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Knowledge gap on scaleups validates the need for a Nordic Scaleup Centre

There is a knowledge gap when it comes to scaleups, not only in the Nordics, but more widely among leading European countries. The primary role and focus of a Nordic Scaleup Centre should therefore be to increase the knowledge base around scaleups. That is the main recommendation in a new pre-study commissioned by Nordic Innovation.  

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The knowledge base should include data and research about Nordic scaleups, including an analysis of scaleup framework conditions in order to provide objective and hands-on policy recommendations for Nordic policy makers and agencies. The Nordic Scaleup Centre should also build collaboration among relevant stakeholders within the Nordic scaleup community.

"The best way to build a vibrant community is to lead with knowledge. With powerful data and knowledge on the Nordic scaleup ecosystem, key stakeholders can build a shared understanding of the gaps and opportunities nationally and together at the Nordic level," says Anna-Maija Sunnamark, Head of Program at Nordic Innovation.

"The current Nordic Scalers 2.0 program period comes to an end at Nordic Innovation in June 2023. Nordic Innovation’s main role during Nordic Scalers 2.0 has been to provide data and analysis on the Nordic scaleup ecosystem and raise awareness about the importance of scaleups while our partners have been responsible for other program activities - running scaleup programs and building a Nordic scaleup community. Nordic Scaleup Centre would therefore have a solid ground to build on its activities", Sunnanmark continues.   

Pre-study on Nordic Scaleup Centre

The purpose of the pre-study has been to explore the need and different options for establishing a Nordic Scaleup Centre. The study covers aspects related to the possible creation of a Nordic Scaleup Centre:  

  • Potential scope, focus and objectives of a Nordic Scaleup Centre
  • Relationship with national initiatives/organizations and databases in the Nordics
  • Organizational and ownership structure
  • Financing – short term/long term
  • Recommendation for a go/no-go to establish a Nordic Scaleup Centre, including reasoning and motivation behind the recommendation 

Next step: Market Dialogue process

The pre-study highlights the importance of identifying  a group of potential founding organizations that can set up and run the Nordic Scaleup Centre as well as ensuring sufficient external funding from multiple sources. As a next step, it is recommended that Nordic Innovation launches a market dialogue process to investigate the interest among potential drivers and financiers.

"This study confirms that there is still a lot to be done for the Nordic region to become leading in scaling up businesses. There is a strong Nordic ecosystem emerging, and we are hopeful that there are stakeholders ready to take on the task and that can use this report as guidance. At Nordic Innovation we will look into the recommendations and decide on a way forward after the summer," says Nina Egeli, Senior Advisor at Nordic Innovation.  

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The pre-study has been commissioned by Nordic Innovation to create evidence base and recommendations for the establishment of a Nordic Scaleup Centre. The pre-study is a part of the Nordic Scalers special initiative which was first launched in 2017 to fill in the market gap when it comes to supporting Nordic scaleups and to enhance the Nordic scaleup ecosystem.  

The goals of the Nordic Scalers initiative are to:  

  • Provide support at Nordic level to help scaleups accelerate and manage their next stages of growth through access to competences, connections, customers and capital
  • Develop the Nordic scaleup community building 
  • Brand the Nordics globally as a leading scaleup hub 
  • Raise awareness and increase knowledge base around scaleups
  • Increase collaboration and shared learning among key stakeholders, both public and private 

Read more about Nordic Scalers


Nina Egeli - Senior Innovation Adviser

Nina Egeli

Senior Innovation Adviser
Internationalization, innovation and business development support, in combination with a strong background in strategy and policy development are main pillars in Nina’s professional life. Through project design and management, she aims to fit market needs with relevant services and opportunities that allows new business partnerships and business projects to prosper.

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Olivia Rekman - Innovation Adviser

Olivia Rekman

Innovation Adviser
Prior to joining Nordic Innovation in 2022, Olivia has worked for several years as an innovation consultant. In her role, she helped international consortiums of SMEs, start-ups and large companies as well as universities, to secure soft funding for green & deep-tech innovation projects. Olivia holds an MSc in International Business & Politics, and founded a CSR consultancy in 2010. Besides her experience in navigating innovation ecosystems and international business development & public policy analysis, Olivia has lived and worked in all Scandinavian countries.

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