Twenty per cent of the government’s total investments in R&D is defence-related and is mainly allocated to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) and Swedish National Defence College (SNDC), which in turn subcontract a substantial amount of the work to industry, and to some extent to academia. With dramatic cuts in public defence-related funding both enacted and likely in the near future, focus is increasingly on bi-directional dual-use technologies. The government would like to see further concentration of R&D activities to a limited number of technology fields in which Swedish research is world-class.
Climate related research is identified as one of the strategic research fields in the research bill "A Boost to Research and Innovation". Research about climate and environmentally related issues generate important knowledge that can be used in the decision making process on how natural resources can be used in a more sustainable way. The State spends two billion SEK on climate research every year, but according to a recent report from the National Audit (http://www.riksrevisionen.se/PageFiles/14867/Anpassad_RiR_12_2_Svensk%20klimatforskning.pdf) it is unclear to what extent the research actually supports the politicians' climate targets. The Government will in future budget proposals give a comprehensive picture of climate research results, although financers remain responsible for the coordination of the research carried out.
Environmental research is a key policy area with both vital R&D and substantial commercial success. Swedish environmental research has an international reputation, and actively contributes to technological development, innovation and sustainable growth. VINNOVA has been assigned to support environmentally based technology development to implement the national strategy for innovation and research strategy in the area that it developed in 2003-2004. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, is the national agency for environmental protection and nature conservation as well as outdoor recreation and hunting issues. One of its tasks is to fund research within these areas. The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) supports strategic environmental research with a long-term perspective, aiming to solve major environmental problems. The main part of MISTRA's funding is focused on broad-based interdisciplinary programmes. MISTRA allocates an annual sum of some €21m (SEK200m) to funding of research.
Higher education and research in land-based industries (agriculture, forestry, horticulture, landscape planning, veterinary medicine, etc.) is mainly offered at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) . The SLU comes under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs and is the only university in Sweden that does not come under the Ministry of Education and Research.
In Sweden, the legal right to any invention, discovery as well as scientific results follow the inventor or researcher who made it, even if it was made as part of the regular work as an employee. This right has in some ways been found to be a hindrance towards utilisation and commersialisation of scientific results, as the researcher at hand may not be interested in involving in commersialisation activiteis parallell to the academic work. The Government has addressed the issue and announced its ambition to complement the legal framework with an obligation for academic staff to notify the empoyer (typically a university) of any result that could have further utilisation and commersialisation potential. The employer could then decide on whether it would be worth exploring the result further. The juridical work regarding this legislation is ongoing within the Government.
Vinnova has a programme on Public procurement for innovation, as an assignment from the Ministry of Entreprise.