The story behind 50 fantastic ideas
Every year, Sweden ranks near the top of the list of the world’s most innovative countries in terms of the number of historically epoch-making innovations, patents granted per capita and innovation start-up companies. The most common reason cited for Sweden’s strength in innovation has been its strong tradition of engineering. But there are other reasons too.
In Innovation the Swedish way, Eva Krutmeijer and Henrik Berggren delve into the structures that created Sweden’s favourable innovation climate. They approach the subject by highlighting fifty important Swedish innovations – and through this diversity they uncover some underlying patterns.
The innovations presented in the book span over three hundred years, and many of them are well known all over the world. The concept of innovation is broadly defined by the authors and includes political and social phenomena that arose in Sweden and were later adopted by other countries. The common denominator for all the innovations presented is that they are used in real life. Through storytelling and a rich amount of illustrations, the book provides a greater insight into both the driving forces of each innovator and the importance of collaboration.
One step ahead - mobile broadband
When Ericsson started experimenting with increased bandwidth for mobile telephony in the 1990s, it had no idea what it would later be used for. It would still be many years before people started using mobile phones for purposes other than making phone calls.
Seeing the invisible - the vizualisation table
Sometimes an image is more useful than reality. Doctors and medical students can lean over and rotate, zoom in, tap and study an image with their fingertips – the same way as on a small phone screen. It’s easy to forget that the three-dimensional image of a human body being displayed is not the real thing.
Governed equality - parental leave for both parents
In 1974, Sweden was the first country in the world to introduce paid parental leave for both parents. Today, Swedish fathers take a third of the nation’s total parental leave.
Moving forward - the rollator
Aina Wifalk suffered from polio when she was 21 years old. The disease affected her badly, but eventually it led to one of the most important innovations for people whose bodies need support in their daily lives – the rollator.
The book is produced in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. The book's preface is written by HM the king of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf. The King is patron of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and has a keen interest in innovation. The forward-looking afterword is written by IVA's president, Professor Tuula Teeri.
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