We believe that long-term investment in research and development is crucial for strong competitiveness

Foto: Boliden

Research, development and innovation are crucial factors for Sweden to continue to have a world-class mining industry and globally leading mining technology companies such as Epiroc, Sandvik and ABB. Sweden should be a pioneering country and set the agenda for tomorrow’s environmental and technological development in the mining industry, not only in Europe but globally.

A unique synergy between mining companies, technology suppliers, academia and institutes means that Swedish mines are important engines for Swedish technology development and employment. The mining companies are investment-heavy, tough requirements and contribute to creating globally competitive suppliers that are at the forefront thanks to cooperation with customers such as LKAB and Boliden. The investments made by the Swedish mining industry result in factors 3 to 4 in employment effects around Sweden. Thanks to an attractive FUI (research, education, innovation) environment and collaboration with Swedish mines, Epiroc and Sandvik today spend 2/3 of their research and development work on mining related products in Sweden, despite the fact that 90% of their market is on a global level with significant global market share.

Despite the fact that collaboration is a quality enhancement for the research results, collaboration research is not at present sufficient merit. This is negatively impacted by evaluations as the degree of publication and citation does not become as high as in traditional basic research.

Svemin therefore believes that Swedish research policy should reward both scientific quality and quality in collaboration, innovation creation and utilization in both education and research.

The Swedish mining industry, together with academia and research institutes, has developed a strategic research and innovation agenda for the Swedish mining and metal producing industry, STRIM. STRIM covers all research and innovation areas that contribute to making the Swedish mining industry more sustainable and internationally leading. Today, there are good financing systems for those parts of the STRIM agenda that touch on innovation, whereas long-term funding for parts that cover basic and applied research is lacking.

Svemin therefore believes that more funding is needed for basic and applied research that also aims to strengthen and secure the long-term knowledge of Swedish geology and the mining and minerals area.

In research and innovation, Svemin works for:

  • Maintained / increased collaboration research with industry participation, as this is central to Sweden’s not losing competitiveness
  • Maintained / increased support for pilot and test facilities and more resources created for basic and applied research
  • Increased attractiveness and adaptation of higher education to the requirements of digitalization. Further education throughout the professional life is central.