Sweden: Small Country, Big Ideas

April 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Sweden, a relatively small European country of around 9 million, has always been a hotbed of ideas that has changed the world in big ways. These ideas have become part of our global culture so much so that we do not even realise that they are actually Swedish in origin. But that is, after all, the fun of innovation. The Celsius thermometer, the zipper, and the safety belt are among the everyday objects introduced by Sweden that we now take for granted.

Innovation has always been part of Sweden’s psyche, and like any good thing, it is hard to figure out how it all comes together. We can venture a guess though, if we take a closer look at Sweden. The country’s long history of public schooling, first established in 1842, is credited for laying a firm foundation that emphasizes on education and knowledge. Equally important are traditional Swedish values, which like all Scandinavian countries, focus on society as a whole and on making the most out of limited resources. Combine that with a mindset that is always open to new ideas and opportunities, and you get a winning combination that has served generations of Swedes so well. And the best part of it is that Sweden always shares her best discoveries with the entire world.

Some of the products that will be featured at the exhibition being discussed at a press conference for Sweden Malaysia Innovation Days event

This year, the best of what Sweden has to offer will be on show at an exhibition in conjunction with Sweden Malaysia Innovation Days, which will take place between 6th and 10th May 2011. The exhibition, dubbed Innovation Exhibition in Two Parts, is not your traditional trade exhibition. It will feature the latest generation of innovative and interesting products from Sweden and promises to be interactive and engaging for visitors. Boring staid booths will not be the order of the day at this exhibition, which will feature an advanced robot by ABB that is able to produce sketches based on scanned pictures. Other Swedish companies, including trusted automaker Volvo, will also be in attendance. Volvo will offer visitors a close up look at the inner workings of vehicle as they marvel at its eye catching exhibit, a bisected truck cab. Saab, Sweden’s leading security firm, is also making an appearance, but are keeping its exhibit a ‘surprise’ for visitors, while Ericsson will be unveiling its latest mobile health device at the exhibition.

If there is one exhibit that should not be missed, it ought to be the intelligent lawnmower. This lawnmower not only cuts grass, like all good lawnmowers should, but also recharges itself (think of Disney’s WALL-E), and get this, it also will text its owner!

The exhibition will also include an exhibition of cartoons on the theme of innovation from well-known Malaysian and Swedish cartoonists. As pictures tend to say a thousand words, we will let the cartoons speak for themselves. Suffice to say, a stroll through these cartoons will offer visitors a whole new way of seeing innovation, and leave them in stitches.

A cartoon that will be part of the exhibit

Innovation Exhibition in Two Parts will take place on 9th and 10th May 2011, from 10am to 10 pm, at the main concourse of Pavillion Kuala Lumpur. Entry is, like all great ideas, free of charge.

The Innovation Exhibition in Two Parts is part of the Sweden Malaysia Innovation Days, an event held by the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Trade Council, in cooperation with the Special Innovation Unit under the Prime Minister’s Office, Malaysia. The event is to celebrate innovation and to foster better ties between Sweden and Malaysia.

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