Innovation has become a watchword for Stockholm, which brands itself as the ‘Capital of Scandinavia’. This bold, and often controversial, proclamation seems to have spurred the Swedish powerhouse on to even greater heights. Stockholm is currently riding high in a number of cutting edge industries – including life sciences, tech/ICT, and cleantech. All of the mentioned industries thrive on an innovative approach.
When you think of Stockholm, what comes to mind first? It is no secret that Stockholm is home to some of the world’s heavyweight tech players.
The music streaming and discovery service Spotify is the city’s flagship homegrown tech company. It is in good company among other giants such as Skype, along with an increasing number of international tech start-ups.
In fact, as Invest Stockholm proudly points out, their city ‘has the most unicorns per capita in the world after Silicon Valley’. It also has more tech billionaires than any other European city, including London. This is no small achievement.
Gaming is another important part of the Stockholm tech start-up scene. The city has spawned a number of internationally popular games, such as Candy Crush Saga and Minefield. Their success has attracted large numbers of game developers, who have set up their own studios in the Swedish capital.
Clean Tech and Stockholm
Sweden is also well known globally for its ‘green’ credentials. Now Stockholm is taking the tech theme in a different direction by pursuing new avenues in the innovative field of cleantech. Combining the country’s environmentally friendly reputation with the capital city’s innovation prowess is a recipe for success. Stockholm’s cleantech sector continues to go from strength to strength, as the city makes big strides in decreasing emissions, while bolstering a dynamic market for alternative energy and clean fuels.
Notable examples of Stockholm’s cleantech innovations include the Stockholm Royal Seaport, which will be the first district in the world to feature full-scale smart grids. Another innovative district, High Voltage Valley, is living up to its name by conducting research into electric power engineering and power transmission technology. There’s also Stockholm’s green city district, Hammarby Sjöstad, which is being purpose-built as a fully sustainable urban area.
Another key innovation industry in Stockholm is life science, which is concentrated in the Stockholm-Uppsala region. This lively global hub is one of the world’s most productive, with an average of 15-20 new companies starting up each year for the past decade, according to statistics from Invest Stockholm.
Stockholm-Uppsala plays host to five of the world’s strongest research institutions, including the home of the Nobel Prize. The region offers exciting opportunities for investing in digital health, neuroscience, and stem cell research, to name but a few.