Why Sweden is a global leader in research opportunities
While Stockholm exudes an unmistakable boat-bedecked old-world charm, there is big science going on here and all over Sweden. The country’s startup scene is causing much international attention, which is thanks to its long history of innovation and dedication to education. The teaching model of university colleges, universities, and research institutes of Sweden encourages critical thinking and creativity. And while the country has a small population, it has produced many corporations that are changing how the world works. For example, the world’s second-largest home appliances manufacturer Electrolux, the quintessential chic but minimalist fashion stable Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), and home furnishing giant IKEA.
Short and long-term academic programmes are available across Sweden in many universities and research centres. Plus, it’s easy for international researchers and students to apply for BA, MA, PhD, and postdoctoral research opportunities in the country. A good amount of conferences and summer schools are more academic opportunities that make Sweden the ideal destination for scientists and scholars. Here are more reasons why Sweden is leading in the research race.
A long-term focus on education and research institutes in Sweden
Sweden’s long-term commitment to promoting education and research has had a positive effect on its capacity to innovate. Compulsory schooling for children between 7 to 13 years old was introduced in 1842. The move helped increase the level of education among the Swedes, transforming the country from a poor agricultural state to an innovation leader.
In terms of Research and Development (R&D), Sweden has dedicated over 3 percent of its Growth Domestic Product (GDP). This is more than many other nations are investing in. The government has also created a special life sciences office to promote growth in this field.
Funding comes directly from the government
Universities and university colleges in Sweden receive over 80 percent of their funding from public sources under the control of the government. The remaining 20 percent comes from financial revenue and private sources. Government agencies such as Vinnova play a critical role in promoting Swedish research. The agency funds research projects in transport, health, smart cities, industrial materials, and other fields.
The Knowledge Foundation (KK-Stiftelsen) is another public agency that helps improve the Swedish research ecosystem. The foundation funds competence development and research at new universities and university colleges. Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) is an agency that facilitates and strengthens competitiveness among entrepreneurs in Sweden. This helps encourage growth among companies by providing the financing, networks, and knowledge they require.
Infrastructural development fuelling research
Stretching far from the south to the north, Sweden is an enormous country. This is one reason a well-functioning infrastructure system is critical to Sweden’s development. This development includes everything from broadband to railways to telecommunications. The government is actively developing and realising policies that offer internet and technology access, making Sweden one of the most innovative countries in the world today.
Swedish society has long been encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation. The factors above and a strong emphasis on improving universities in Sweden may explain why it is a leader in research. Other factors that have helped foster the growth include high equality, more government support, and social stability. Further, the welfare state has played a vital role in the development of low-stakes business development in the country. A social safety net in case a venture fails increases research opportunities for scientists to take risks and experiment.