The lead partner of P-IRIS project Sogn og Fjordane County Municipality ordered a research on the innovation system of the rural and mountainous county Sogn og Fjordane in Norway. The research was done by Western Norway Research Institute and West Norway University College and the authors presented the main results to P-IRIS partners at the kick-off meeting in Sogndal in April.

“It will be used with the purpose of professionalizing our work together with partners within rural innovation networks”, Lars Hustveit in the county administration explained.

It is vital to understand the nature of rural innovation systems and invest in these systems, facilitating effective sharing of knowledge. This toolbox will reinforce skills in managing co-operation between businesses, researchers and public authorities (so-called triple-helix networks) that are crucial; e.g.:

  • To better progress and focus on commercial goals.
  • To overcome differences between professional cultures and thereby co-operate on equal terms.
  • To be able to manage initiation, development and restructuring phases of a network.
  • To be able to benefit from the advantages rural areas have; e.g. short distance between actors and multi-links between actors. 

This toolbox gives seven pieces of advice for good network management and four exercises to establish and revitalize rural innovation networks. 

The tool-box is available in English here:

The toolbox is theoretically based, but should be easily accessible and relevant to both business stakeholders and public policy funding schemes. 

For more information or comments, please contact:

The Authors from the left: Ingjerd Skogseid (Vestlandsforsking), Jon Gunnar Nesse (Sogn og Fjordane University College) & Øyvind Heimset Larsen (Vestlandsforsking)

Jon Gunnar Nesse from Sogn og Fjordane University College presenting the research to partners at kic-off meeting in Sogndal