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Annual report '06

CEO Gunn Ovesen. Photo: Johnny Syversen

Innovations for the future

In recent years, Norway as a nation has managed to combine strong oil revenues and sound welfare schemes with rapid growth. This is a trend that many other countries envy and appears to be something of a riddle when one compares Norway’s efforts with those of other countries. 

The reasons behind this are many and complex, yet there is no doubt that our industries have created innovation activities that make Norwegian companies today extremely competitive.

In many fields, Norwegian companies are not at the cutting edge of technology or research, but they are creating the innovations that customers want.

Life after oil

During the oil age, the Norwegian innovation system proved to be extremely effective. Yet Norway must also have a life after oil, so that our children and grandchildren also have something to work for and make a living from here in Norway.

To contribute to this, we at Innovation Norway have promised our customers that we will be customer-oriented, honourable, result-oriented, innovative and bold.

An industry for the future

We live in a world undergoing rapid change. If Norwegian industry is able to interpret what people and society will need in the future, it will create opportunities for new businesses and new markets. To do this, we need to continue to implement change and restructuring on an ongoing basis. We need new generations of entrepreneurs and young people who dare to create their own workplace. We need innovations for the future.

The TV series Skaperen (“The Creator”)

A good example of this is last year’s TV series Skaperen. The programmes in the series were produced by TV2 in collaboration with Innovation Norway.

The first series of programmes was broadcast in the spring of 2006. At its peak, it was watched by 574,000 viewers, with an average of around 450,000 viewers. These are excellent figures.

Perhaps some of the ideas in Skaperen could become international commercial successes or the series may have inspired someone to create a business on the basis of an idea that they have had. Because we must invest in the businesses of the future, it is particularly interesting to note that the proportion of young viewers was very high.

I hope that we have started a thought process amongst many viewers that they can earn money from their own entrepreneurial skills and create their own workplace – and that it is not as complicated as many people believe.

The second series of Skarperen was broadcast on TV2 in the spring of 2007.

From Bodø to Beijing

Our vision is to give local ideas global opportunities and to bring new innovations out into an increasingly global market. In 2006, we worked hard to create a strategic platform for our internationalisation work. We want to identify initiatives and forms of working which can create a more integrated value chain from our offices in Norway to the offices abroad and back – from Bodø and to a new market, perhaps in Beijing? We can also mediate knowledge and technology back to Norway from the markets abroad, perhaps to Bodø?

A good year for the Norwegian travel industry

Value creation within the travel industries and awareness of Norway as a destination are increasing. Innovation Norway is investing in the marketing of Norway both abroad and within Norway. One of these initiatives is the web portal visitnorway.com. This portal gives tourists attractive tasters of what Norway has to offer, in addition to comprehensive information on Norway and our travel products.

Together with the travel industry, we made Norway even more attractive as a destination in 2006 and the number of foreign guests staying overnight increased by three percent.

In 2006, holiday and leisure arrivals increased by 3.4 percent, and guest-days in connection with business and service travel increased by an impressive seven percent. The growth was particularly strong for visitors from Russia, Great Britain, Spain and certain countries outside Europe.

Value creation for our customers

Innovation Norway is a large organisation. We have over 700 employees in over 30 countries and offices in every county. Regardless of where our customers meet us, Innovation Norway aims to have a common fundamental method of working, so that all our customers are treated equally and feel well looked after.
During 2006, we stepped up our efforts to bring about better interaction and cooperation throughout the organisation, to share knowledge and experience and, last but not least, to ensure that services contribute to value creation for our customers.

Our services

During 2006, we also assessed, improved and systematised what we actually deliver. Our services, programmes and initiatives are now described using a common template, which makes it far easier to mediate our various products and to deliver appropriate combinations of services in order to create added value for the customer.

We are preparing the future

Innovation is not simply about new ways of overcoming challenges; it is also about combining existing solutions in a new way or improving something that already exists. This also applies to us in Innovation Norway. We must therefore interpret what our customers will need in the future – and strive to predict their needs so that Norway can also become a good place for future generations.

Gunn Ovesen
June 2007