persons collaborating at a table

Project: Digital competence and cutting-edge competence in Kronoberg

This is a collaborative project with the intention of analyzing the need for digital competence and cutting-edge competence among regional small and medium-sized companies. The goal is to find a way forward and ensure long-term competence.

Project information

Project manager
Elin Gunnarsson
Other project members
Glenn Sjöstrand, Krister Bredmar, Diana Unander and Peter Jonsson, Linnaeus University; Zekija Mujcic, Region Kronoberg; Maja Karlberg and Maria Ihrmark, Epic teknikens hus; Claes Lundin, Samlas; Sandra Nilsson, Experis
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Region Kronoberg, Epic teknikens hus
The European Regional Development Fund via the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket), and Region Kronoberg
15 Aug 2021–31 March 2023
Sociology (Department of Social Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences)
Computer science (Department of Computer Science and Media Technology, Faculty of Technology)
Business informatics (Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship, School of Business and Economics)

More about the project


There are about 600 IT companies that already have major recruitment needs, of both junior and senior positions in Kronoberg County. In addition, there are other sectors where the demand for cutting-edge digital expertise is growing.The project is broadly aimed at small and medium-sized companies and does not focus on selected sectors, which makes the project unique. We take this approach because we believe that there are major synergy effects with working across sectors.

Needs inventory

During the autumn of 2021 / spring of 2022, a needs inventory was carried out with a wide selection from different companies in Kronoberg County. We have interviewed 215 small and medium-sized companies in Kronoberg County to analyze their need for digital competence and cutting-edge competence. The companies that have been interviewed via short telephone interviews or in-depth interviews come from all over the county and span across sectors to get an overview of small and medium-sized companies' actual views and needs for digital competence and digital cutting-edge competence.

The results show that 56% of the participating companies feel that they are in an industry that is characterized by a high rate of digitalisation and 73% of the companies believe that they benefit from digital investments. Recruitment of digital (cutting-edge) competence is based on companies knowing what their needs are. In the interviews, however, it emerges that the needs can sometimes be unclear and it is difficult for companies to know if the current competence is sufficient.

All companies train and develop digital skills already today, but they have different strategies for it. When a company has to make an educational effort, many turn to their own contact networks or suppliers, but there is also a significant group of 27% who do not know where to turn to get training in digital competence. It also turns out that about 70% of companies develop their digital skills in everyday work life, i.e., you learn when you work. Here there are clear needs that education providers must find ways to meet.

Here you can read the report (in Swedish)

Discussion and validation

The results will be discussed and validated in different groups during the spring and early autumn. Partly to see how what is demanded by SMEs corresponds with the needs that exist in the public sector, partly together with education providers and other actors who can support the competence building in the county.

Some results will be shared with ongoing projects and activities so that educational initiatives can be offered as early as the autumn of 2022. Linnaeus University offers courses for professionals linked to digitization and the current offer can be found here: Contract Education

The coming steps

In the autumn of 2022, the Academy, other education providers and promotion organizations will jointly develop a plan to meet the needs that exist to reduce the current skills shortage, which inhibits the growth and competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies.

If you want to collaborate with us during the project, you are warmly welcome to contact our project manager Elin Gunnarsson for more information.

The project is part of the research in the Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Digital Transformations.



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