NIR Programme

Innovation for Sustainable Development

Innovation is key for economic growth and social development

Social and economic welfare through innovation

New technologies and innovation, together with cross-sector partnerships, have the potential to fundamentally alter the cost of achieving progress. Innovation is a prerequisite for economic growth and social development. It strengthens a country’s competitiveness and productivity, thereby promoting decent jobs, increased wage levels, higher profits and thus increased tax revenues.

Therefore, innovation has a major impact on both the pace and the direction of the development in a country and is fundamental to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The Innovation for Sustainable Development programme, launched in 2020, explores how experiences from Sweden can be translated into an OECD/DAC context by introducing the triple helix model of innovation. By stimulating interactions between academia, industry and the national government, the programme supports the local development of a national innovation system.

The programme has several levels; from a central level of learnings and actions to influence the design of the national innovation system, focusing on how to raise the culture of innovation on a policy and strategic level, to operational levels. University partnerships is one example, where the objective is that universities develops adapted own innovation models and management. This includes for example strategy processes, the creation of science parks, triple-helix collaborations, incubators, promotion of entrepreneurship, fund raising activities, strategies on how to translate academic research into innovation, business competitiveness and more. The programme is funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Innovation is critical to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. New technologies and approaches, as well as cross-sector partnerships, have the potential to fundamentally alter the cost of achieving progress.

Additional information

For more information, please contact Programme Director Maria Rindeskär, telephone number +46 8 783 82 93.