Rapid globalisation and the dawn of a new technological society have brought sweeping transformation to large sectors in recent years. The manufacturing industry is next in line. When industrial companies start to transform their operations using digital-based systems that harness the power of data, it will create big opportunities in connected production, automation and sustainability. But success depends on a change in mindset and today’s corporate leaders need to rethink their business models. Only by reassessing their value position can industrial companies prepare for a reshaped, on-demand economy driven by fast changing customer demands and expectations.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution enables automated, digitalised and connected production of goods. New sustainable bio-based materials, data cloud services, robotics and manufacturing with 3D printers become a prerequisite for maintaining global competitiveness. In addition, new sustainable materials and advanced technology are key to achieving a more efficient and eco-friendly production cycle. Traditional industrial companies should learn from the expertise and courage of small businesses at the forefront of digitalisation and encourage co-creation through unconventional collaboration models.

Paradigm shift is underway

The traditional Swedish industry sector together with the industrial services sector account for one fifth of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and over three quarters of the total export value. Manufacturing in Sweden is now on the verge of a paradigm shift, joining the Fourth Industrial Revolution of connected machines, reconfigurable systems, advanced robotics and seamless information flows. Through a newly launched Smart Industry strategy, Sweden aims to strengthen its capacity and competitiveness in a shifting landscape for manufacturing and production.


By rethinking and embracing new technologies across the value chain, Swedish industrial companies are adopting smarter practices to reduce time to market and increase responsiveness, make considerable cost savings, cut material waste, simulate concepts and accelerate innovation. New technologies also enable companies to monetise data and develop new revenue streams, get a 360-degree view of production lines and customers, set up their own ecosystems and value networks and pave the way for innovations such as mass-customisation of products.

Advantage Sweden

With a strong industrial base and a truly innovative and digital economy – Sweden is an invaluable testbed for global tech companies and start-ups. Indeed, it is one of Europe's most mature markets for mobile solutions, data analytics, 5G and AI. As a world ICT leader, Sweden is also a smart choice for manufacturers wanting to utilise new production techniques. A diverse network of sub-suppliers exists to supply the machinery, tools and parts that will lead this transformation.

Co-creation: the springboard to innovation

Sweden’s highly advanced education system ensures a steady supply of engineers and skilled manufacturing labour. Labour relations are consistently constructive, built on a long tradition of cooperation between employers and trade unions. An efficient, non-hierarchical organisational culture encourages rapid and flexible adaptation to new technologies and business conditions. With a unique focus on co-creation as the catalyst for innovation and sustainability, Sweden is the perfect location for testing, optimising and commercialising smart industry solutions.

How we can help

Business Sweden can help you capture the opportunities in Sweden’s manufacturing industry, discover where and with whom to test your solutions and facilitate access to valuable competence centres and stakeholders throughout the smart industry ecosystem – both in Sweden and globally. We do this through strategic advice, practical support, market insights and an extensive business network.

We especially focus our expertise and support on:

  • Smart industry/robotization
  • Start-ups and VCs​
  • AI