As the fifth-largest economy in the world in 2020 and one of Sweden’s largest export markets, the UK is a very interesting market for Swedish smart tech companies. With a strong focus on sustainability and innovation, the market is attracting Swedish companies to establish in the country.

On the 27th of May, a webinar was arranged by the British Embassy in Sweden and Smart City Sweden, to highlight opportunities on the British smart tech market for Swedish companies. During this seminar, useful information about how to establish a tech company in the UK was provided, as well as important insights from Nordic companies already established.

Alison Young from Connected Places Catapult presented useful testbeds and other ecosystems where Nordic companies can join to create business contacts.

Useful ecosystems

There are totally nine Catapult Innovation Centres in the UK. These centres are partly government-funded and aim at encouraging innovation, and growth and can be a useful environment also for Swedish companies. The focus areas are, among others, Connected places, Compound Semiconductor applications, Digital, Energy Systems and Satellite applications.

Testbeds is one important activity of the centres and, as Alison Young pointed out, they are continuously looking for companies to join. Within smart infrastructure, there are several testbeds focusing on 5G, and within Smart Mobility the focus is especially on electric vehicles, batteries and connected autonomous vehicles.

Eric Fossum Faervaag, founder and president of Disruptive Technologies in Norway, was also a main speaker at the webinar. His company has made a successful entry in the UK market and he has a few main advice based on his company’s experience:

  • Local presence is key
  • Find the right events to attend
  • Hire locals

He also pointed out the help he got from the British Embassy’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and would advise contacting them as early as possible in the process.

Last but not least, Josh Ponce, Senior Investment Adviser at the DIT Stockholm Office, explained how his organisation can help Nordic companies achieve their UK expansion plans, whether they already have an office in the UK or not. Cost-free, tailor-made support in areas such as market research, site and property search and building key contacts can be provided for companies interested in expanding their physical presence in the UK. Country benchmarking can also be provided for companies contemplating the possibility to expand to the UK vs other countries.

Presentation slides from the webinar can be found here.

Support to enter the UK market

Department for International Trade (DIT), British Embassy Stockholm

Josh Ponce

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