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OECD Territorial Reviews: Skåne, Sweden 2012

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Skåne, Sweden 2012

The OECD Territorial Review of Skåne assesses the capacity of the third largest region in Sweden to compete for investment and talents in an increasingly globalised economy.  Skåne has long been one of the three major engines of national growth and it ranks among the top-class research and technology hubs in the OECD, but it needs to gain back the momentum it lost during the crisis. The region's strong knowledge assets and demographic dynamism have not translated into corresponding gains in terms of productivity and skills. The Review shows the way forward towards a smart, healthy and inclusive region and calls for targeted policies to boost demand-driven innovation, make the most of its diversified pool of human capital, and maintain a high quality environment to work and live in.

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Boosting innovation in Skåne

Skåne is a top research and technology hub. But globalisation of value chains, deficient entrepreneurship and weak SME innovation explain why these strong assets are not sufficient to significantly contribute to growth and full employment in the region. This chapter investigates the strengths and weaknesses of Skåne’s innovation strategy. Recent policy developments are found to be well in line with the new paradigm for innovation policy but the chapter argues that, in addition, there is the need to pursue a double track regional innovation policy: supporting the role of higher education in innovation while at the same time enlarging the innovation base. The chapter continues with a look at four areas for improvement necessary for the efficient implementation of the recently adopted “smart specialization” strategy: outcome-driven policy, effective cluster policies, reinforcing international dimensions of innovation and putting business at the centre of the strategy. In this manner, the chapter concludes, Skåne can move from a top “science and technology hub” towards a wealthy and inclusive “innovative region”.

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