Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Sweden: Leading the pack in digitization and smart industry

A closer look at this year’s partner country for Hannover Messe

Spotify, Klarna, Skype and iZettle are all big names in the digital world. And they have one thing in common: they are all from Sweden – Stockholm, the country’s capital, to be precise.

Two of the world’s biggest computer games, Minecraft (Mojang) and Candy Crush (King), where also developed in Stockholm. Ericsson, world leader of telecommunication systems was founded for more than 100 years ago.

All this undoubtedly makes Sweden’s capital one of the world’s major technology hotspots. In fact, Stockholm is widely regarded as one of the world’s biggest “unicorn factories” and ranks second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to the number of local startups with a market capitalization of over one billion US dollars. 

“Sweden pioneers many new technologies and ideas,” explains Mikael Damberg, Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise. “We’re also one of the most trend aware countries in the world and considered an excellent test market for new products by international corporations.”

Not surprisingly, digital transformation of industry is high on Sweden’s agenda. The Swedish government is running a number of programs designed to help transition companies into the new digital age. One of these programs is the Smart Industry strategic initiative.

Its objective: To put Swedish companies in global pole position when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0. Sustainable production is an integral part of the initiative because of its ability to add value, boost competitiveness and create jobs.

Sweden is home to many internationally leading companies, particularly in the automation, primary production and ITC industries. The country has also spawned a large crop of innovative startups that are at the forefront of the digitization trend.

Leading-edge technologies currently being developed in Sweden include new, sustainable materials, cloud services and robots. The fourth industrial revolution is not just digitizing Sweden’s manufacturing industries; it’s also creating new forms of customer service and transforming existing business models.

In Sweden’s energy sector, the focus is squarely on renewables and sustainability. For many years, Sweden has invested heavily in the energy transition and climate protection measures.

As a result, Sweden can boast low CO2 emissions despite its comparatively high-energy consumption, with renewables and nuclear energy accounting for a large percentage of the country’s energy supply.

In 2012, Sweden had already reached its stated target of meeting at least 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. Today, renewables account for 53 percent of the country’s energy use, which makes Sweden the EU’s leading nation in the green energy stakes.