The structure of the business enterprise sector R&D
R&D activities in Sweden are to a large extent concentrated to a small number of enterprises and to a few parts of the industry. Companies with more than 500 employees account for 74 percent of the total expenditure on R&D in the business enterprise sector, and the 20 most R&D intensive companies account for 62 percent of the total expenditure on R&D in the business enterprise sector. Small enterprises (10-49 employees) account for 8 percent of the total expenditure on R&D in the business enterprise sector. Small enterprises’ expenditure on R&D, as a share of the total expenditure on R&D in the business enterprise sector, is in a middle position when comparing to the other member countries of the EU.
The big city regions dominate the R&D activities
In Sweden, R&D activities are to a large extent concentrated to the counties where the biggest companies are localized, as well as to regions with universities and university colleges. Stockholm, Västra Götaland county and Skåne county together account for 77 percent of the total expenditure on R&D in the business enterprise sector and 74 percent of the total person-years performed in the business enterprise sector. When regional expenditure in R&D is measured as a share of regional GDP, the big city regions in Sweden are among the top in the EU.
The impact of Swedish research
Expenditure on intramural R&D and the number of person-years devoted to R&D can be seen as an input measure of all R&D-related activities. Citation indices for scientific articles can be used as a measurement of the impact of research and its importance. In broad terms, the level of citations is a reflection of how Swedish research is noticed in the rest of the scientific world. Citation indices can thus be used to describe the quality of research. It should however be analysed with caution. Looking at citations of Swedish research, we can see that Swedish research is cited approximately 13 percent above the world average.
Patents are also used an indicator for research. Internationally, Sweden has a high number of patents measured per million inhabitants.
When the share of Swedish companies with innovative activity is compared internationally, Swedish companies are above the average of EU countries.