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Looking back on the Sweden Innovation Days

Sweden is at the forefront of innovation, and last week Swedish AI expertise was showcased internationally at the global event Sweden Innovation Days, which was organized by AI Sweden, the Swedish Energy Agency, Ignite Sweden, SISP, and Vinnova. The purpose was to present Sweden as a leading tech country, create new opportunities to network and collaborate, and to attract international talent and investments.

Together with innovation clusters from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea and the USA, the Swedish host organizations for Sweden Innovation Days created an interactive arena for increased collaboration. With a wealth of inspiring conversations and discussions with over 3,000 participants from 78 different countries and 400+ planned meetings between large companies and startups to kick-start completely new types of collaborations, this marked a unique effort to promote Sweden's role in innovation and AI internationally.

- Sweden is ranked second in the Global Innovation Index and Swedish companies lead the development in very many areas. Despite this, we do not showcase our capabilities internationally. Sweden Innovation Days represented a fantastic opportunity for completely new collaborations to be formed between business and academia, small and large companies, and across national borders. This makes Sweden even more attractive for international investments! Amy Loutfi, professor and deputy head of the department of Science and Technology at Örebro University and nominated for the award AI Swede of the Year 2020.

The conference consisted of three full days, and AI Sweden together with Vinnova hosted the first day. During this day - the AI Talks - we discussed how strategically applied AI can be part of the solution to the great challenges that we face regarding the climate, democracy, health and mobility. Moreover, how do we develop a national strategy for AI in Sweden and what can we learn from Japan and Canada - two other leading nations in AI? Over 40 Swedish and international speakers, for example H&M Group, Ericsson, AstraZeneca, Sony, ABB, WASP - Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program, and Volvo Group, participated in the program. 

Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova, emphasized AI Sweden’s strategy for strengthening the AI echo system; “Invest together, share with all”. Moreover, the importance of collaboration was underlined also by Volvo Group’s Anna Vesterberg. She stated that “Partnership is the new leadership”, and we at AI Sweden can only agree that this is truly a key component to accelerating innovation and the use of AI!