By using competence brokerage, support for research projects and networking, the project aims to increase the R&D-driven innovation in the region.
The Innovation Strategy from Nordland County Council (NCC) for the years 2014-2020 has as one of its main goals to increase the use of R&D in the region. Especially to increase R&D-driven innovation in SME’s. The region of Helgeland is one of the leading industrial areas in Norway, but has a very low level of R&D-based activities. In paralell with the Nordland RIS3 strategy the Research Council of Norway (RCN) has strengthened a regional initiative to increase R&D activities in SME’s.
NCC has together with the RCN established a programme to reinforce industrial competitiveness and wealth creation through research-based innovation, the Mobilization for research based innovation in the industry in Helgeland (MoFI). The industry in the county has a great potential in increasing the use of research-based expertise. The project is therefore directed towards industry and specially SME’s in Helgeland. The project will provide results in terms of increased R&D activity in the industry.
The MoFI-project is the operationalization of the delivery of policy instrument nr. 4 in the MONITORIS3-project; "Strengthening the innovation capacities in businesses - stimulating collaborative R&D projects". In addition the MoFI-project delivers useful indicators, for the monitoring and implementation of the RIS3 strategy in the area, this is based on the methodology of the Research Council of Norway. These monitoring mechanisms are successfully tested in several regions in Norway.
NOK 6.000.000 per year (including resources for direct project support)
(split between Nordland County Council and the Norwegian Research Council.) Defined projects in the companies will be financed by the companies, Innovation Norway and the Research Council.
Evidence of success
A concept model for local competence brokerage, and hence delivery of the policy instrument, has been established and will be used to standardize activity in Nordland. Results: 32 company visits, 5 projects were funded and 6 applications for new R&D projects were developed, in addition 14R&D projects for tax deduction scheme and 3 mobilisation projects started, 15 meetings with 229 participants focusing on cooperation. Project reports show that the policy instrument has been successful.
The level of knowledge about innovation and R&D, proved to be very different in the industry on Helgeland. So the first part of the project was changed to an info-campaign to inform about innovation and R&D. It should not be taken for granted that the industry knows whatR&D driven innovation is.
Potential for learning or transfer
The MoFI-project has a great potential for transfer between regions, since one of the first results of the project was a concept model for local/regional competence brokering, and can be used to standardize similar activity in other regions. The project has since its initiation shown instant effects and has given important feedback of the challenges for Nordland County Council as a policy maker, and the challenges for the SME's and research centers in the region of Helgeland. A key success factor of the project has been using local competence brokers, since they know the area and the industry best. Knowledge of the industry-area of the project, and its strengths and weaknesses, has been very important for the imminent success of the project. This project has given NCC, as a public regional authority, valuable information of the implementation and effect of the given policy instrument. This is information that is valuable for future policy development.