Motions to the Swedish Parliament 1999/2000
- proposing national support of the Incubator Project



Motions 1999/2000:

  • "Incubators" by Göran Lindblad and Per Bill (Cons)
  • "Civic Influence" by the Conservative party (the second largest party in Sweden)
  • "Venture Capital" by Per Rosengren, Lars Bäckström, Marie Engström, Siv Holma, Johan Lönnroth, Claes Stockhaus and Lennart Värmby (v - the Leftist Party)

Motion to Swedish Riksdag 1999/2000 m372 BSG
by Göran Lindblad and Per Bill (Cons.)

Incubators

A study into the pre-requisites for networks and multicultural technological incubators in Sweden has been commissioned by The National Board for Integration., The Ministry of Industry and the University College of Karlskrona/Ronneby. Israel received one million ex-Soviet persons during the 1990s. 60% of these had an academic education. At the beginning of the 1990s, "technological incubators" were set up to encourage the development of leading-edge competence amongst immigrants. Today, there is a network of 26 independent incubators, of which half have set-aside places for new immigrants. Not only domestic but also immigrant innovators can thus receive help from the incubators in order to develop high-tech export products. Reports clearly demonstrate the good results achieved from such activities in Israel. Competence which many immigrants in Sweden possess is to a very large extent an unexploited resource. This has negative consequences - both for immigrants and Swedish industry, as well as our national economy and in the long-term stable social development in the country.

Virtually all immigrant groups who arrived in Sweden after 1980 have experienced significant problems in establishing themselves on the labour market despite the fact that some of these immigrant groups had on their arrival in Sweden an educational level significantly higher than that of the average Swede. This is true, for instance, for immigrants coming from Iran and Chile, where one-third have a post upper secondary education. Well-educated immigrants undoubtedly find it easier than those with low levels of education to get jobs, but they have the "wrong jobs"- i.e. work which does not fully take account the competence they possess. This is clearly evident not least in the Stockholm region where immigrants with high-tech competence do not get jobs even though industry complains major shortages of technicians and natural scientists. The State and industry are setting aside finance for a professional fund, the aim of which is to reduce the risks for new start-up ventures. The Fund which is to be independent as in the Israeli model, will be given the task of co-ordinating with the technological incubators and thus helping to develop innovatory, entrepreneurial ideas capable of implementation. The Fund will be repaid by companies who succeed from royalties on turnover. A business culture will thus be cultivated rather than a system where the state provides grants to companies.

Request

With reference to the aforementioned, I hereby request that the Swedish Riksdag notifies the Government of its views on the aforementioned motion on incubators.

Stockholm the 1st October 1999

Göran Lindblad (m) Per Bill (m)


The Conservatives - Party Motion
Motion to the Swedish Riksdag 1999/2000:m510 BSG
by Bo Lundgren et al. (Cons.)

Civic influence

(extract from the motion:)

6.2 Finding new ways

A study into the pre-requisites for networks and multicultural technological incubators in Sweden has been commissioned by The National Board for Integration., The Ministry of Industry and the University College of Karlskrona/Ronneby.

In international terms there are many examples of new ways to go. There is every reason to both gather examples and share in the experiences gained from these. Israel received one million ex-Soviet persons during the 1990s. 60% of these had an academic education. At the beginning of the 1990s, "technological incubators" were established i.e. institutions that take advantage of and develop the leading-edge competence of immigrants. Today, there is a network of 26 independent incubators, of which half have set-aside places for new immigrants. Not only domestic but also immigrant innovators can thus receive help from the incubators in order to develop high-tech export products. Reports clearly demonstrate the good results achieved from such activities in Israel.
 


Motion to the Swedish Riksdag                                       Postnr:2068
1999/2000:N296
By Per Rosengren  (v)

Venture Capital

Introduction

The venture capital debate has been going on for a longer time in Sweden. In most cases it has been about various ways of easing taxes, such as abolishing the so called double taxation. But we have lacked a strategy for securing the development of modern technology and benefiting from the knowledge within groups that have not caught been focused on by the debate. One way of supporting the creation of new firms are the “start your own” grants. It is a form of support that according to studies has been successful. When it comes to more advanced technology we need another form of support that can assist entrepreneurs with knowledge and other services.

The Israeli Model

The researcher David Nordfors has together with Orren Shalit described the Israeli Technological Incubator model. Israel has worked for a number of years with these incubators, that aim at supporting high-tech entrepreneurs. The Israeli Technological Incubators select and support individual inventors, usually new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, to be entrepreneurs. The inventors present their ideas for high-tech export products to the incubators, who can help them to start a company and during two years supply them with the necessary administrative and logistical support. They are among other things supported with marketing and business development. The transformation from inventor to entrepreneur is made through a mix of education and apprenticeship.

About 55% of the inventors who are accepted by the incubators succeed in developing a product prototype and start a company that lives on, usually through the participation of external investors. The result is impressive, specially considering that the incubators are transforming immigrants from the former socialist soviet bloc that have never before been in contact with a market economy to company owners within high-tech industry. This remarkable success story may have several reasons, such as a good balance of rules for the incubator activities, en well functioning culture, a strong personal motivation of the new immigrant entrepreneurs, a willing venture capital market or other circumstances. Several incubators have co-operation with a university of a research institute that can give important assistance, for example with equipment, libraries, databases and expertise. The universities in Tel Aviv and Haifa and the Weizman Institute in Rehovot own incubators, in some cases together with private firms. The universities have very active representatives in the boards of the incubators. Private industry engages in the board work due to long term commercial motives. Even though the incubators are not-for-profit companies, the owners and board members get good information about the companies that are growing within the incubators.

The incubators that are not part-owned by academic institutions will nevertheless come in close contact with universities and research institutes, since the most of the project companies in the incubators have or developt networks and collaborations with the academic world. Each incubator receives each year 190 000 USD from the government for covering facilities and administration. In order to reach break-even the incubators are dependent of additional support from other organizations and commercial interests.

The newly created companies are always built around a new high-tech product. The inventors are mainly academics, usually with research background. The incubators are free to choose their own directions concerning technologies and markets, there are no central directives.

The yearly budget of the Israeli incubator program has steadily increased since it started, from one million dollars in 1991 to 30 million dollars today. Nearly half of the companies that are created each year through the support of the OCS come out of the incubator program.

Proposal from the Leftist Party

The concept should be investigated and tried in Sweden. We have today a number of old and large companies. We need new companies, and there are not enough of them being created. The Israeli model would probably increase the number of new high-tech companies. It is important to connect this type of activity to universities.

There is today a certain co-operation between universities and private enterprise, but with a strategic program like the Israeli model Sweden would be able to secure a position among the foremost countries within high-tech.

The Riksdag should suggest the government to introduce a support mechanism for new high-tech companies according to the Israeli model.
 

Stockholm, October 1 1999

Per Rosengren (v)
Lars Bäckström (v)
Marie Engström (v)
Siv Holma (v)
Johan Lönnroth (v)
Claes Stockhaus (v)
Lennart Värmby (v)