Gothenburg maintains position as Sweden’s leading region for business R&D

View of Gothenburg's harbour
Major investments in R&D have contributed to Gothenburg being ranked as one of Europe's most innovative regions

Businesses in Gothenburg’s county, Västra Götaland, account for 34 per cent of the private research and development (R&D) expenditure in Sweden, shows new statistics from Statistics Sweden. In total, companies in the county invested SEK 44.5 billion in R&D during 2021. This was one billion more than companies in the Stockholm County. 

Investments in research and development in the Gothenburg region have increased significantly during the past decade. When the previous statistics were presented two years ago, Västra Götaland had surpassed for the first time the Stockholm County in absolute figures, despite having a smaller population (1.7 versus 2.3 million people, respectively). 

When Statistics Sweden presented the latest numbers, Västra Götaland’s share of Sweden’s private R&D expenditure had increased from 33 per cent to 34 per cent.  

“That our business R&D expenditure is the highest in the country mirrors the strength our companies have in developing competitive products, services and processes for the global market. It also illustrates companies’ willingness and capacity to increase the knowledge content in each step up to the customer's final delivery,” says Peter Warda, senior analyst at Business Region Göteborg.

A hotspot for innovation and entrepreneurship

Maria Strömberg is the director of Clusters & Innovation at Business Region Göteborg. She explains that big investments in R&D lead to improved productivity and export activity. 

“The high figures for our region show that businesses here have confidence in investing in R&D and that they have a long-term perspective in their investments. They have chosen to invest in our region because here there is access to relevant expertise, close proximity to growing markets and we have very strong clusters and innovation environments,” says Maria Strömberg.

Gothenburg has the highest concentration of engineers in Sweden and among other things is home to three science parks, 60 testbeds and two well regarded universities. The region features many strong clusters, including automotive and mobility, life science, ICT, transportation and logistics, and cleantech. It also has a fast-growing and dynamic start-up and scale-up scene, which has fostered top young technology companies, including Cellink, Einride, Mimbly and Heart Aerospace.

“We are very good at collaborating between different industries and actors. It’s incredibly important that we continue to create these types of collaborations, arenas and platforms for industry so that Gothenburg remains highly attractive for R&D activities,” says Maria.  


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