The Swedish National Audit Office has identified a number of shortcomings in two major Government investments in innovative capacity and competitiveness. These include unclear governance, time pressure in planning and lack of follow-up and evaluation.
Government investments in Strategic Innovation Programmes (SIP) and Strategic Innovation Partnership Programmes (SIPP) are to strengthen Sweden’s innovative capacity and competitiveness.
The programmes in the SIP are intended to run for twelve years, with Government funding of a total of SEK 8 billion. The programmes in the SIPP lasted for about three years. The costs the SIPP depend on the priorities for each programme, and are spread between a number of actors. Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, has been allocated about one billion kronor.
The Swedish NAO has audited whether the Government and responsible agencies have created conditions necessary for the programmes to be effective. The audit shows that the conditions are better for the SIP than for the SIPP, but that there are shortcomings in both types of programmes.
Both types of programmes suffer from the fact that externally contracted experts may exert great influence on the programmes without any independent systematic assessments on the part of the agencies responsible, and that these agencies had to plan implementation under tight time constraints.
In the SIPP, the shortcomings mainly consist of the lack of systematic processes for prioritisation of measures and for follow-up and evaluation.
“The Government reports to the Riksdag that the programmes are successful. However, as they have not been systematically evaluated or followed up, we do not see the grounds on which the Government makes that assessment,” says Auditor General Helena Lindberg.
The shortcomings of the SIP mainly consist of:
“The identified shortcomings undermine the potential for effectiveness in the SIP and increase the risk of it not achieving its objectives,” says Peter Jörgensen, project leader for the audit.
The Swedish National Audit Office recommends that the Government:
The Swedish National Audit Office recommends that the agencies responsible for the SIP:
Please see the report for the full recommendations.
Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.
Presskontakt: Olle Castelius , telefon: 08-5171 42 06.
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