Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2017/5: Innovation policy for economic resilience: The case of Sweden

Bjørn Asheim () and Jerker Moodysson ()
Additional contact information
Bjørn Asheim: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Jerker Moodysson: Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Postal: Sweden

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the Swedish innovation system and the main strategies for Swedish innovation policy, with specific focus on VINNOVA’s place-based support to specialised areas integrating competences from different sectors in society. The overview reveals a recent shift from place-based specialisation to thematic areas underpinned by a societal challenge driven logic to policy intervention. The analysis indicates that a strong focus on R&D and science-driven innovation serves as a barrier for successful transition, and that the recent shift implies a greater need for policy coordination across different fields and scales. This makes agencies like VINNOVA less autonomous with regard to design as well as implementation of innovation policy and points to the need for reaching a balance between demand-oriented and supply-led strategies in which place-specific context matters and innovation policy must be attuned to and embedded in the particularities of the regional and national economies it aims to target. Linking smart specialisation strategies (S3), EU’s overall industrial and innovation policy for regional diversification and restructuring, with VINNOVAs new system innovation policy approach would be one way of doing this.

Keywords: Innovation system; innovation policy; Sweden

JEL-codes: O25; O31; O52

20 pages, April 27, 2017

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201705_asheim_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

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