The conditions for innovation in Stockholm are good. There are several strong research universities, e.g. Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm University (SU), Södertörn University, Stockholm School of Economics and a number of specialised university colleges. Out of these 18 are cooperating on student information, marketing, analysis and networking (Stockholm Academic Forum). There is also the internationally awarded university hospital of Karolinska and a process to develop New Karolinska Hospital, which is expected to stimulate business collaboration in health care and life sciences. Due to large private and public efforts, a life science cluster is now emerging in Stockholm. There are also several research institutes in the region.
Therefore, the innovation support structure consists of a variety of organisations and measures to support the development of innovation and business ideas. Many of the organisations work closely with higher education institutions, for example, incubators (STING, KIAB and SUIAB), innovation support offices (KI, KTH and SU) and science parks (Kista Science City, Karolinska Institute Science Park and Södertälje Science Park).The business environment of the region is diversified, but increasingly dependent on the services sectors. As a result, Stockholm University, for example, has increased focus on services innovation. The region has a strong position in knowledge intensive sectors such as information and communication technologies (ICT), life sciences, financial services, business consultations and transportations. There is a strong ICT cluster in Kista, dominated by the large multinational company Sony Ericsson. Environmental technology is another considerable competence. Life sciences is an important research sector, but was struck by the down-sizing of AstraZeneca's research activities in 2012. In most recent years Stockholm has also developed a gaming hub as a part of an eco-system of gaming companies.
In 2019, the population aged 30-34 with tertiary education in Stockholm reached 63.4% (Eurostat, 2020). This is higher than the national average (52.5%) and the EU average (41.6%). This value has been increasing since 2009, when it was at 51.0%.
The high-tech sector employment in Stockholm has increased, with 124 thousand employees in 2019 (Eurostat, 2020). This represents 45.1% of the national employment in the high-tech sector and 9.7% of the total employment (against the EU average of 4.2% and the national average of 5.4%).
Sweden is one of the countries with the highest proportion of research in terms of GDP, and the majority of the investments in research and development (R&D) are made by industry. In Stockholm, in 2017, €5.6bn have been invested in R&D, which corresponds to 3.75% of the regional GDP, higher than the national average (3.37%) and the EU average (2.08%) (Eurostat, 2020). A total of 73.5% of these investments, in 2017, have been assured by private companies (Eurostat, 2020). The recent down-sizing of research activities of Sony Ericsson and AstraZeneca may impact the statistics in the future.
The innovation support structure consists of a variety of organisations and measures to support the development of innovation and business ideas. Many of the organisations work closely with higher education institutions, for example, incubators (STING, KIAB and SUIAB), innovation support offices (KI, KTH and SU) and science parks (Kista Science City and Karolinska Institute Science Park).
In 2019, the percentage of households with internet access at home in Stockholm was at 95% (Eurostat, 2020), slightly below the national average (96%). Regarding patent registration, Stockholm has registered 2389 patent applications to the EPO in 2019, which accounts for 54.5% of the total Swedish applications (European Patent Office, 2020), putting Stockholm in the definitive patent registration lead in the country.