Study visit No 3 to Dalarna, Sweden


Study visit No 3 to Dalarna, Sweden 5-6 October 2011


Focus and findings:

Dalarna University College – cooperation with businesses, by Bengt Lindström, Chairman TF and Dalacampus Manager

  • 18 000 students; 70 programmes, 1200 courses;
  • Interaction with businesses: visits to companies, joint development of training courses customized to business needs;
  • Fields of education tailored to regional economic development needs: computer science and IT, economics and tourism, culture, media and design, languages, science and technology, health care, social work and medicine;
  • Keu fields of research: micro data analysis, culture and identity, education and learning, energy transition, steel forming and surface engineering;
  • Part of innovation network representing students, business, researchers/teachers, university representatives, alumni, business incubators, representatives of municipality;

Dalarna Region, by Sture Ericsson, Teknikdalen Foundation

  • 0,27 M inhabitants; fourth largest tourism region in Sweden; fourth largest export region in Sweden
  • Key economic sectors: game development and education, travel and tourism, materials science, IT-ITS, cleantech, wood and house building, steel industry.

 Teknikdalen Business Incubator by Stefan Holgersson, Manager of Teknikdalen Business Incubator

  • Created for development of companies in the region – considerable funding for its operations comes from the region (mainly publicly funded)
  • TF – open and virtual – from premises and base services to business coaching and targeted consultancy to companies
  • Works with business ideas form business, University and public sector
  • In six years of operations 80 growth companies established with more than 500 employees
  • Main criteria for  company admission: business idea and personal qualities of an entrepreneur
  • Virtual business incubator: links businesses with expert knowledge, financing and test laboratories
  • Incubation process: pre-incubation, business lab and business accelerator
  • Individual coaching of companies is based on Toolbox – milestones with special modules

Boom Town business incubator by Kaj Pdogorski, Project Manager

  • Modern music business incubator recruiting talented young people interested in commercializing music projects;
  • Focusing on lights engineering, stage engineering and sound engineering;
  • Has modern recoding studio and a number of rehearsal studios;
  • Open 24 hours a day.

Dala Sports Academy by Helena Bellardini, Project Manager Dala Sports Academy

  • Programmes strongly focusing on sports and recreation – key area of Dalarna region;
  • Dala Sports Academy hosts higher education facilities, laboratories and business incubator to ensure student entrepreneurship and idea transfer into technologies for sports industry;
  • Entrepreneurship is developed at all stages of higher education to ensure that students are also experts not only in their field but also can commercialize their knowledge.

Gamecubator by Magnus Björkman, Manager “Play Ground Squad”

  • Business incubator for gaming industry;
  • Open 24 hours a day;
  • Coaches should be active in the industry to be familiar of novelties and trends;
  • Company teams formed of IT specialists, graphic designers and artists.

Innovationsbron – best practice and next practice, Mikael Hult, Innovationsbron

  • State-owned enterprise which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the Swedish economy founded in 1994;
  • Funding for business incubators is granted on competitive basis tied to business incubators performance;
  • 1 Euro invested in business incubator brings back 8 Euros to economy – investment not an expenditure;
  • BI in Sweden challenges: funding, strengthening relationships with other actors of innovation system, capital for incubator companies, expertize in internationalization

Business coaching by Frederik Ahlgren Teknikdalen Foundation

  • TF holds a network of 100 business coaches;
  • Business coach works for TF – has an outside/neutral view about the company;
  • Ideal coach has business experience, access to networks, coaching skills, personal chemistry with entrepreneur;
  • Coach shall complement the company team, bring in business thinking, contribute with network, initiate contacts;
  • Coach will not: act as the manager of the company, have operative role, be part-owner, receive payment from the company,  take decisions, take responsibility for actions, coach individuals;
  • Coach has contract, is responsible to and receive payment from TF;
  • Coaching lasts from 6 until 36 months.