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Vinit Parida
Vinit Parida, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Photo: Tomas Bergman View original picture , opens in new tab/window

"The firms are mutually dependent on each other"

Published: 15 November 2022

Vinit Parida participated as a member of the high-level group on the digital transformation of Swedish industry.

The group was tasked to provide suggestions on how to strengthen business conditions digital transformation. A further objective was that digitization should contribute to business benefits and at the same time solve various sustainability challenges.

A concrete contribution from the Entrepreneurship and Innovation researchers at Luleå University of Technology has been to conduct two studies and provide policy recommendations. The first report dealt with potential barriers to the digital transformation of Swedish industry. Specifically, the researchers identified a number of barriers at Firm-Ecosystem-Policy levels, including organizational culture, leadership, lack of standardized digital solutions and gaps in communication between business and political decision-makers.

The firms are mutually dependent on each other

“The identified barriers to digital transformation are not only firm-centric but rather industry and policy oriented.  The firms are mutually dependent on each other. It does not help if a single firm implements the necessary changes if other firms and authorities do not also change their way of working at the same time”, says Vinit Parida.

In the second report, the researchers developed and proposed a number of recommendations for how different organizations can help small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the digital transformation. Among other things, it is recommended that national and European funding institutions receive increased mandate to offer financial support, that larger companies share their experiences with internal digital transformation programs, to secure the trade associations' opportunity for long-term financing of member companies' transformation work, and to create targeted support for vocational training with the aim of prioritizing a close collaboration between students and local small businesses.

Majority of the work conducted in the high-level group has been during Covid lockdown, which required new approach to collaborative working.

“I have been impressed by the excellent work from Emilie Anér and Magnus Rentzhog from Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation that enabled the highly diverse group of experts to come together and work towards a common goal during pandemic.” says Vinit Parida.

A valuable cooperation

A unique value of high-level group was to bring together industry, academics and policy experts together. Vinit Parida likes to emphasize how important the composition of the groups was to the results and to his own development as a researcher.

“It has been stimulating to try to contribute to my knowledge being transformed into something that can constitute a concrete policy decision. The work of the collaborative groups is finished, but gratifyingly, the members want to continue collaborating with us researchers in other constellations because they see the value of our academic knowledge”, says Vinit Parida.

Apart from Vinit Parida other researchers from Luleå University of Technology made contributions to the reports, namely David Sjödin, Milad Kolgar and Patricia Carolina Garcia Martin.