Study visit No 2 to Hedmark, Norway

Study visit No 2 to Hedmark, Norway 7-9 June 2011

Focus and findings:

Activities of Innovation Norway by Unni Flengsrud, Senior Advisor

  • Innovation Norway (represented in all counties of Norway and 30 countries abroad employing more than 700 people) is a government instrument for promoting innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry, abroad including. Majority of partner countries has no similar body that can act on such broad national level supporting innovative enterprises with i.e. financing, marketing and internationalization. Innovation Norway together with SIVA – The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway, which is the governmental corporation and national instrument to develop strong regional and local innovation centers and knowledge networks the government has established a strong national innovation structure. Through this structure a strong national overall innovation system has been established in Norway. Experience from this structure could well be considered for other countries.
  • Innovation Norway contributes in many ways by consulting, competence building, internationalization services, profiling and providing grants and loans.
  • Innovation Norway in Hedmark focuses on competitive sectors of economy of the particular region: woodwork, bioenergy, food industry, agriculture, tourism, ITC, biotechnology (Breeding)

Hedmark County as regional developer by Kjell Vaagen Senior Adviser

  • The county council is the main catalyst for local development through expanding the labour market by stimulating creativity and innovation. The county council – the main driving force for creating favourable conditions and infrastructure for entrepreneurs, i.e., transport infrastructure.

Operations of a creative business incubator “Fabrikken” 

  • The visit to the creative business incubator “Fabrikken” gave a valuable in-sight in problems and opportunities in a non-industrial environment. A number of project partner countries are in the process of setting up and developing business incubators in creative industries and Norwegian experience confirmed the need to support incubator companies in the creative sector with specific business competence – a growing sector in partner economies. The experience from Norway showed that the need to balance business development with artistic development is in many cases difficult.
  • “Fabrikken” provides professional environment for one-person companies and Co-working of artists in one space brings along new cooperation and communication opportunities for incumbents and development of joint marketing and export activities.  

Hedmark University College – a part of the innovation centre - biotech as an example by Guri Eggset

  • Competence building based on historically strong agriculture branch: livestock and plant breeding;
  • Highly competent scientific personnel concentrated at the college;
  • Part of a cluster BIOINN;
  • Study programs with a focus on biotech (scholarships sponsored by local companies) also international master students are studying at the college;
  • The college hosts experimental biotechnology (reproduction biology, DNA technology, bioprocess and enzyme technology) platform and commercializes biotechnology;
  • Research and development of HUC based on local industry/product development needs.

Norwegian Community for Digital Creativity by Frank Larsen CEO

  • NCDC is a cluster of innovative companies and strong team of specialists working with social media and gaming technology in game-based learning, industrial use, visualization and entertainment games – a fast growing industry in Norway
  • NCDC intensively works with research and education establishments: Norwegian Military Academy, Hedmark University College, Gjovik University College, Lund University (SE) and University of Oslo
  • Through collaboration among various municipalities a strong link has been established with neighbouring business incubators and innovation centres: Gamecubator, Compare Karlstad (SE), Media Evolution (SE) and ICT Cluster Amber (PL)
  • Various businesses represented in the cluster: gaming, visualization, animation, programming, National lottery, e-learning, film, marketing, school supporting systems, mobile app development, civil safety to create and make use of synergies among them