A database of Swedish innovations, 1970–2019

The SWINNO project is an ongoing series of research projects into Swedish innovations and the Swedish innovation system. Many of these projects are based on the SWINNO database of Swedish innovations, often with additional data from for example surveys, interviews and policy documents. The project is currently headed by Josef Taalbi, and funded by VINNOVA, with additional funding from LUSEM.

SWINNO 3. Significant New Products and Processes in Sweden 1970 to the present

In 2020, the SWINNO project has gone into its third phase (SWINNO 3). This phase focuses on the themes of the impact of innovations and social, environmental and economic sustainability. Basic questions and topics are the long-run trends of innovation across different fields; assessing the drivers and obstacles of innovation, e.g., in environmental transitions; network analysis of collaboration patterns and industry ties; and the role of public funding and STI policies.

Beside the research projects, SWINNO 3 continues and expands the data collection of the previous phases. From 2010 onwards, the database has grown from a single spreadsheet into a full-blown relational database that has been developed according to the needs of the SWINNO project and its research. The initial dataset comprised the years 1970 - 2007. SWINNO 2 extended this to 2019 and SWINNO 3 will continue to update for the duration of the project. A historical extension is being added, going back to 1909 and is planned to go further back to the late 19th century.

The richness of the SWINNO data allows it to be linked to for example particular regions, the innovating companies (from Sweden's statistical office) and patents. Patent data is being added to the innovations from 1970 to 2015.

SWINNO data and meta data is publicly available (as far as privacy and copyright allows) as a spreadsheet that can be downloaded from this page. See the top-right corner.

The SWINNO project has resulted in a number of papers in high impact academic journals, two PhD theses, a number of student papers, working papers and policy documents. See below for a complete list.

UDIT project

From 2015 until spring 2017, the SWINNO data is also further developed as part of a collaborative project called Understanding Diverging Innovation Trends (UDIT) in Finland and Sweden. As the title suggests, researchers from VTT in Finland and the Department of Economic History compare trends in innovation output between the two countries. The project is headed by Juha Oksanen and Astrid Kander, and is jointly funded by VINNOVA and Tekes. At the Department of Economic History, the post-doctoral researchers Sara Torregrosa-Hetland, Gergei Farkas and Josef Taalbi take care of the research within this project.

Description and Documentation

Sjöö, Karolin, Taalbi, J., Kander, A. and Ljungberg, J. (2014) ”SWINNO: A Database of Swedish Innovations, 1970–2007.”  Lund Papers in Economic History, 2014:133. pub. details pdf

Publications using SWINNO data

Please inform us of other publications and of broken links.


Taalbi, Josef (2022) 'Long-run patterns in the discovery of the adjacent possible' In arXiv:2208.00907v1 [econ.GN]. 1 August 2022. Pub. details pdf

Martynovich, Mikhail & Taalbi, J. (2022) 'Dynamic recombinant relatedness and its role for regional innovation' In European Planning Studies. 13 September 2022. Pub. details pdf

Johansson, Mathias, Nyqvist, J. & Taalbi, J. (2022) 'Linking innovations and patents - a machine learning assisted method' In Social Science Research Network. 3 Juni 2022. Pub. details pdf


Taalbi, Josef (2021) 'Innovation in the long run: Perspectives on technological transitions in Sweden 1908–2016'. In Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions 40: pp. 222-248. Pub. details pdf


Martynovich, Mikhail & Taalbi, J. (2020) 'Related variety, recombinant knowledge and regional innovation. Evidence for Sweden, 1991-2010'. In Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography #20.15. Utrecht University. Pub. details + pdf

Nyqvist, Jakob (2020) Ska vi patentera? En studie i patenteringsbenägenheten försvenska innovationer under två kriser (Course thesis. Uppsala Universitet). Pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2020) 'Evolution and structure of technological systems - An innovation output network' In Research Policy 49(8). Pub. details + pdf


Taalbi, Josef (2019) 'Innovation waves and technological transitions: Sweden, 1909-2016' In Lund Papers in Economic History, No. 196. Lund: Department of Economic History, Lund University. Pub. details + pdf

Taalbi, Josef ( 2019) 'Origins and pathways of innovation in the third industrial revolution' In Industrial and Corporate Change. 28(5): 1125-1148. Pub. details + pdf

Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, Pelkonen, A., Oksanen, J., & Kander, A. (2019) 'The prevalence of publicly stimulated innovations – A comparison of Finland and Sweden, 1970–2013' In Research Policy (Available online). Pub. details + pdf

Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, Pelkonen, A., Oksanen & J., Kander, A. (2019) 'The state’s crucial role in stimulating innovation in Finland and Sweden' In Forskningspolitikk. 9 December 2019. www.fpol.no/staterole1/


Kander, Astrid, Taalbi, J., Oksanen, J., Sjöö, K. & Rilla, N. 'Innovation trends and industrial renewal in Finland and Sweden 1970–2013' In Scandinavian Economic History Review 67(1):47-70. Pub. details + pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2018) 'Evolution and structure of technological systems - An innovation output network.' In arXiv:1811.06772v1 [econ.GN] 16 Nov 2018. pdf

Taalbi, Josef & Karlsson, L. (2018) Regionala innovationsmönster. Nya perspektiv från en innovationsdatabas för svensk tillverkningsindustri och IT-tjänster. 1970–2013. Malmö : Region Skåne. ISBN 978-91-87793-49-3. pdf


Kander, Astrid, Taalbi, J., Oksanen, J., Sjöö, K. & Rilla, N. (2017). Innovation Trends and Industrial Renewal in Finland and Sweden 1970-2013. (Lund Papers in Economic History: General Issues; No. 167). Lund: Department of Economic History, Lund University pub. details + pfd

Nyqvist, Hanna (2017) Eco-innovations in the Swedish Context. (Master thesis. Lund University) pub. details + pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2017) Development blocks in innovation networks. In Journal of Evolutionary Economics 27(3):461-501. pub. details + pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2017). Origins and Pathways of Innovation in the Third Industrial Revolution: Sweden, 1950-2013. In Lund Papers in Economic History, No. 159. Lund: Department of Economic History, Lund University. pub. details + pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2017) What drives innovation? Evidence from economic history. In Research Policy 46(8):1437-1453 pub. details + pdf

Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, Pelkonen, A., Oksanen, J., & Kander, A. (2017). Impact of innovation policy on firmvinnovation: A comparison of Finland and Sweden, 1970-2013. In Lund Papers in Economic History, No. 160. Lund: Department of Economic History, Lund University. pub. details + pdf


Axelsson, Mats (2016) The geography of Swedish ICT innovation. (Bachelor thesis. Lund University). pub. details pdf

Johansson, Mathias. (2016) Detecting Important Swedish Innovations By Text Mining Articles From the 1970s. (Master thesis. Lund University) pub. details pdf

Karlsson, Linnea. (2016) Actors in innovation. (Bachelor thesis. Lund University). pub details pdf

Sjöö, Karolin (2016) Innovation and industrial renewal in Sweden, 1970–2007. In Scandinavian Economic History Review. pub. details

Taalbi, Josef (2016) Development blocks and structural analysis. In Ljungberg, Jonas (Ed.) Structural analysis and the process of economic development. London & New York: Routledge. pub. details


Larsson, Johan P. (2015) Innovation utan entrprenörskap. Näringspolitiskt Forum Rapport #10. Örebro & Stockholm: Entreprenörskapsforum. pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2015) Development Blocks in Innovation Networks. The Swedish Manufacturing Industry, 1970-2007. MPRA Paper No. 64549. University Library of Münich. pub. details pdf

Taalbi, Josef & Ljungberg, Jonas (2015) Innovations and Economic Growth in the Swedish Engineering Industry, 1914 - 2013. Paper for the Eleventh Conference of the European Historical Economics Society, Pisa 4-5 September, 2015. pdf


Sjöö, Karolin (2014) Innovation and transformation in the Swedish manufacturing sector, 1970-2007(PhD thesis). Lund Studies in Economic History, 2014:65  pdf

Taalbi, Josef (2014) Innovation as Creative Response. Determinants of Innovation in the Swedish Manufacturing Industry, 1970-2007 (PhD thesis). Lund Studies in Economic History, 2014:67. pdf


We are currently conducting a survey on public innovation funding among innovative companies and organizations in Sweden.

For further information please contact:

Johanna Fink


Project participants

Cristina Chaminade, researcher

Astrid Kander, advisor

Asli Kilicaslan, assistant

Jonas Ljungberg, advisor

Jakob Nyqvist, assistant

Frank van der Most, research engineer

Josef Taalbi, project leader

Sara Torregrosa-Hetland, researcher

Johanna Fink, doctoral student

Philipp Jonas Kreutzer, doctoral student

Anders Hylmö, researcher

Mathias Johansson, research engineer

Markus Isaksson, assistant