Darja Isaksson Generaldirektör Vinnova

Digital transformation and Sweden's competitiveness

Publicerad: 4 December 2019

Accelerating the digital transformation and utilizing the opportunities provided by technological development is important for Sweden's competitiveness. This can be done by creating collaborative environments and investing in research and innovation.

Artificial intelligence that interprets data from connected machines, products and people is evolving rapidly. In combination with robotics, additive manufacturing and new materials, the door to new visions for the industry opens. Digitization makes it possible to become increasingly automated and competitive, but it will also be possible to create circular resource flows and a long-term sustainable industry.

Sweden has many advantages in the transition. There is a high level of technological maturity here, we know that the transition is the key to future competitiveness, and Swedish industry is good at collaboration. There are also entire or longer parts of industrial value chains in the country to build on. At the same time, there are major differences in digital maturity, with some companies leading the development, while others have barely begun their digital journey. Sweden and Europe also risk slipping behind in the expansion of modern digital infrastructure. An important challenge to act on now is therefore to ensure that companies can gain access to knowledge and expertise in digitization, as well as infrastructure that makes digital innovation possible.

New collaboration environments are therefore important, for both innovations and the supply of skills. An example is AI Innovation of Sweden, which brings together a wide range of players from both academia and large and small companies. There, actors share data, digital infrastructure and expertise in ways that open up for new innovations. Other examples are the innovation hubs for collaboration between large companies and innovative teams in smaller companies that have been started in recent years, such as Synerleap, CampX and AstraZeneca Bio Venture Hub. The environments are internationally attractive, and we should invest nationally in promoting and taking advantage of learning and synergies between them.

We simply need to invest in accelerating the digital transformation. In Vinnova's contribution to the Government's research policy bill, we propose a strategic investment in research and innovation for artificial intelligence and other enabling technologies, in combination with an investment in world-class digital infrastructure for innovation environments.

Sweden needs to invest more offensively if we are to be able to take a leading position in the future.

Published 2019-12-04  |  Authored by Darja Isaksson