Sweden hosts a nationwide network of advanced R&D centers clustered around first-class universities. This has been acknowledged by the European Union selecting Sweden for further funding of prestigious centers of excellence such as:
- KIC InnoEnergy-Sweden: to develop prerequisites, technology, and services for Smart Grids and with the goal of achieving a breakthrough in Energy Storage. Budget: € 100 million euro.
- ESS & MAXLAB: facilities for materials research based on synchrotron radiation and the world’s most powerful neutron source. Budget: € 1.5 billion euro.
- Graphene Flagship: one of Europe’s first 10-year FET flagships. Budget: € 1 billion euro.
Swedish municipalities are important driving the development and implementing solutions in waste management, water treatment, district heating and renewable energy. Today, several hundred biogas plants provide electricity, heat and fuel to Swedish cities and suburbs, and district heating/cooling systems reach the majority of the Swedish population.
At the national level there is an ambitious program to increase renewable electricity production by 25 TWh to 2020 (relative to 2002) and a further goal to reach a 50% share of renewable energy by 2020 was already achieved in 2012.
Each year we see a great flow of new start-ups from and around groundbreaking research at our universities. Many of the companies and ideas have fantastic potential; however they need a much larger market than Sweden as well as a larger industrial context to fully exploit this potential.