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Chronicle from Cecilia Warrol, Teknikföretagen

Production in the forefront for Sweden’s competitiveness

More and more is invested in advanced manufacturing in Sweden and the time of “industry pessimists” seems to be over! Evidence of the increased interest in production can be seen at many places. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven stressed the importance of new industrialization to secure jobs and prosperity in the Statement of Government and several Swedish industrial companies are now strengthening their focus on advanced production at home.

Increased focus on production is obviously not a coincidence. Countries such as Germany, the UK and Finland implement ambitious initiatives to increase competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. President Obama has launched new initiatives in the area of production and emphasizes the manufacturing industry’s importance to US’ development. In the EU there is talk of industrial renaissance with the goal that production will constitute 20 percent of GDP, which is a sharp increase from the current level of 13 percent.

Sweden is investing more research funding than ever in production. The government, research foundations, and institutes will invest nearly one billion SEK in the coming years. But we should be aware of that it is from relatively low to more acceptable levels. An important addition is the strategic innovation programs. One of these is Produktion2030, which has a clear focus on strengthening Sweden as a country of production. This program focuses, among other things, on how we create resource-efficient production systems for the development of smart and adaptable plants that produce extremely customized products and services. In addition, Produktion2030 started a new national graduate school, implements technology and knowledge transfer to small businesses and strengthens Swedish researchers to obtain funding in the EU.

The production area is wide and the success of Sweden requires cooperation. From an international perspective, Sweden is worldclass when it comes to collaboration, and at home we realize that the skills and resources are always limited and we therefore need to strengthen the collaboration further in order to be able to meet the challenges and be competitive. In Produktion2030 we have so far mobilized several hundred people from industry, academia and research institutes. This is a fantastic start to a program that we hope will extend well into the 2020s.

I hope you as a reader of this already is or soon will be engaged in Produktion2030, in expert groups and in future calls for proposals or to formulate the challenges to come. Challenges that we shall solve together.

/Cecilia Warrol

Program Director Produktion2030