National hub can make Sweden a leader in digitalisation

In the spring of 2018, he conducted 19 interviews with people in different roles and from several different sectors of society. The investigation is carried out on behalf of Region Västra Götaland and eight Swedish universities, of which the University of Borås is one.

"There are clear ambitions that Sweden be a leader in digitalisation. But in my investigation, I can say that, despite the fact that there is a lot of research in the field today, it is too seldom used by those who use digitalisation in practice. There are good examples, but the impact is too small and we in academia need to work with, among other things, form, timing and topicality," says Ulf Melin.

He notes that both his own investigation and other research he has examined show that national coordination of future knowledge creation in this area would be beneficial for Sweden as a nation.

"It's not just about increasing the pace here, but we also need a balanced and reflective material," he says.

Need to look beyond

"Researchers need to look up and see beyond their publication list, while practitioners need to look beyond their own daily lives and actively utilise research-based knowledge. A national research centre could be a hub and support in such a work. Here, researchers, together with politicians, industry, and the public sector, could collaborate when it comes to future scientific knowledge creation."

He particularly emphasises the importance of research collaboration from several different fields.

"The digitalisation of society is an interlaced and multifaceted phenomenon. Individual research disciplines cannot alone encompass it. Multifaceted phenomena require multifaceted research; we need thought leadership and a long-term perspective here."

The report was presented at Almedalen in 2018. It was the starting point for the work of getting a political decision made to form such a centre.

Watch the live streaming from the seminar on Västsvenska Arenan's Facebook page.

Text: Helen Rosenberg
Illustration: Suss Wilén
Translation: Eva Medin