Supporting startups is investing in the digital transformation

Stina Lantz discussed the digital transformation of the industry together with the Swedish Minister for Energy and Digital Development, Khashayar Farmanbar, and Teknikföretagen’s Maria Rosendal.

Ignite Sweden’s Program Manager and SISP’s Vice President, Stina Lantz, participated in a conference arranged by the Swedish Government to discuss and reflect on the results achieved by the Innovation Partnership Programmes established three years ago.

Stina highlighted the importance of startups and scaleups as key actors in the digital transformation and the climate transition in a dialogue with the Swedish Minister for Energy and Digital Development, Khashayar Farmanbar, and Maria Rosendal from Teknikföretagen (the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries).

“Supporting innovative entrepreneurs is investing in our digital transformation. There is not a single new entrepreneur who starts a company today without taking sustainability into consideration. We need to get more out of their capacities. There is a lot of talent and expertise in innovative startups. Ensuring that the collaborations with these companies work is key to succeeding in reaching our climate goals,” says Stina.

Stina Lantz (Ignite Sweden & SISP)

Partnership For the Digital Transformation of Industry

The Government’s innovation partnership programmes were established in 2019 with the objective of identifying innovative solutions to major challenges facing society and contributing to Sweden’s competitiveness. They include four themes based on Sweden’s strengths and on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Climate neutral industry; Skills supply and lifelong learning; Digital transformation of industry; and Health and life sciences.

The innovation partnership programmes bring together small and large companies, universities and higher education institutions, civil society and public sector actors to jointly set priorities for what needs to be done to meet the challenges within the four themes.

Stina has been an elected member of the group for Digital transformation of industry since February 2020.

“I think these partnership groups are absolutely necessary, and more especially during the past years with the pandemic, where the groups actually served a completely different purpose as well. We continued to be in contact and work together even though we were physically isolated,” says Stina.

Stina was elected as member of the Innovation Partnership Programmesgroup for Digital transformation of industry in February 2020.
Photo credits: Ninni Andersson/ Regeringskansliet

Towards Digital Acceleration

During the presentation, Maria Rosendal from Teknikföretagen introduced the recently launched program Avancera digitalisering (Advanced digitalization in English), which aims to foster the development of digital solutions that will strengthen competitiveness and accelerate the green transition. The research and innovation program has been initiated by Teknikföretagen, together with the Swedish corporates ABB, Ericsson, Saab, Teknikföretagen, and Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova.

Stina emphasizes that small companies should take part in this program.

Maria Rosendal (Teknikföretagen)

“This is a very important issue, not just for the innovative startups and scaleups that we work with daily both at SISP and Ignite Sweden, but also for our established SMEs. It is usually very difficult for them today to access this kind of innovation program due to many reasons. But we are working together actively on how we can design this program differently and better to include them,” explains Stina.

There are three important factors that should be included in this program, continues Stina. The first one is to make sure that there is a business potential, which is key to engaging established corporates. The second factor is to ensure that the technology is cutting-edge, which is crucial for startups and scaleups.

“These two factors have already been included. We are currently working on designing and creating ways so that the ecosystems get fast access. There are innovation ecosystems all around Sweden. Every single ecosystem where startups and SMEs are located should have access,” concludes Stina.

Watch the conference in Swedish (the discussion on the digitalization of the industry starts at 1:09:00).

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