“A global vision for research and innovation is needed”

Thursday 20 December 2018

Styrgrupp SB Mikolaj Norek.jpg

Mikolaj Norek, Forum Manager for Forum for Innovation Management (FIM) and member of the Steering Committee for IVA’s project, Research2Business (R2B), thinks that collaboration between research and industry is a key factor in equipping Sweden for the fast technology shifts that lie ahead.

“For centuries now research and innovation have emerged locally in Sweden, but as researchers are increasingly mobile and crossing borders, old patterns are becoming obsolete and new approaches are needed. It is complex and difficult to keep research results in the place where they were developed,” says Mikolah Norek.

This is also one of the reasons that the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) launched its Research2Business (R2B) project. The goal of the project is to strengthen and increase collaboration between university research and companies for the mutual benefit of all parties. More successful partnerships that enable research results to grow into new innovations or other commercial development will make Sweden more competitive and contribute to positive development in society.

Mikolaj Norek has run companies in both Austria where he grew up and in Sweden. He studied economics and philosophy and has a strong interest in the social and psychological drivers behind economic knowledge. After a period as an exchange student at Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden became his home.

It has become more complex and difficult to keep research results in the place where they were developed.

As Forum Manager for Forum for Innovation Management (FIM), a non-political think tank within the Karl-Adam Bonnier Foundation, Mikolaj Norek is able to support R2B development.  

“A have the opportunity to work on strategies and ideas that can lead to new policies for change. Among other things FIM offers an innovation policy debate forum. “We see ourselves as a catalyst or honest broker in the innovation system,” says Mikolaj Norek. 

What are your expectations and hopes for Research2Business?

“It has become more complex and difficult to keep research results in the place where they were developed. In R2B we can highlight the problems and promote national interest in research and innovation – but with a global perspective.”

In Sweden we have always had a strong belief in research collaboration and partnerships. That’s good, but in a global research world it is more complex than that. Sweden is investing in research environments and relying on trust contracts without including aspects that researchers consider to be relevant.[DH1] 

Mikolaj Norek has also participated in IVA’s Mentor4Research mentoring programme, which matches researchers at Swedish universities with mentors from business and industry.

“I learned a lot while working within Mentor4Research. It turned out that 72 percent of the participants weren’t Swedish and were associated with other universities, often outside Europe. Many of the researchers in the mentoring programme have now left Sweden. We shouldn’t forget that they’re now important ambassadors for Sweden, with experience from Swedish research environments. It’s important to have a better understanding of the dynamics in order to improve the research and innovation climate.”