Q&A / INNOVATION

”The open, tolerant, change-oriented, and non-hierarchical culture are often highlighted as success factors”

LINNEA KVIST
On why Scandinavia is a driving force when it comes to innovation
April 06, 2021

Innovationsföretagen (The Federation of Swedish Innovation Companies (FSIC) is a trade and employers’ association for Sweden’s architects and engineering companies, with a mission to improve the sector’s conditions and competitiveness. The approximately 750 member companies with some 40,000 employees represent a significant proportion of the competence and resources within the sector.

— We also strive to improve visibility for Sweden’s innovation- and design-oriented firms, tells Linnea Kvist, communication manager. 

The organization also publishes special reports with the most recent one being called Innovation for the climate.

— It focuses on how our member companies contribute to a more sustainable world through innovations. Among the knowledge-intensive architectural and engineering companies, new climate-smart solutions are born daily. In the report, we point to some of these, says Kvist, continuing,

— For example, innovative climate solutions in everything from life cycle analysis to direct democracy. The report also includes articles on how to fix water leaks before they arose with Cactus EyeSeal 2.0 and how Sweco’s Carbon Cost Visualization colours different parts of construction projects according to their climate impact. Also, do not miss the section The people behind the innovation, where you can read about what prominent people in the climate area say about the future.

The Innovation for mobility report highlights innovative solutions to both today’s and tomorrow’s mobility challenges.

— Our need to transport ourselves and goods of various kinds is great, and we are constantly looking for more efficient, flexible, and easy ways to get from A to B, says Kvist. In the report, we highlight innovative projects as well as insights, trends, and technologies that are central to create the sustainable, accessible cities we want to see in the future.

— One example is about how one can go from technical pilots to implementation and what new collaborations are required. We feature everything from overall system solutions to how bicycle and pedestrian traffic can interact and how we create inclusive mobility that is accessible to everyone. We also highlight Semcon’s work with the electrification of goods transports in Brazil and how Tyrén’s new tools can analyze accessibility and draw conclusions based on position data every third second.

Would you say that the Scandinavian region is more innovative than others?

— Sweden has long been a pioneer in innovation, closely followed by Finland and Denmark. Studies show that the innovation climate in Sweden is best at the individual and company levels. This is in line with various types of international rankings, where the Swedish open, tolerant, change-oriented, and non-hierarchical culture in combination with a relatively well-educated population are often highlighted as success factors.

— However, there is a growing convergence between EU countries in innovation performance and Sweden is lagging behind. The conditions for innovation and structures for promoting innovation are not fully adapted to today’s new knowledge-centered society. We must adapt our innovation climate to the new knowledge society at national, ecosystem, and company levels.

— Digitization, climate challenges, and sustainability goals are not obstacles to the development of welfare, business, and competitiveness. It is a business opportunity and the right opportunity to change and create competitiveness from a long-term and sustainable perspective. A unique opportunity to show the strength of an innovative Sweden, Kvist concludes.

The Federation of Swedish Innovation Companies will release several reports in the near future, focusing on both new innovative projects and themes. Next in line is Innovation for energy, but also reports on the economic development in the sector. 

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