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New proactive strategy for Nordic Innovation

  • Publisert 16.05.2011
  • Sist oppdatert 16.09.2011
  • Forfatter Páll Tómas Finnsson
In December 2010, Nordic Innovation’s board, management and staff finalised a new strategy for the following four years, placing emphasis on pro-active innovation efforts, networking initiatives and knowledge sharing between the Nordic countries.

Definition of commitments and core functions

The formulation of the strategy is based on the visions put forward in the Nordic Co-operation Programme for Innovation and Business Policy 2011-2013, adopted by the Nordic trade ministers in October 2010.

- Our new strategy reflects the political visions described in the programme and Nordic Innovation’s intended role in achieving the objectives put forward by the ministers, says Bent Lindhardt Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Nordic Innovation in 2010.

The reassessment of the strategy was a key element in preparing a new contract with the Nordic Council of Ministers. The contract was signed at the beginning of 2011 and defines Nordic Innovation’s commitments and core functions for the next three years.


Sustainable growth a common denominator

The vision described in the strategy corresponds to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ emphasis on reinforcing the Nordic countries’ position as a leading region for innovation and sustainable growth.

- We need effective innovation to meet our future challenges and this innovation should be the driving force for economic growth in the area. But not at all costs, it has to be sustainable growth. That should be the common denominator for the Nordic countries in the future, says Lindhardt Andersen.

Nordic Innovation’s mission is to orchestrate increased Nordic value creation through international co-operation.

- We encourage the countries to work together on activities where collaboration creates greater Nordic value than if each country worked on its own. This also applies to cooperation with our partners outside the region, for example EU, Canada and the Baltic region, Lindhardt Andersen continues.


Increased emphasis on networking capabilities

Nordic Innovation’s traditional approach to stimulating innovation has been to initiate and fund projects and work towards removing obstacles for innovation in the Nordic countries. Through these efforts, an extensive network of public and private innovation and trade stakeholders has been established.

- The networking aspect has become more and more prominent in our operations and to underline the significance of this development, building relations and creating new partnerships between innovation actors, has been included as an explicit dimension in our strategy, says Communications manager Melita R. Hasle.

According to Bent Lindhardt Andersen, this is an important modification.

- We go from being a sixth innovation institution that funds projects to focussing on the co-operation between the Nordic stakeholders to a larger extent. What  Nordic Innovation does best is to build relations and make sure that we gain from each other’s knowledge and experiences. And by doing that, we increase the Nordic value added, he explains.


Five strategic targets outline future activities

Based on the fundamental objectives for the organisation, five strategic targets are highlighted in the strategy.

They include providing international overview and best Nordic insight into innovation and cross-border trade, developing and sharing new innovation competences and creating platforms for co-operation. Improving the conditions for innovation and trade across the Nordic borders as well as assisting implementation of political initiatives will continue to be an important part of  Nordic Innovation’s operations.

Challenging existing Nordic innovation framework and initiating new types of co-operation is an addition in the new strategy.

- It is important to challenge the Nordic countries to continuously develop their innovation approach. There is great potential in encouraging innovation institutes and other stakeholders to think beyond the national level, explore Nordic collaboration possibilities and integrate the Nordic perspective into their existing projects, Melita R. Hasle points out.


More proactivity to increase innovation success rate

Nordic Innovation’s more proactive role is intended to increase the innovation success rate for public and private stakeholders in the Nordic region.

- The proactivity not only means bringing national innovation actors closer together. It also means stimulating innovation in Nordic companies, whether by supporting entrepreneurship or by sparking innovation processes in existing companies. Successful innovation is imperative for their continued competitiveness and growth in the future, says Melita R. Hasle.

Bent Lindhardt Andersen is satisfied with the outcome of the strategy process.

- We have agreed on a to-the-point strategy that defines clear guidelines for our operations in the coming years. Nordic Innovation can contribute significantly to economic growth in the area by providing a professional, incisive insight into Nordic innovation processes and by further growing the relations between national authorities and other stakeholders, Lindhardt Andersen says.