The Swedish Energy Agency, Formas, Forte, the Swedish National Space Agency, the Swedish Research Council and Vinnova have now submitted a joint document with recommendations ahead of the Government bill on research and innovation. Excellent research, internationalisation and innovation are focused on.

Sweden, like the rest of the world, faces complex societal challenges that are significantly impacting on societal development and threatening the preconditions for sustainable development, growth, and wellbeing. Sweden’s future competitiveness and ability to solve the societal challenges are dependent on excellent research, international collaborations, and innovation. So say the six governmental research funding bodies in a joint document to the Government.

Significantly increased investment in research and innovation is required – in combination with broad-based, researcher-initiatived research and more targeted thematic initiatives. Strategic initiatives made in interaction between research, the business sector and the surrounding society are also necessary, as well as a specific mustering of strength in the areas of good health and life science, a future-secured society, national security, and climate transition.

“We emphasize that excellent research, internationalisation and innovation in collaboration with the surrounding society are needed to solve today’s major societal challenges. In order to ensure a socially sustainable society in the future, the cooperation between us financiers is also invaluable, not least because we together have expertise and anchoring in society’s various key sectors – from social services to the energy sector”, says Jonas Björck, Forte’s Director General.

Read the entire input to the Goverment’s upcoming research and innovation bill (in Swedish)

The proposals in brief

Research and innovation are drivers for a sustainable and secure society

Strong strategic initiatives are needed to promote excellent research, increase the business sector’s competitiveness, and address societal challenges. The ability of higher education institutions to promote and create strong, integrated research and innovation environments also needs strengthening. We therefore propose an increase in the Government’s investment in research and innovation that corresponds to at least 1.2 per cent of GDP, and that Sweden’s overall investments in research and development increase to at least 4 per cent.

Initiatives for a more effective research and innovation system

Sweden needs to be able to recruit and retain prominent researchers. For research to be of increased benefit to society and to increase the quality of research, more interaction is needed between researchers and society, and the transition to an open research system should be speeded up.

Promote international and European research and innovation collaboration

Sweden’s influence on the European research and innovation policy must increase. Through strong initiatives, increased synergies between national and European initiatives, and international collaboration outside Europe, we can strengthen Swedish research and innovation.

Research and innovation infrastructure for excellence, competitiveness, and innovation

Access to research and innovation infrastructure is crucial if Sweden is to be a leading research and innovation nation. We therefore need major investments in research infrastructure and space-based research and innovation infrastructure. At the same time, Sweden must meet the needs for storage, transfer, computation, and analysis of large data sets.

Individual inputs from the research funding bodies

As a complement to the joint input to the Government’s research and innovation bill, the funding bodies have also submitted more targeted proposals based on their own areas of responsibility. The inputs can be found in Swedish on the website of each funding body: