Innovation Centers are meeting places between people, ideas, knowledge and creativity, and often act as a bridge between nearby universities and local or global companies in knowledge-intensive verticals.
In short, the ideal environments to start or grow your small company or startup by hanging around the right people, finding talent, and exposing yourself to new ideas. Here are top 20 innovation centers to visit in Sweden (not ranked and in no particular order):
1. Alfred Nobel Science Park
The Alfred Nobel Science Park, which has two locations in Karlskoga and Örebro, helps match people together in the field of Advanced manufacturing with a focus on 3d printing and x-ray, or additive manufacturing (AM).
Once you join the Park, you’ll be assisted in trying to find suitable funding, collaborations with partners at the regional or national level, as well as opportunities for office space, lab environment, Science Arena and more based on your needs.
2. Kalmar Science Park
Kalmar Science Park’s vision is to get you “from local ideas to global business”. They support young companies through an Incubator Program, but also have an Associate and Digital Business programme for more established businesses.
As you will find in their list of current companies, there is no strict guideline as to who can apply. However, the benefits are numerous, including a 20% discount on Business Intelligence, free consulting hours, or 15% reduction with their partner ConnectMedia for digital advertising and marketing.
3. Boden Business Park
Boden Business Park är Norrbottens nya mötesplats. Samarbetet är det första partneringprojeketet i Boden och påbörjades under våren. I september drog produktionen igång och första tillträdet sker redan i september 2019. pic.twitter.com/SVrbsXW0zU
— Skanska i Sverige (@SkanskaSverige) November 23, 2018
A Business Park with “room for everything from newly hatched business idea to big establishment projects – and for creative meetings between the two”. They offer coworking spaces (from 1,500 SEK a month), traditional offices, and meeting rooms along with other perks.
At Boden Business Park, you can test your idea with their business developers, get funding in the early stages of your process, and even enrol in courses on specific verticals. For instance, their Boden Gamecap is a popular one for the gaming industry, as students from all over Sweden join to get a career in the digital industry.
4. Luleå Science Park
Luleå Science Park has the rather grand ambition of becoming “the most attractive environment in Sweden in which to establish and run know-how businesses”. It is supported by partners such as the Luleå University of Technology, The House of Technology, LTU Business and LTU Career.
Today there are around 1 400 employees within 100 companies that chose to make the Northernmost Science Park in Sweden their home. It is easy to move in and equally simple to expand in flexible office spaces, where you can get a consultation with their business partners and knowledgeable colleagues. You can find a list of the companies in the park here.
5. Piteå Science Park
The Piteå Science Park has a strong focus on Cleantech, Composite Materials and Creative Industries. But if you’ve heard of it, it’s probably thanks to the Studio Acusticum concert hall, opened in 2007, one of Northern Europe’s most modern concert halls.
In fact, some access to the Studio is one of the perks for companies that choose to make Piteå Science Park their headquarters. You’ll also be able to join their GoBusiness incubator, which supports young companies and entrepreneurs, and access all the networking opportunities available in the region.
6. Johanneberg Science Park
Johanneberg Science Park is Western Sweden’s leading collaborative arena for urban development. Their goal is to foster innovations that benefit both people and the environment, through help from their partner network of the City of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. A number of industries are also involved, including AB Volvo, Bengt Dahlgren AB, Förvaltnings AB Framtiden, and more.
The new space, opened in 2015, gave premises to 400 new people, and with Academiska Hus and Chalmersfastigheter, they also plan to develop about 100 000 m2 of new premises in the area. Past projects launched from Johanneberg include HSB Living Lab, Riksbyggen Positive Footprint Housing, Fossil Free Energy Districts (FED), amongst others.
7. Science Park Borås
The textile capital of Sweden has its own Science park dedicated to projects that include fabrics and clothing. But there’s more. At Science Park Borås, you’ll find innovative technologies using textile to solve problems in areas such as reinforcement material, composites, soundproof walls and even medical applications.
A close collaboration with the University of Borås, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Smart Textiles, Marketplace Borås and Borås Incubator, this Science Park will also help you get access to financiers such as Vinnova, the Västra Götaland region and the EU.
If your company is in the area of social development such as resource recycling, urbanization and digitization, you can also make it your home as they are expanding projects, funding and partnership for more companies dedicated to creating a climate-neutral region of Sjuhärad Region and Västra Götaland.
8. Sahlgrenska Science Park
Focused on health tec, the Sahlgrenska Science Park aims to help West Sweden take a leading role in the industry through cross-border collaborations. Mobility, 5G, AI and data analysis are also covered by a number of companies, students and researchers there.
They have their own incubator where you can build your team and access business services otherwise reserved for more mature companies. You can also enjoy high tech facilities such as offices, laboratories and well-equipped premises to test your idea and take it to the next level.
9. Skövde Science Park
The Skövde Science Park focuses on startups with international growth potential, specifically in areas such as IT, engineering,software development, game development, fintech, and industrial digitization.
Their goals are clear, and threefold: to grow startups, contribute to the development of services and products, and stimulate businesses and community building.
One of their most famous projects, for instance, are Sweden Game Arena and Game Hub Scandinavia 2.0, run by Viden Djurs, Science Park Skövde and the University of Skövde amongst others. Their Game Incubator, launched in 2004, has also successfully helped promote entrepreneurship in the gaming industry to reach a critical mass in global markets.
10. Kista Science City
Kista Science City is the leading ICT cluster in Europe, and the home of some of the most famous companies in the world such as Ericsson and IBM. Of course, other exciting startups and student groups use it as their testbed, specifically focusing on 5G and IoT technologies.
One interesting point to note is that you can get an in-depth tour of the complex through free seminars and lectures, and even entrepreneur matchmaking and tailor made workshops. All of these are designed to foster cooperation between companies and academia, with a view of settling in Kita at the Urban ICT Arena.
11. Södertälje Science Park
A national hub for companies, research, innovation and education in sustainable production, located in Södertälje. This Science Park prides itself on offering a creative and natural environment where you can meet researchers, entrepreneurs, students, project managers, specialists, creators and politicians.
When you join Södertälje Science Park, you’ll be able to attend seminars in various areas such as digitization, sustainable production and entrepreneurship, and of course attend their famous Södertälje Science Week, which is organized once a year where main partners Scania, AstraZeneca, Södertälje municipality and KTH Södertälje.
12. Västerås Science Park
Västerås Science Park is a meeting place for small to medium companies, specifically in the areas of Automation, Railway, Energy, Welfare, Health, and ICT. You’ll be able to rent offices there, or join associated incubator programmes such as Create Business Incubator and Inkubera.
One of their most famous initiatives is probably Swedish Scaleups, a partnership project under which nine business incubators and science parks in Eskilstuna, Linköping, Norrköping, Uppsala, Västerås and Örebro collaborate to be able to grow and achieve revenues of SEK 100 million.
13. Dalarna Science Park
Dalarna Science Park is a member of SISP – Swedish Incubators and Science Parks, and has been fostering innovation and entrepreneurship since 1987. That means a lot of experience in helping build companies, scale them, and creating a vast network in the region.
There is no specific area for companies involved, and they are selected on the basis that they can stimulate one another to create opportunities for development in a creative environment.
You can rent premises and office spaces, and although their main office is located in Borlänge, they are the innovation arena for all of the region Dalarna. Other perks include technical visits to cleantech sites, lectures by experts in their field as well as cultural events and sightseeing. Specific programmes include business development, innovation management, and even a representative office in Wuhan, China to connect with Chinese companies.
14. Videum Science Park
A development company, a science park and a real estate business on the forefront of technology, Videum’s role is to support the establishment of new businesses in Växjö. This science park was founded in 1986 and provides both small and large tenants with modern and flexible facilities at the local campus.
There are currently around 100 businesses and organisations with over 600 employees, and Linnaeus University is Videum’s largest tenant. The science park also offers conference facilities and meeting rooms, primarily for our tenants but also available to others.
15. Sandbacka Park
What immediately makes Sandbacka Park stand out from other innovation centers and business parks in Sweden are the versatile and beautiful buildings. As a tenant, choose whether you want to share offices with other companies or have your own office in the science park environment, from 9 sqm to very large areas.
Services provided by Sandbacka Park Development include seminars, breakfast and lunch meetings, contact network with partners, ability to join the promotional and marketing activities, and access to common areas and meeting rooms to network, share ideas, and grow your company.
16. E-commerce Park
The only innovation center in Sweden that focuses on e-commerce. Since 2015, the E-commerce Park has been developing Sweden’s e-commerce by spreading knowledge and creating platforms for entrepreneurs to meet, starting from the local community in
You’ll find programmes such as office hotels for e-retailers and Sweden’s only e-commerce incubator, as well as warehouse and logistics solutions, and training in the area. Best of all, it’s suitable for any kind of existing retailer, from large chains to small pop-up shops.
17. Krinova Incubator and Science Park
The Krinova Science Park, also known for its Incubator program, is a meeting place for people, companies, and ideas. Formed in 1999, was the largest and first incubator/science park in the area of Skåne.
Their Innovation Arena is a program that has continuously helped grow the community of entrepreneurs in areas such as food tech, sustainability and health tech. They also offer support (500 companies have benefited from it in since 2013), and celebrate the best ones each year through the Krinova Innovation Award.
If food tech is your thing, you might also have heard of the Krinova Food Hack, which is often judged by people from the Science Park and rewards innovative startups with up to 50,000 SEK in cash prizes.
18. Innovation Park
How can Värmland work more actively and together to raise a more socially sustainable region with more social innovations? This is the question that Innovation Park aims to answer, by helping businesses in the idea-driven sector, public sector and academia grow together.
If your company or idea solves social challenges, you’ll be able to join in some of their most celebrated programs, such as The Great Journey (a challenge for digital teams to develop a vibrant Virtual Reality experience) and DigitalWell, (to form a smart society with welfare services where digital technology increases the individual’s self-esteem.
19. Norrköping Science Park
In recent years, Norrköping has established a very strong position in the field of visualization and image analysis.. Norrköping Science Park wants to create more opportunities for those who want to start, develop or establish a business in that field, and today the park hosts more than 270 researchers and PhD students, along with a variety of companies in the field.
This science park also works with local companies in the municipality who are not located in the business park, but closely linked through various innovation environments and projects, for example, Visual Sweden and Växtzon.
The nearby LiU Campus Norrköping also connects civil and college engineering courses in fields such as media technology, electronics, logistics, building engineering and graphic design, as university students are a strong source of talent for new startups and fast-growing companies in the region.
20. Science Park Gotland
Science Park Gotland has a few answers for companies who want to know how to finance their business ideas. First is the seed fund, aimed at companies that participate in SPG Startup or are accepted into the SPG Summit program, which allocates SEK 10 – 50,000 to selected startups.
Then, there is all the support you dozens of companies have gained from free startup seminars, an intensive program for companies in the acceleration phase, and networking with the entire Gotland business sector.
Of course, there were too many innovation centers and business parks to describe fully here, but don’t forget to check out your local scene for more industry or region-specific centers.
For instance, if you’re in the Öresdund region with a business idea in medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals or health care? Madeon Science Park is all ears.