Region Kronoberg is located in the central south of Sweden, within 100 kilometres of the country’s east, west and south coasts. The region is 97% covered with forests and lakes, and has approximately 200 000 inhabitants with a steady population growth from 2002 and onwards.
The region, known as the home to IKEA, is well-known for its glass, furniture, and design. As such, internationalization and exports are essential for its economy. Linnaeus University with campuses in Kronoberg’s capital Växjö and neighbouring Kalmar plays an important part in the development of the region and is an integrated part in its regional strategies and action plans.
For Kronoberg, the IT-sector and industry have great potential for the regional economy, particularly in the three main smart specialization areas: machinery, forestry, and wood and furniture industries.
The machine industry is the region’s largest private industry and includes a wide array of companies in varying size. The industry presents a high degree of specialization, both measured in relative and absolute numbers with a large share of the national market. Additionally, the region has extensive forest production and a long tradition of processing this particular raw material. The industry itself accounts for a limited share of the economy, however, it generates a significant income for the region in terms of export values, considering the whole process of both wood and furniture sectors. Lastly, while the IT-sector does not boast a high degree of specialization compared to national figures, it has become important for the regional economy with great growth in terms of workplaces and economic activity.
The green transition, health, and skills are priorities for the region and areas in which the region seeks collaboration with other EU-partners and look to join European networks, platforms, and projects for future development. Particularly in the following:
- Sustainable forestry: Especially in the wood and furniture industry, housing, glass, and design, where the region wants to enhance innovation and the degree of refinement for increased competitiveness. Existing programs in the region are Träregion Småland and Smart Housing Småland.
- Sustainable consumption and production: To improve climate adaptation and reduce climate impact in the machine industry.
- Personalized care, digitalization, and elderly care: Wants to progress in personalized care, public health, and social development. The region is also part of the SBHSS platform for health with focus on digitalization, collaboration, and mental health for children, young adults, and elderly.
- Digital skills: Improve digital skills training at all levels, particularly vocational education and online training and education.