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'Gothenburg has taken over as Sweden’s R&D region for businesses'

24 November 2020
For the first time, businesses in Gothenburg’s county, Västra Götaland, have invested more in research and development than businesses in the Stockholm County, shows a new report from Business Region Göteborg.

The report, Business R&D in western Sweden, reveals that during 2019, the Västra Götaland County accounted for 33.4 per cent of Sweden’s business R&D expenditure and 64 per cent of the total increase in business R&D investments seen nationwide.

In total, firms in Västra Götaland invested SEK 41 billion in R&D, while businesses in the Stockholm County invested SEK 39 billion. The total figure for Sweden as a whole was SEK 123 billion, up from SEK 115 billion in 2017.

In recent years, firms in Västra Götaland have increased their R&D spending significantly. For example, business R&D expenditure has risen from SEK 25 billion in 2015 to SEK 41 billion in 2019.

“The fact that our business R&D expenditure is now the highest in the country confirms the strength the region’s companies possess - to produce leading innovations on the global market. It also illustrates the major restructuring taking place in the region's business environment, with a higher knowledge base than we have seen before. The Gothenburg region has taken over as Sweden’s research and development region for businesses,” says Henrik Einarsson, director of business establishment and investment at Business Region Göteborg.    


Sweden – an R&D intensive nation

Sweden is one of the global leaders in terms of R&D intensity, with the third highest R&D expenditure in relation to its GDP. Despite only accounting for 17 per cent of Sweden’s population, Västra Götaland accounted for more than a third of the total business R&D expenditure.

“The high numbers for Gothenburg and Västra Götaland show that companies have confidence in investing in R&D in the region and that they have a long-term perspective in their investments. They have chosen to invest in our region because there is access to relevant expertise, there is a growing market and we have very strong clusters. We have a proven track record of creating innovation environments with extensive collaboration, for example though the testbeds and strong science parks located in Gothenburg,” says Maria Strömberg, head of clusters and innovation at Business Region Göteborg.

Gothenburg is by far the largest city in the Västra Götaland County and the region's dominant hub for business. Ericsson, the Volvo Group, AstraZeneca, Saab, SKF, Geely and Volvo Cars are just a few of the companies that have invested heavily in Gothenburg during recent years to develop new products and services.



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Henrik Einarsson
Director of Business Establishment and Investment
Area of work: Establishment Business climate Regional development
Area of concern: Management team Establish and invest
Maria Strömberg
Director Clusters & Innovation
Area of work: Cluster development Innovation Cleantech
Area of concern: Management team Clusters and innovation


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