Nordic Innovation: What Can America Learn from the Scandinavian Innovation Ecosystem?

October 16, 2013

Two decades ago, most pundits wrote off the Nordic countries, arguing that their social democratic model of high taxes, generous social benefits, and worker security were antithetical to innovation, productivity, and growth. But since 2000 the Nordic economies have thrived by increasing government funding for R&D and innovation, implementing competitive tax codes with lower corporate rates and investment incentives, deploying ICTs, and introducing labor flexicurity models. Moreover, led by innovation agencies including Finland’s Tekes and SITRA, Sweden’s Agency for Growth Policy and Analysis and VINNOVA, and Denmark’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Innovation, the Nordic countries have been pioneers in developing national innovation strategies and building innovation-based economies.