JIBS Sets a Record for Sweden


Once in a while, we must forget our Swedish modesty and take the streets (and the Internet) to boast loudly and publically about ourselves, especially when it demonstrates a hard-won achievement that we all can be proud of!

In this case, it’s the fact Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) has become the first and only business school in Sweden to achieve the distinction of being “double accredited.”  In 2015, JIBS received both theEQUIS and AACSB accreditations, an amazing feat, given that these two accreditations are both extremely difficult to earn and that we won them both in the very short period of time of a year.

Full story in my 27 December 2015 article “JIBS Sets a Record for Sweden” at www.vertikals.se – JIBS’ blog on entrepreneurship, renewal and ownership.

Authenticity Makes a Difference


How do we respond to the onslaught of challenges facing universities and business schools? When the world is changing, clinging to old models is a bad idea. Know thyself and build on it.

Read how we at JIBS are keeping the creeping sameness in the business of business school at bay.

Full story in my 19 May 2014 article “Authenticity Makes a Difference“at www.vertikals.se – JIBS’ blog on entrepreneurship, renewal and ownership.


Making the good even better: reforming a business school


You are probably not very familiar with Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) or its Swedish name Internationella Handelshögskolan but our goal is that within five years you will be…..over the last two years my colleagues and I have carefully begun to reform Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) in Sweden along its basic business dimensions.

Full story in my January 2014 article “Making the Good even Better” in Global Focus, 2014, 9(1), pp. 48-51. Here I describe and discuss the transformations made to renew the pioneering and entrepreneurial strategy and culture of this unique Swedish business school.

The issue of Global Focus was published in conjunction with the annual 2014 Dean and Director General Conference, attracting more than 300 business school leaders from around the globe.

Lots of ideas, no money


More capital is needed to seed future innovations in Southern Scandinavia.

The southern part of Sweden acutely needs more innovation capital.  The Malmö-based daily Sydvenska Dagbladet recently published a special report on the situation.  In their report leading figures in the venture capital industry, science parks and in universities send the same message. There are any ideas but limited capital, especially for early-stage seed funding. Specifically, there are limited funding available for new investments since most of the funding committed by private players have already been invested. And the vast majority of venture capital in Sweden is focused on the Stockholm region.

I recently talked with a writer for The Economist, a science professor with affiliations in the US, China and Europe and with several years of experience in Scandinavia. In his view, there are probably a lot of undervalued ideas in that region, simply because it is off the beaten track for big international tech investors, and local investors do not have the technological insight. If may be off the beaten track for large international investors but with only one million people the very southern Scania (Skåne) county of Sweden has already an unusually high concentration of brainpower per capita and new mega investments in science and technology are expected to dramatically increase commercial opportunities. The nexus of this development is Lund, which hosts the oldest university in the country, University of Lund. The municipality of Lund and Scania are governed by a non-socialist coalition for which continued investments in research, development and innovation are at the top of the agenda. For historical and geographical reasons the psychic distance from Lund is closer to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, than to the Swedish capital Stockholm and this has provided many social, economical and political linkages and even a bridge/tunnel across the narrow Oresund strait. But, the risk capital industry in Denmark is less developed than in Sweden and dominated by life science.

With 3.7 million people the larger and bilateral Oresund region makes up 1⁄4 of the GDP in Sweden and Denmark, respectively. It features strong industrial clusters built 
around global corporations like Novo Nordisk, Danisco, AP Möller
 Maersk, Sony Ericsson, Gambro, Tetra Pak and Alfa Laval. The
 region is hosts three strong science universities and a 
handful science parks for commercialising technological development. Still, only a few venture capitalists take a bi-lateral, Oresund perspective, and most of them are already fully invested.

Over the next decade massive new investments in additional and world-class science facilities will attract thousands of additional researchers to the already science-intensive Lund region and this is expected to also boost the commercial opportunities. On the Swedish side a consortium of some 20 countries will fund the joint European, EUR 1.5 billion European Spallation Source (ESS) material science facility outside Lund (see my post about it) to be constructed 2013-2019. The Swedish state is currently constructing the additional EUR 0.5 billion synchrotron radiation facility MAXLAB IV next to the ESS site. Private donations in 2011 are enabling Lund University to convert Astra Zeneca’s previous site into a new EUR 50 million Ideon Life Science Village a research laboratory and business incubator located adjacent to the Ideon science park (see my post about it). Recently, private entrepreneurs announced plans to build a combined SEK 4-5 billion golf, spa and hotel retreat south of Lund, which is to be ready at the same time as the ESS facility.

Overall these unusual and international mega investments into R&D in the Lund region will further increase the general attractiveness to and high concentration of brainpower in the region. Lund is destined to become one of the most dynamic science and incubator hubs in the world over the coming years, especially in life science, cleantech, nanotechnology and materials technology. It should have all real potential to be a hub also on the beaten track of foreign innovation capital.

But capital funds need a certain scale to be meaningful and that is a major barrier of entry. In Sydvenska Dagbladet the head of the Ideon science part in Lund summarizes the situation: “One hundred million (kronor = EUR 11 million) is not enough….” And he suggests that five times that amount is a minimum level to operate such a fund. The problem is that none of the current funds with a south Sweden focus have raised that level of capital.

Somebody should give it a shot.

More life-science, in Lund


In the early part of 2011 I was struck by the difference between the debate and focus in Denmark and in southern Sweden, just across the bridge. Perhaps it had to do with the uncertainty regarding the upcoming Danish election? Perhaps there is a real difference in mentality? At that stage many Danes I met were increasingly annoyed that the Swedish economy was doing much better, and as a Swede holding a leading position in Denmark, I was walking a thin line. However, I could not resist making a point about the difference in debate and highlight the positive development in the science-city of Lund, which was hardly mentioned in Denmark. In previous articles I have mentioned and discussed the mega investments in the ESS science facility in Lund. In this column I discuss the privately enabled Ideon Life Science Village, which is currently being established there. My purpose was to inspire and increase the interest on the Danish side to make more connections with Lund. It hasn’t really happened yet.

Onsdag 02/02/2011. Berlingske Nyhedsmagasin.

Another 1.000 life science-jobs… in Lund

In Sweden a private individual has just donated 100 million Swedish Crowns, to create progress in a science-park in Lund. In Denmark we are leading a passionate debate, discussing whether publicly funded early retirement benefits* should be abolished quickly or slowly.

In Denmark, we are proud of our strong position in the field of life science; which is why it is interesting that the University of Lund, Astra Zeneca and the billionaire Mats Paulson (founder of the construction company Peab) are now founding Ideon Life Science Village. The city will create one thousand new jobs, a power centre for research in life science, and a dynamic environment for entrepreneurship. The intention is clear: Lund wants to attract top researchers from around the globe, expanding companies based in medicine and related sciences, plus people with an interest in creating new companies.

The future is in Lund. The venture is especially interesting since Lund is already in the process of building ESS – the world’s largest neutron microscope – and MaxLab IV, which during the course of a few years will become one of the few power centers in the world within the field of advanced particle physics and materials research and development.

This will contribute about another one thousand resident researchers, plus another three to four thousand who will fly in and out on short or long visits. In this picture, other groups belong as well: aspiring researchers (Ph.D.’s), masters, and bachelor students.

By the way, thousands of researchers have families as well, which calls for good kindergartens, international schools and secondary schools, stores and hospitals. The families need a place to live, they go shopping, they go to the opera and the theatre (perhaps preferably in Tivoli), and they want to watch handball.

We should congratulate Lund, because these projects benefit the entire Copenhagen Metropolitan Region (CMR).The initiative attracts everything a community needs.

But let us look at things in a slightly less rosy perspective.

Differences across the sound: On one side of the sound, nearly all the municipalities have included the options that ESS give in their strategic plans. On the other side of the sound, only a few people know what the abbreviation means.

On one side of the sound, politicians – on a national level and across political boundaries – are ready to make decisions on new infrastructure projects, which bring us even closer together. On the other side, the interest seems to be more lukewarm.

The list could go on, and, with all due respect for national differences, this pattern is not working. There are far more similarities than differences between Sweden and Denmark, and my impression is that we, on the Danish side, do not see the opportunities in what, in my opinion, should be called the Copenhagen Metropolitan Region.

Isn’t it about time we place Scania (Skåne) high on the national agenda for strategic co-operation?

My hope is that the government and the opposition will unite in a “regional effort” to grab hold of the possibilities and challenges of the future, instead of passively letting the development pass us by.

Private donations: On one side of the sound a wealthy private individual has just donated 100 million Swedish Crowns to enable further progress for the existing idea-park for research and entrepreneurship. On the other side of the sound, we are leading a passionate debate, discussing whether the publicly funded early retirement benefits* should be abolished quickly or slowly.

I am also convinced that private individuals want to make more donations. As Mats Paulson commented on TV that same night, the deal was clear: “You can’t take the money with you, when you go…”. The legacy, which he is now creating, will last for generations.


* Early retirement benefits – The Danish term “efterløn” refers to publicly funded pension benefits payable five years before normal retirement.

Copenhagen Metropolitan Region


Despite the bridge between Denmark and Sweden in 2000 the bi-lateral Öresund region has not really taken off as anticipated and this is problematic since it has the potential to become a very dynamic part of Europe. The Swedish side has been much more open to bonding much more than their Danish counterparts, which is sad.  To fuel the debate I wrote this column in mid 2010 and it coincided with one of the major outcomes of the strategy process at CBS, namely to evolve the strategic thinking from national-international to think national, regionally and globally. In south Scandinavia Copenhagen is the dominant region so it make sense to build on that fact,


Dr. Johan Roos

Copenhagen Metropolitan Region

Øresundsregionen er et fint koncept. Men vi er nødt til at tænke større og inddrage flere dele af Sverige og Tyskland i det mentale landkort over den københavnske metropol.

Italien bestod i renæssancetiden af metropoler, eller bystater, som typisk blev regeret af magt- fulde familiedynastier som for eksempel bank- familien Medici i Firenze. Nu har nationalstaten længe været et stærkt fænomen i Europa, men den moderne regionale metropol vinder frem, og vi befinder os i den måske mest lovende regionale metropol i Europa. Men det virker, som om vi har svært ved at se det.

Det paradoksale ved internationaliseringen er beho- vet for at være utroligt global og lokal på samme tid. I medierne bliver vi hver dag tudet ørerne fulde om den betydningsfulde rolle, som Kina, Indien og USA spiller geopolitisk og økonomisk. Men samtidig ser vi, hvordan regioner omkring store byer som Shanghai, Mumbai og Seattle vokser i betydning, og sågar nogle gange overskygger deres “værtsland”, nationalstaten.

Det mentale kort: Regioner spiller selvfølgelig også en vigtig rolle i små lande som vores, men ofte vil en større by spille en vigtigere rolle for den økonomiske, po-

litiske og kulturelle udvikling. Tag bare vores eget nabolag med Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo og til en vis grad København.

Og dog, for når det gælder vækst og tiltrækning, sakker København bagud i forhold til sine nordiske søstre, og det er proble- matisk.

Nationalstaten spiller en stor rolle i Danmark, og det skal vi respektere. Men samtidig er vi nødt til at ud- vide vores mentale kort til også at inkludere Copenhagen Metropolitan Region (CMR). Her taler jeg ikke kun om Region Hovedstaden. Kig på et kort og tegn cirkler omkring København i forskellige størrelser. Den første cirkel inkluderer Øresundsregionen, men det er gammelt og velkendt.

Prøv at tegne en større cirkel, som ikke bare inklu- derer det sydlige Sverige og universitetsbyen Lund, men som også går så langt som til at inkludere industribyen Göteborg, entreprenørbyen Jönköping og it-byen Karlskrona. Kig så sydpå og se, hvordan de gamle Hansestæ- der Lübeck og Kiel bliver en naturlig del af CMR. Med en smule mod kunne man udvide cirklen en anelse mere, og straks dukker et væld af flere muligheder op.

Tænk stort: Bliver det for imperialistisk? Måske er det lidt i overkanten, men pointen er, at vi er nødt til at tænke stort og udvide vores mentale kort – især i tider præget af økonomisk krise og politisk depression. Øresundsre- gionen er et fint koncept, men vi er nødt til kun at se det som første skridt i bestræbelserne på at placere CMR i hovederne på folk her og i udlandet. Det skal følges op af beslutninger og handling, som styrker tiltrækningen, konkurrencekraften og det globale brand. Femern-bro- en er trods alt på vej!

I samme ånd er vi nødt til gradvis at øge betydnin- gen af CMR og holde den fri af alt for mange nationale begræsninger. Den svenske minister, som er ansvarlig for Øresundregionen, fortalte mig for nylig, at hun de sidste tre år har hjulpet med til at fjerne 48 barrierer for mennesker og virksomheders samspil over Øresund – men at der stadig er alt for mange tilbage.

Ligeledes må etableringen af CMR forventes at blive en kamp op ad bakke, men Leonard Cohen har uden tvivl en pointe, når han synger: ”First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin…”

Scandinavia – a strong union within the EU


I have had the privilege to work in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and concluded that despite the many differences we have lots in common. Moreover, we make up a portion of the world that many outsiders admire and see as a role model for a modern society. In this column I argue this case and suggest that the three countries should come together even more, within the EU,  and I give concrete suggestions for how this can happen very quickly.

Skandinavien i EU?

Skandinavien kunne blive rollemodel for det moderne samfund. især med en koordineret forskningspolitik kan vi fremme udviklingen mod øget vækst.

Her 60 år efter afslutningen af Anden Verdenskrig får vi snart en europæ- isk præsident, der skal repræsentere alle 27 EU lande og dets mere end en halv milliard indbyggere. Givet vor historie er dette et markant skridt fremad og et meget vigtigt skridt for

Europa i verden. Betyder det så, at nationalstaten bliver mindre vigtig? Måske for de små, men de store lande ser ikke sådan på det. Betyder det, at naturlige regioner in- den for EU bliver mindre vigtige? Måske, men det tager tid at samle kræfterne i en union af 27 lande med lige så mange sprog.

Paradoksalt kan netop det regionale samarbejde mel-lem mindre lande være et effektivt og ansvarsfuldt mel- lemtrin i en større europæisk ramme.

Regional union: I Norden har vi en lang tradition for at samarbejde, men interessen ser ud til at have ebbet ud. Det er synd, da vi i de nordiske lande er en af de mest naturlige regionale ”unioner” på det europæiske kontinent. Vi er i besiddelse af styrker, som giver os et godt udgangspunkt i den henseende: En fleksibel og relativt veluddannet arbejdsstyrke, en stor og forholdsvis effektiv offentlig sektor med et højt niveau af serviceydelser samt gode forsknings miljøer inden for sundhed, velfærdsteknologi, bioteknologi m.v.

Inden for Norden hø-rer de skandinaviske lande sammen på en i verden unik måde, for Danmark, Norge og Sverige har nogenlunde fælles sprog. Det understøtter gensidig forståelse og respekt.

Skandinavien er på mange måder en rollemodel for det moderne samund, idet vi er lykkedes med at balancere markeds- og planøkonomi, vi har en stærk industriel base og vigtige råvarer, velkendte multinationale virksomheder og mas- ser af små og mellemstore virksomheder, og vi har lang tradition for handel med omverden samt en stærk tradition for uddannelse og kompetenceudvikling på højeste internationale niveau. Med vore 20 millioner indbyggere opnår vi en kritisk masse af forbrugere i middelklassen, der kan drive velfærden fremad.

Initiativer: Vi kan begynde med at koordinere vores forsknings- og udviklingspolitik. Konkrete initiativer kunne være:

Et fælles forskningsråd med bidrag fra alle landene (op til 0,5 pct. af BNP), der kan fordele midler til fællesnordi- ske forsknings- og udviklingsindsatser. Er det ikke bedre at vi i fællesskab konkurrerer mod de bedste i verden? Er det ikke bedre, at vi i fællesskab gør vor lille region endnu mere attraktiv at bo og arbejde i for skandinaver og for andre?

Et arbejdsmarkedsråd, der kan foreslå nye fælles løs- ninger for at gøre det endnu mere attraktivt at satse på universitetsuddannelser og for at udvikle grænseoverskri- dende aftaler.

Fælles diplomatisk indsats inden for især forskning og udvikling, idet vi i dag har vanskeligt ved at komme på landkortet i en global sammenhæng.

En fælles finansmarkedsanalyse af årsagerne til finanskrisens udbrud, mulige forklaringer og fremtidige anbefalinger.

For at sikre adgang til de internationale netværk, skal der gives god mulighed for, at forskere fra Norden får mulighed for at rejse både i verden og til andre regionale videninstitutioner. Ligeledes skal det være nemt for udenlandske forskere at komme til Øresundsregionen som gæsteforskere.

Hvorfor venter vi på, at de andre lande i EU går i gang, når vi kan blive en frontløber på området og dermed være med til at vise vejen?

Welcome ESS!


In cut-throat competition in 2009 Sweden won the right to host the European Spallation Source (ESS) facility. This EUR 2 billion investment will help create one of the most dynamic research hubs in the world over the coming years in Lund, especially in nano- and material science. In this column I reflect of ESS and what it may entail for the region.

6.november – 12. november 2009 BERLINGSKE NYHEDSMAGASIN

Dr. Johan Roos

Velkommen til verdens største mikroskop

Øresunds-universitetet, Øresund Science Region, Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy og Medicon Valley Alliance. Indtil videre har initiativerne mest haft karakter af gode intentioner. Nu er der mulighed for handling.

Der er blevet holdt mange skåltaler og tænkt mange for- kromede tanker gennem årene om Øresundsregionen. Alligevel vil jeg påstå, at vi slet ikke udnytter de muligheder for synergi, der findes i regionen, godt nok i dag. Der findes ganske vist en række initiativer – Øre- sunds-universitetet, Øresund Science Region, Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy, og Medicon Valley Alliance – men det er mit indtryk, at de er relativt usynlige og indtil videre har haft mere karakter af store visioner og gode intentioner end af konkret handling.

Nu er der imidlertid en oplagt chance for handling. Efter benhård konkurrence mellem blandt andre Øre- sundsregionen, Ungarn og Spanien, tager EU snart det første spadestik til opbygningen af verdens største neutronmikroskop, European Spallation Source (ESS), i Lund, der efter planen skal stå klar i 2020.

Forskernes Mekka: Forskningsanlægget vil koste om- kring 11 mia. kr. at bygge, og det vil give forskere verden over helt nye muligheder for at studere materialer og se nærmere på stoffer – til gavn for forskningen inden for materialefysik, biologi, medicin, geologi og kemi. Dermed vil forskerne kunne få en bedre forståelse for, hvordan f.eks. medicin virker, og hvor- dan det kan forbedres.

Hvis alt går efter planen skønner man, at 4000-5000 forskere årligt vil valfarte til Øresundsregionen, og dermed skabe en unik kritisk masse af viden, udvikling og forskning.

Danmark er medvært for mikroskopet med et bidrag på 12,5 procent af omkostninger- ne (ca. 1,3 mia.kr.). Samlet set vil Sverige, Danmark og Norge betale mere end 50 procent af

omkostningerne. Resten skal hentes fra andre europæi- ske lande gennem EU.

I Danmark etableres der foreløbig et datacenter på Københavns Universitet, og det vil give en vigtig plat- form for samarbejdet med mere end 50 nye arbejds- pladser til folk både inden for it og e-science, hvilket vil sige f.eks. dataloger, fysikere og kemikere, der skal omsætte de data, der kommer ud af forsøgene til forsk- ningsresultater.

Perspektiverne ved dette projekt kan gøre mig helt stakåndet!

Der er ingen tvivl om, at ESS rummer potentiale til at blive en gigantisk katalysator for Øresundsregionen. Det bliver en magnet for forskere fra hele verden. En slags forskernes Mekka. Det vil generere en lang række opfindelser, samt helt nye produkter og virksomheder. Det handler derfor ikke kun om naturvidenskab, men i høj grad også om iværksætteri, innovation og organi- sation. Et merkantilt universitet som CBS kan eksem- pelvis bidrage med værdifuld viden om, hvordan man kommercielt udnytter den viden, der genereres af en forskningsfacilitet som ESS.

Tag skridtet fuldt ud: For at projektet kan blive en fornuf- tig investering til gavn for Danmark, Sverige og Europa som helhed, er det vigtigt at tænke hele Øresundsregio- nens ressourcer med i arbejdet. Vi ved, at vi kommer til at mangle højtuddannet arbejdskraft i hele Øresundsre- gionen i de kommende år. Hvorfor tager vi ikke skridtet fuldt ud og gør Øresundsregionen til én sammenhæn- gende region? Sådan for alvor.

Her tænker jeg på fælles rammevilkår, når det gælder uddannelsessystemet, lovgivning, beskatning, social- og beskæftigelsespolitik, og et transportsystem som ikke er belagt med strafafgift for at krydse Øresund.

Det kræver selvsagt politisk mod og vilje at gentænke regionen på en måde, som maksimerer chancerne for, at potentialet i ESS projektet bliver til størst mulig gavn for samfundet. Anyone?