Development of innovations in Sweden HEIs: a case study of Uppsala University

  • Svitlana Zymina
Keywords: innovation, third mission, Sweden, Uppsala University, governance in higher education.


The article emphasizes that in the context of accelerated democratization and European integration, the use of a value model of the management in higher education, based on the university autonomy and their public («third») mission, is urgent for the HEIs of Ukraine. Creating innovations is its integral part.

Sweden experience, as a country with a high innovation index, regarding the development of innovation in higher education institutions is analyzed. The country's policy on the organization of research at universities, aimed at strengthening the «strategic» research areas, such as interdisciplinary industrial and social research, is considered. The main initiatives of the country's government, which have helped to strengthen the strategic fields of research activity and stimulate the emergence of new values in the higher education sector, such as entrepreneurship and competitiveness, are given. In the case study a successful example of Uppsala University infrastructure was studied using the HEInnovate method and the following key criteria - governance, potential of HEI/ financing/personnel/initiatives, entrepreneurial education, innovation support, knowledge sharing and collaboration, Internationalization, digital transformation. The main values and cultural guidelines of the institution, its governance at different levels and communication between different stakeholders and university are characterized. The main productive initiatives of the university, aimed at developing the skills and competencies of researchers and students, necessary for the successful implementation of projects, commercialization, and start-ups are considered. A number of factors that have had a positive impact on the innovation potential of Swedish universities as well as on the country's position in global innovation rankings have been identified. It is suggested to use the experience in dealing with innovators and external stakeholders of Uppsala University by Ukrainian research universities for upgrading their infrastructure.


Download data is not yet available.


Zakon Ukrayiny «Pro vyshchu osvitu» vid 01.01.2019r. [Law of Ukraine On Higer Education]. Retrieved from (in Ukrainian).

Zymina, S. (2018). Innovatsiyna diyalʹnistʹ yak skladnyk tretʹoyi misiyi universytetiv: problemy rozvytku. [Innovation activity as a part of the University third mission: problems of development]. Innovatsiyna pedahohika, 8, 171–175. Retrieved from (in Ukrainian).

Kalashnikova, S. (2016). Rozvytok lidersʹkoho potentsialu suchasnoho universytetu: osnovy ta instrumenty: Navchalʹnyy posibnyk. [Development of Leadership Potential of the Modern University: Frameworks and Tools: A Textbook]. Kyyiv : DP «NVTS «Priorytety». (in Ukrainian).

Kurbatov, S. (2015). Misiya suchasnoho unversytetu krizʹ pryzmu chasu ta prostoru, [The Mission of Contemporary University Through the Lenses of Time and Space]. Visnyk KHPU im.H.Skovorody, 44, 176–185. Retrieved from eng%20%281%29.pdf (in English)

Andersson, R., Quigley, J. M. & Wilhelmson, M. (2004). University decentralization as regional policy: the Swedish experiment, Journal of Economic Geography, 4 (4), 371-388. Retrieved from

Bourelos, E., Magnusson, M. & McKelvey, M. (2012). Investigating the complexity facing academic entrepreneurs in science and engineering: the complementarities of research performance, networks and support structures in commercialisation. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36 (3), 751–780. Retrieved from

de Boer H., Enders J. & Westerheijden, D. F. (2011) Reform of Higher Education in Europe. Sense publishers. Retrieved from _of_Higher_Education_in_ Europe

Edquist, C., Eriksson, M-L. & Sjögren, H. (2002). Characteristics of Collaboration in Product Innovation in the Regional System of Innovation of East Gothia. European Planning Studies, 10(5), 563-581. Retrieved from

Elg, L. & Hakansson, S. (2012). Impacts of Innovation Policy: Lessons from VINNOVA's Impact Studies, VINNOVA, Stockholm. Retrieved from

Etzkowitz, H. (2008). The Triple Helix: University–industry–government innovation in action. New York and London: Routledge.

EUA study. (2019). The role of University in Regional Innovation Ecosystems.

HEInnovate. Retrieved from

Hedin, S. (editor). (2009) Higher education institutions as drivers of regional development in the Nordic countries. Retrieved from Publications%202009/WP2009_3.pdf

Jonsson, L., Baraldi, E., Larsson, L.-E., Forsberg, P. & Severinsson, K. (2015). Targeting Academic Engagement in Open Innovation: Tools, Effects and Challenges for University Management. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 6, 522–550. Retrieved from

Lindqvist, M., Olsen, L. & Baltzopoulos, A. (2012). Strategies for Interaction and the Role of Higher Education Institutions in Regional Development in the Nordic Countries. Nordregio report, Stockholm, Sweden. Retrieved from

Palsson, C., Bo, G. & Claes, B. (2009). Vitalizing the Swedish university system: implementation of the 'third mission'. Science and Public Policy, 36, 145-156. Retrieved from

Regional Divisions – Three New Counties, Ministry of Finance (2016). Retrieved from

The Swedish Higher Education Act (1992:1434). Retrieved from

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019. Retrieved from!/page/0/length/25/locations/SE/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats

Top Global Innovation Index 2018. Retrieved from

Trippl, M., Sinozic, T. & Smith, H. L. (2015). The Role of Universities in Regional Development: Conceptual Models and Policy Institutions in the UK, Sweden and Austria. European Planning Studies, 23(9), 1722-1740. Retrieved from

UBI Global. Retrieved from

University of Uppsala. Retrieved from

VINNOVA. Retrieved from

Abstract views: 20
PDF Downloads: 28
How to Cite
Zymina , S. (2019). Development of innovations in Sweden HEIs: a case study of Uppsala University. International Scientific Journal of Universities and Leadership, (2(8), 78-92.
Higher education: experience of foreign countries