The Scandinavian super trio has always been the trendsetter when it comes to the generous welfare system, work-life balance or the environmental habits. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have it all figured out.

Another thing the trio has been praised for is the high level of innovative concepts – Sweden took the 2nd place and Denmark followed up on the 8th in 2016 as the World’s Most innovative countries. Since implementing and utilizing ideas for the better is our main motive here at Ideanote, let us take a moment and mention some of the coolest innovative solutions made in Scandinavia.

There is even more to Sweden than IKEA and Pippi the Longstocking

Spreading over only 447,435 km², Sweden is home to 0.13 percent of the global population, yet a world leader in innovation.

What makes Sweden so innovative?

According to the official web page of Sweden, reasons for their innovation success include a historic tradition of inventors, a commitment to gender equality, and a strong belief in the individual. Another key factor is a close collaboration between research institutes and the private and public sectors. Here are some of the best Swedish innovative solutions.

X10 PVT

Is the Swedish secret to innovation in the fewer hours of sunlight? It just might be. One of the biggest tech innovations is definitely the X10 PVT. The X10 PVT is a panel that generates both electricity and heat. The company that invented it, Absolicon Solac Concentrator, claimed the first prize at the recent Sun exhibition in Germany. “Our solar concentrator technology is based on over 20years of Swedish research. By focusing the light on high-efficiency photovoltaic cells, hot water and electricity is generated in the same system.The Absolicon X10 PVT is patented and covered by warranties that are customised for each business.” The solar collectors are of a huge benefit to big businesses, industrial spaces and large buildings that use a lot of energy throughout the year.

Epicenter Stockholm

Epicenter is a home to worlds fastest-growing digital companies and a place where innovation happens, in the heart of Stockholm. To practice what they preach – Epicenters employees use implanted chips to open the door, use printers and buy lunch. Implanted where? You can find the chips in the employee’s hands. Why? Because it’s convenient. At least that is what the CEO of Epicenter thinks.”The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. “It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.” he added. The chips use the same technology as contactless credit cards – the electromagnetic waves. When a few centimeters away from the reader, the electromagnetic waves will send the data. Around 150 employees have decided to have an implant since the scheme began in 2015. It does sound like a script from Matrix, but this is real. Employees of Epicenter want to be a part of the future. Check out this video to see the chips in action!

Øresund bridge isn’t the only thing connecting Sweden and Denmark

Let`s take a little walk through the past. First, there was Kazaa. Kazaa was a file-sharing platform with so much more to offer. Then, it´s creators, a Swede Niklas Zennström, and his Danish partner Janus Friis developed the program that enables the free calls between internet-connected devices. Obviously, we are talking about Skype! Today Skype has more than 30 million users worldwide and has been a significant part of the digital evolution. Skype is all about doing things together, for the people that are actually apart. This idea changed everything because people could now celebrate their birthdays together, share important news, show off – with the video and the sound.

How did Skype stay relevant?

Even though digital connection can reach the sky nowadays, Skype has kept its relevance all these years. How so? The secret is in constant improvement and implementation of new digital technologies. Skype is fast and flexible. That is exactly what a modern user needs.
Nothing is rotten in the state of Denmark

Denmark is internationally recognized as a frontrunner in several areas of technology and research with global impact. Besides that, Denmark primarily focuses on sustainable innovation. When you think of Denmark, what comes to your mind is biking, windmills and hygge. That aside, we want to mention another innovative solution that went global.

Too Good To Go

One of the fastest ever growing start-ups, [Too Good To Go(https://toogoodtogo.dk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvpDN3Yfi2wIVStiyCh2Q_g9uEAAYASAAEgKlsvD_BwE) funded in Denmark in 2015, spread to the UK already in 2016. By August 2016, Too Good To Go has built foundations in 6 different countries. The aim of the idea is to lower the food waste, with focus on the restaurant industry. “Our revolutionary concept links you with delicious food that would otherwise be thrown away at prices from as little as £2 and a maximum of £3.80 (and that’s for the second-best Japanese restaurant in the country!). Through the Too Good To Go app you can order delicious food from local restaurants, cafes, and bakeries, collect it up to an hour before closing time and enjoy on-the-go in an environmentally-friendly TGTG sugarcane box. We’re all about feeling good whilst eating well! “Saving money, food, and the planet is TGTG`s mission because if food was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases! As stated in the picture above, the app has helped to reduce 1226 tonnes of CO2 and it distributed 681.213 meals by now. We love this idea because it incorporated the digital with something as traditional as food is. We invite you to be a part of the super-world-savior team and download the app now. Innovative outdoor concept made by Norwegian students.

Let’s be honest. If there was a competition for Scandinavia’s most breathtaking landscape, Norway would win gold. It is not a secret, there are so many lakes, rivers, and mountains to enjoy. And a group of Norwegian students knows exactly how! What started as a design/build project at Oslo School of Architecture and Design, ended up to be a globally admired project.

“The Bands“ is a larch-clad sauna and a terrace built at the end of a quay, aiming for a relationship with the landscape and the water. The sauna and the facilities around it are made of three folding bands which move independently. Situated in the city of Kleivane (click for the map), the project was finished in only 4 weeks and it pays honor to the city’s early 20th-century architecture by mimicking the silhouettes of three existing buildings located nearby. “ The program consists of four separated areas. In the north side, the bands emerge from the rocks and lead to a hot/cold tub and rest area. The sauna is created by the rising of the three bands that move independently, creating shifts and offsets that allow the light to come inside and generate the different spaces within it. The completely open front facade offers an exceptional view of landscape. Once the bands has wrapped the sauna, the lateral ones go down and advance close to the ground to generate the main terrace while the central band splits to result in a table and benches with integrated barbecue. In the lowest part of the quay the bands continue creating a fish-cleaning table and steps to connect the different heights. “We love this project because it shows how important it is to ask members of public for ideas. Besides that, working on public spaces is an important factor of success in many Scandinavian cities.

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Why are Scandinavian countries more innovative than other countries?

Innovation is critical for driving the economic growth and prosperity of any country. That said, the most innovative countries are also the wealthiest ones. It is a circle of fulfilled needs and well-established practices. People often ask why are Scandinavian countries more innovative than the US? It has a lot to do with the educational system. Learning by heart aside, in Scandinavia people learn to think for themselves. To think outside the box. Furthermore, let`s look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Self-actualization, which includes problem solving and creativity is on top. By fulfilling everything beneath first, people cover more than their basic needs. It`s easier to think about paradigm shifting innovation when there are no worries about job security, sleep or food. Makes sense.
These innovations resolved many important issues. Some of them are linked to sustainability and other are made to improve life in some way. Scandinavia is famous for its sustainable practices. Being environmentally friendly costs less and it is easy. That may be one of the secrets of Scandinavian innovation successes. Spot a problem and think of the simple way to fix it. Start with yourself. Think what else can make life easier, safer or prettier. Do you have many ideas haunting you every day? Never let go of them. And let us help you,we know a few good tricks. We want to inspire you –.Danish hygge through innovation and Nordic innovations bringing people together might just do!