Gå rett til innholdet

Annual report '06

Increased innovation within business

Innovation Norway aims to assist entrepreneurs, established companies and various innovation environments in order to increase innovation within business. In the most recent customer effect survey, 63 percent replied that the assistance from Innovation Norway had resulted in increased innovation within the company.

Innovation Norway’s work to create increased innovation is aimed at three primary target groups:

1. Entrepreneurship

Innovation Norway aims to increase the number of profitable start-ups. Of the total commitments during 2006 of approx. NOK 4.6 billion, NOK 527 million or 11 percent was awarded to start-up entrepreneurs. Young and female entrepreneurs are prioritised target groups.

The results for 2006 show that there are good conditions in Norway to establishment start-up enterprises, especially compared with other countries. This is indicated by international measurements. In 2006, we saw a net increase in the number of companies in Norway. The figures also show that young companies achieve a greater innovation effect from their cooperation with Innovation Norway than older companies.

Among the initiatives to increase entrepreneurship are Start-up entrepreneur scholarships, Incubator scholarships, Start-up entrepreneur groups, Young Entrepreneurs in Focus and Women in Focus. Others are Advisory for inventors, the Seed Capital Funds and the biggest ever promotion initiative for entrepreneurship, i.e. Skaperen (“The Creator”) on TV2. In 2007, Innovation Norway is planning to merge the inventor scholarship, rural development scholarship, start-up entrepreneur scholarship and incubator scholarship to form a single scholarship.

2. Innovation in established companies

Innovation Norway aims to help improve innovation skills and the rate of innovation within established companies.  In 2006, NOK 1.5 billion was spent on innovation initiatives within established companies, compared with NOK 1.1 billion in 2005. This represents 33 percent of the total commitments in 2006, compared with approximately 25 percent during the previous year. Approximately a quarter of the projects are aimed at women in particular.

67 percent of the customer companies who received services from Innovation Norway during 2002 believe that the assistance was a major factor in the development of human resources within the company, particularly within product, production process and market development. Two thirds also believe that the project for which Innovation Norway provided assistance was of importance to the company's profitability.

The range of services provided to established companies covers the skills programme FRAM (“FORWARD”) for managers in small and medium-sized businesses, Industry-oriented design, Innovation Furniture and the Sector-oriented IT programme (BIT), while the rural development funds are aimed at the agricultural sector and associated new industries.

Women in Focus and the GRO programme are aimed at women in particular, while the Value Creation programme for food represents an important initiative with a consumption in 2006 of approx. NOK 105 million. Last year, the Bioenergy programme, Timber-based innovation programme, Seafood innovation programme and the Value creation programme for reindeer farming accounted for approximately NOK 23, 22, 19 and 5 million respectively.

The annual InnoTown conference in Ålesund in May is aimed at small and medium-sized companies with international growth ambitions.

3. Establishment and development of regional and national innovation environments

Innovation Norway aims to help improve innovation skills and increase the rate of innovation through the establishment and development of regional and national innovation environments. 

The Arena programme was established by Innovation Norway, the Research Council of Norway and SIVA during 2003. Arena will help to increase value creation in regional industrial environments by strengthening the interaction between industrial players, knowledge players and the public sector. In 2006, the programme budget was NOK 37.2 million distributed between 21 projects. A mid-way evaluation carried out in 2006 concluded that Arena has been an innovation initiative which has achieved its goals.

The NCE programme aims to contribute to increased value creation by activating and reinforcing cooperation-based innovation and internationalisation processes in expanding industrial clusters with clear ambitions and good opportunities for growth. The programme had a budget of NOK 36.6 million and largely achieved its first secondary goal in 2006: to create interest and commitment for the development of clusters with strong growth potential.

Focus in 2007

In 2007, Innovation Norway will place greater emphasis on mobilising, recruiting and qualifying companies for international initiatives. The recruitment will increasingly be aimed at strong business environments which are covered by the Arena and NCE programme. This will require even closer cooperation between Innovation Norway’s regional and overseas offices. Another purpose of strengthening this cooperation is to offer a better product to the most promising start-up entrepreneurs with international ambitions.