The role of incubators for sustainable provision of competence and skills


The theme at this year's Helix conference was how change can be managed for sustainable development, with a focus on how society can prepare for a change in the labour market. The main message from the speakers was clear, the labour market must promote more mobility and re-education to secure the competence supply of the future.

In addition to a series of interesting keynote speakers, there were six different conference streams, with varying themes and activities, such as leadership, innovation and workplace learning and more.

Photo of Linus Brunnström presenting his research
Linus Brunnström
Photo: Teiksma Buseva

One of the lecturers at the conference was Linus Brunnström, Wallander Postdoctor and Researcher at the Unit for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and at the Centre on knowledge-intensive innovation ecosystems (U-GOT KIES), at the School of Business, Economics and Law, at the University of Gothenburg. Linus presented his overall findings regarding the role of incubators in society. The presentation was focused around three questions:

  1. Are researchers a different type of entrepreneur and how should they be treated in incubators?
  2. Does the background of entrepreneurs influence their chances of creating a company with support of incubators?
  3. What happens to the companies started with the support of incubators?

- In short, one can absolutely say that researchers are a different type of founder, who may have an idea that is based on more complex knowledge. Knowledge that requires both more time and other resources to be able to transform the idea into a sustainable company, says Linus Brunnström.

Further, Linus’s research, together with Maureen McKelvey and Guido Buenstorf, suggests ideas from researchers tend not to have as great a chance of becoming a company in the end, when compared to ideas from students, technical university staff or company spin-offs.

- What happens after the companies leave the incubators is an ongoing research project. A preliminary result indicates that a very large percentage of the companies survive on the market after successful incubation, says Linus Brunnström.

Helix 2022

Helix is ​​an annual conference, which has a focus on working life research in collaboration with industry and the public sector. Helix has a clear interdisciplinary character and Professor Magnus Klofsten invited incubator researchers to present their results during this year's conference.

About the conference:

More about Linus Brunnström’s research

If you are interested to know more about Linus research, please visit his webpage: