Global Experience in Policy and Program Development
Edited by Sarfraz A. Mian
Chapter 9: Emergence of the Swedish Innovation System and the Support for Regional Entrepreneurship: A Socioeconomic Perspective
Carl-Otto Frykfors and Magnus Klofsten INTRODUCTION A basic understanding of the structure and the development of the Swedish innovation system requires a study of the importance of ‘la longue durée’ and of innovative technology procurement by ‘development pairs’ (cooperation between government agencies and private companies) as tools for innovation policy and growth (Edquist et al., 2000; Fridlund, 1999; Laestadius and Berggren, 2000; Rolfstam, 2005). Some 20 or so of Sweden’s leading global companies play a distinctive role in the Swedish innovation system, not least accounting for a major share of national R&D. Corporate R&D in Sweden represents close to 2.5 per cent of GNP, compared with 0.94 per cent of GNP as the average in the EU-27 and 1.68 per cent of GNP in the USA in 2005. The corresponding public investments in R&D are 0.88 per cent of GNP for Sweden compared with 0.60 per cent of GNP as the average in the EU-27 and 0.79 per cent of GNP for the USA in 2005 (OECD, 2009). The importance of these companies for the Swedish economy has affected the policy focus that downplays promotion of entrepreneurship and the starting of new companies in catalysing innovation. Furthermore, research resources from the government are typically channelled to universities rather than to the Swedish form of joint public–private research institutes. And, generally, the role of research institutes is less prominent in the innovation system of Sweden than in that of many other countries, so the challenges for...
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