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Groundbreaking approach pave the way for radical innovation in the food sector

The food we eat does more than fill our stomachs – it’s one of the primary reasons we exceed planetary boundaries. We need to act quickly and decisively to change the food system.

At the same time, there are significant barriers for companies that want to contribute solutions. Antrop has been commissioned to transform how authorities can shift from hindering to enabling radical innovation within the food sector. The new approach in One Stop Myndighetsshop has been developed and tested over a two-year period and is now ready to create a paradigm shift for a more sustainable food system.

Client: The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth in collaboration with Swedish Food Agency, The Swedish Board of Agriculture, County Administrative Board in Västra Götaland
We worked with: System Innovation, Policy Design, Prototyping

Ny innovativ mat

“In the future, we will eat new ingredients and food produced in completely new ways. For example, seaweed, mealworms, Swedish oysters and lettuce from aquaponic circular systems.”

Anna Eldestrand, Coordinator at The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

The future of food is facing headwinds. This is how we have worked to create tailwinds.

The regulatory burden for innovative companies is large and complex. By mapping out what affects the level of innovation within the Swedish food system, we have gained knowledge about the fundamental problems as to why development is faltering.

Our mapping shows that companies spend a tremendous amount of time on government contacts, with long response times and unclear requirements for obtaining permits. Furthermore, entrepreneurs experience different interpretations of rules depending on the administrative officer and where in the country they are located. Overall, it is very difficult to predict the future and direction of the sector’s development, which makes it difficult to invest in what is new and unknown. Authorities lack preparedness to handle the introduction of new foods and do not proactively drive the shifts needed in the food sector.

To address these challenges, Antrop has led an innovation project that has resulted in a completely new way of working for authorities, a development process that involved both authorities, companies, researchers, and promoters in the innovation system where we have designed, prototyped, and tested solutions.

The entrepreneurs who participated are about to introduce entirely new and radical raw materials or production methods but have encountered a number of challenges related to laws, regulations, and grants. These have been companies that produce insects, are seaweed farmers, oyster producers, and cultivate in circular aquaponic systems.

One Stop Shop företagare

“The slow processes of the authorities do not go together with the needs of innovative companies for fast processes.”

Christian Vorbeck, CEO Ostrea Aquaculture

New Methods for Solving Complex Challenges – System Innovation

The need for collaboration between the public sector, business, and civil society has probably never been greater than in the era of sustainable transformation. For a long time, authorities have attempted to tackle society’s challenges with traditional methods, without complete success. In recent years, a new trend has gained strength in both public and private operations, where a new methodology has been used to solve the big questions: system innovation.

System innovation means tackling the fundamental problems in the complex system one works with, instead of creating superficial solutions. In our case, this applies to the food system.

An authority-transcending collaboration model for top-tier innovation

In the collaboration form One Stop Myndighetsshop innovative companies are supported by a guide who leads the company through the authority process, providing the company a gateway to meet all the experts from the relevant authorities. The method includes various functions that form a workflow chain – from the companies’ regulatory challenges, through experts, all the way to reviewing government regulations or initiating regulatory development in Sweden’s or the EU’s legal frameworks. Not least, this form of collaboration is a way for authorities to drive shifts to create long-term sustainable conditions within the food sector.

“This is the first time we have a good way to discuss the need for regulatory changes across multiple authorities and how it should be channeled further to gain traction. It adds weight and momentum and speeds up the process of regulatory change.”

Mats Ivarsson, County Administrative Board in Västra Götaland

“As innovation leaders, one of our most important tasks has been to create an innovation culture, an environment where the authorities have been able to be brave and have dared to challenge current ways of working. One of the most important changes has been about the employees seeing themselves as possible system changers, not just administrators.”

Jenny Dannstedt, Innovation Leader Antrop

“We have made rapid prototypes and built a culture where it has been okay to test one’s wings and make mistakes. This has been key to us making such progress in a short time that the working method will now be implemented.”

Linda Glad, Innovation Leader at Antrop

“What really gets me going is the idea of transferring this way of working to other sectors. I hope that One Stop Myndighetsshop can become a learning example for many of the societal challenges that we are now facing and where we need to work together in the public and private spheres.”

Elisabeth Backteman, Director General of The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

“If One Stop Myndighetsshop had existed in 2016 when we started our company, we would have earned two to three years compared to our European colleagues in the industry.”

Nils Österström, CEO Tebrito

“We have tried a few different ways of working user-driven and I think this is really one of the more exciting initiatives where the authorities can see quick concrete results”

Anna Johansson, Head of Department Simplification Tillväxtverket

“As a participating company, I can say that this way of working is much needed. In many aspects the world is up side down – climate change, the international political climate that has changed dramatically in recent years, and food security – all of this became clear to us during the pandemic. We need to get a firm grip and work together to find solutions without getting bogged down in clauses. And we have seen that the One Stop Myndighetsshop works.”

Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson, CEO Johannas Stadsodlingar AB

“Incredibly exciting and inspiring with very positive results so far. It becomes really clear that if we are going to be successful in solving these challenges, we need to do it together and we need to do it with completely new ways of working.”

Elisabeth Backteman, Director General of The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

Contact me if you are interested in collaboration.

Sara Nero

073-066 20 36