About a month ago, the Swedish government's research grants were presented. Extra money is needed in research due to the pandemic. Matilda Ernkrans (S) Minister for Higher Education and Research told Forskning & Framsteg:
“We invest billions in research and innovation throughout the country. It strengthens Sweden, it strengthens free research and we can meet broad societal challenges.”
This year (2021), government grants will increase by SEK 3.4 billion, which is an increase of 9% compared to 2020. All in all, research will be allocated SEK 13.6 billion over the next four years: SEK 3.2 billion in 2022, 3.3 billion in 2023 and 3.7 billion in 2024.
The main reason behind this decision is the risk of a decline in research activity. In Sweden, private companies are responsible for the majority of the research. As a result of the pandemic, there might be cutbacks in research. SCB, (statistic bureau of Sweden) reports that in 2019, the business community accounted for 72% of the total research investments of SEK 171 billion.
- We get signals that the business community may not be able to invest quite as much money next year due to the pandemic and then I think it is responsible that the state puts a heavy bill with a lot of money the first year, says Matilda Ernkrans.