May 10, 2019

Sweden is a small country in the EU that has impressed the world with its mighty innovations. The country dedicates a significant amount of money to carry out R&D activities and works hand in hand with the academia to come up with new and unique solutions.

Last year, Sweden was ranked the second most innovative country worldwide by the Bloomberg index. However, this year the country has fallen five places behind to become the seventh most innovative country in the world. Home to global brands such as H&M, IKEA, Spotify, etc, the petite nation has time and again made heads turn with their out-of-the-box thinking. The EU in its 2019 release stated that the highest R&D intensities were recorded in Sweden (3.33 %) followed by Austria, Denmark and Germany in the year 2017.

Sweden’s innovations

One of the recent and major innovations introduced by Sweden is a 1.25-mile road that can charge electric trucks by itself. The road connects the Stockholm Airport and a logistics site nearby. This road claims to provide charging on the road and not through overhead wires. Post the success of this road, the Swedish Government is looking to lay a longer stretch - to around 15 to 20 miles in the coming years. The government is also looking to collaborate with the German and French Government in order to take this technology across Europe.

The country’s Boliden Aitik mine also showcases an innovative approach. The mine makes use of 5G-enabled automation which enables to reduce costs by 1 %. Hence, carrying out drilling and blasting activities with the assistance of automation resulted in annual net savings of 2.8 million dollars.

Trade agreements

Recently, Sweden has also signed trade agreements with developing countries such as India. For instance, the country has signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with India in the Renewable Energy sector to enhance the technology and bring in power efficiency. The first MoU was signed between Swedish firm Spowdi and EMVEE for setting up a local manufacturing and assembly unit in Bengaluru, India. The second MoU was inked between Swedish Neutral and Tata Power DDL for setting up a pilot for earth fault protection in the capital of India – Delhi.

Strong start-up scene

Sweden has a strong collaborative environment between innovation and entrepreneurship across industry as well as academia. This has resulted in a thriving startup scene for the small country. This was evident at the largest industrial technology show across the globe – Hannover Messe wherein around 40 highly relevant Swedish start-ups also participated. Sweden was also the Partner Country at the trade fair and it was here that large Swedish companies as well as start-ups were seen exhibiting as well as sharing their unique ideas with industry players. Indonesia is scheduled to be Hannover Messe’s Partner Country for 2020.

With so much research and innovation taking place in Sweden, the country might just witness a rise in their global ranking for the most innovative country worldwide in the coming years. We have our fingers crossed.

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