be here, this is where it happens, said Robert Andrén, Energy Agency.
Among the speakers were Tuula Teeri, Kungliga Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien, Lisen Schultz, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Magnus Frodigh, Ericsson, Evelina Loberg, Gävle municipality and Ebba Hallersjö Hult, Nollvision cancer.
Call for proposals to create new programme
At the same time as Impact Innovation was inaugurated, a call for proposals was launched for funding to create programme within the venture. Impact Innovation builds on the ongoing strategic innovation programs that started in 2013, but now it will be a gathering of forces towards fewer but larger programme.
Up to five programme are to start with full force in the first quarter of 2024. After that, the plan is for a few more programme to start before 2027. The state will be responsible for funding of up to half a billion kroner per year, with business and other actors expected to contribute by at least as much.