Anders Waxell

Short presentation

Anders Waxell is a project manager at the Division for Quality Enhancement, the Unit for Quality and Evaluation.

Waxell is a PhD and docent in human geography and has a specific research focus on economic geography.


As project manager and researcher, Anders Waxell has a special interest in different aspects of quality stimulating institutional, organizational as well as economic development. From a researcher perspective, Waxell also has an interest in the economic geography of industrial systems and clusters, and more specifically clusters within the biotech and Life Science sectors. Other areas of research interest include urban planning and development, and the economic geography of consumption.


Research projects (ongoing and past)

Competitiveness through Quality - This project aims at exploring 'quality' as a central factor in firms' capacity to create and maintain international competitiveness. We argue that excellence in research and innovation is not enough to understand the success of many industries and firms. Instead, by making and providing quality goods and services - that may be based on the latest technologies or equally on age-old craft traditions - firms in high cost countries in Western Europe have found a sustainable way of competing against firms in low-cost countries. The project address the following basic research questions: Why are almost all of England’s leading manufacturers of high quality shoes located in Northampton? How can Stockholm, Uppsala, Lund and Umeå together account for 10% of all clinical testing in Western Europe? How can we explain the continued success of European audio and hifi manufacturers despite ever increasing global competition from low-cost countries? Thus, we suggest that innovation and competitiveness rests upon the ability to build dynamic clusters - i.e. a geographical concentration of firms and associated institutions in a particular field - that aim to achieve the highest quality offerings and to construct sustainable brands associated with high quality. The research project is financed by The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NOS-HS) and the funding of Nordic Collaborative Research Projects (NORDCORP).

From Pharmacuticals Industry to Life Science in Stockholm 1945-2005 - This project is focusing on the development and growth of a traditional pharmaceuticals industry into a dynamic life science sector in the Stockholm region, Sweden. Since the post-war period and onwards, the sector has met an increasing global competition and firms and research have become more oriented toward biotechnology and, in a broader perspective, life science related activities. The project draws on the following research questions: Why and how has the industrial landscape in the Stockholm region developed and nurtured a life science related competence base? How has the life science industry in Stockholm maintained and sustained its global competitiveness? The project is funded by Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse samt Tore Browaldhs Stiftelse.

Research Excellence and Science-Based Industrial Systems - This project involves interactions across the borders dividing industry and academia in so-called science-based industrial systems (starka forsknings- och innovationsmiljöer). With the rise of the knowledge economy and an increased interest in the potential economic benefits of scientific research, the role of the universities in economic growth has grown immensely. Not only has industry intensified its calls for collaboration with universities in terms of research and its output, but the tasks of the universities have also been redefined. In accordance with industries' need for advanced research inputs, there has been an extensive discussion on various forms of knowledge transfers that have the potential to generate positive economic development – particularly at the regional level and in so called Centres of Excellence (CoE), as a model for implementing research and innovation policies in Europe and beyond. The project involves a group of researchers as well as analysts from VINNOVA (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems). VINNOVA is supporting the project financially.

Realtime Monitoring of Uppsala BIO - In 2003, VINNOVA (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems) began financing a project with the purpose of developing the biotech cluster in the Uppsala region. The project is to last 10 years and is managed by Uppsala BIO – the Life Science Initiative. In 2003 Uppsala BIO appointed CIND to follow the project’s development over time (följeforskning). CIND’s activities in this project includes: (1) to systematically evaluate and document Uppsala BIO’s activities and process; (2) to establish a close connection with Uppsala BIO’s steering committee, project management, and other Uppsala BIO stakeholders through periodic communications; and (3) to provide opinions and suggestions for improvements based upon CIND’s participation in the project. The project has resulted in a number of research reports, where, for example, the life science industry in Uppsala is mapped and analyzed.

The Uppsala Biotech Cluster: Economic-Geographical Studies of Interaction, Knowledge Spillover and Labor Mobility (PhD project) - The main purpose of the project is to study industrial dynamics within a local cluster of biotech activities in Uppsala, Sweden. A combination of theoretical approaches has been used to address questions of why certain regions become more competitive than others: the cluster approach, innovation systems theory, and the technological systems approach. First, to identify important actors, the local industrial system is mapped and analyzed. Secondly, four key fields of interaction are studied from a spatial point of view: business and market interaction; interaction with investors; collaborative and overall social interaction; and labor market interaction. It is shown that the importance of the local milieu varies depending on the types of interaction in focus. Business interaction is predominantly global. Relations with investors are mainly regional and focused to the broader Stockholm region. The local milieu in Uppsala is more significant with respect to formal cooperation and collaboration, especially between local academy and industry actors, as well as informal interaction and social networks. The local milieu also seems to be important for knowledge transfer on the labor market. Thus, the creation of innovations and competitiveness is not just an outcome of buyer-supplier linkages, but is also a result of both formal and informal interaction occurring between industry and actors in the institutional and environmental setting, where knowledge, skills and information can be traded and/or transferred.


Selection of publications

Recent publications

All publications