Department of Economic History

Lund University School of Economics and Management


A Database of Swedish Innovations, 1970–2016

SWINNO, 1970 - 2007

The SWINNO database has been produced as part of a VINNOVA- funded project, primarily by Karolin Sjöö and Josef Taalbi, with Astrid Kander and Jonas Ljungberg as advisors and project leaders. Sjöö and Taalbi wrote their PhD theses on the basis of SWINNO. They both graduated in 2014.


SWINNO 2, 2008 - present

After completion, VINNOVA decided to continue to support the development of the database through the SWINNO 2 project. This project consists of multiple parts:

1) Expansion of the years covered. The initial SWINNO dataset covers the years 1970-2007. An update for the years 2008 to 2016 has been released in February 2018. Annual updates are planned. Finally, an extension that is going further back in time is under construction as well.

2) An important question that the SWINNO project wants to address is the societal significance of the SWINNO innovations. What have been the effects of the innovations on the innovating firms, their clients and users of the innovation and society at large? What did the effects mean to the different actors? As of early 2017, an explorative project is investigating this issue for a small number of cases through interviews with inventors, innovators, users and other actors. The project will guide the development of a method to investigate these question on a bigger scale.

3) Organizing expert panels to provide feedback on the data collected in SWINNO. These are planned to start late 2017.

4) Development of a relational database to replace the original spreadsheet, expand the possibilities for research and improve the data quality. For this Frank van der Most was hired as a research engineer. A brief description of the functions and features of the database can be found here.


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 (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




Kander, Astrid, Taalbi, J., Oksanen, J., Sjöö, K. & Rilla, N. (In press / available on-line) 'Innovation trends and industrial renewal in Finland and Sweden 1970–2013' In Scandinavian Economic History Review. 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) 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). pub. details pdf

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

Karlsson, Linnea. (2016) Actors in innovation. (Bachelor thesis). 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


New releases and news

Latest release: SWINNO 1970 - 2017, 10 December 2019

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Project participants


  • Mathias Johansson - assistant
  • Linnéa Jönsson - assistant
  • Linnea Karlsson - assisstant