Several innovative business clusters are strengthening efforts

The rapidly emerging market opportunities developing around green growth and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions create a need to build consortia, where several companies join forces.

The Green Platform is a new initiative where Innovation Norway collaborates with Siva and the Research Council of Norway to provide funding, networks and expertise to collaborative projects that can deliver the best technologies and solutions, and strengthen Norway’s green competitiveness. Twelve green development consortia were allocated funding from the Green Platform at the end of 2021.

Innovation partnerships form the framework for innovation collaboration between the business sector and the public sector, where Innovation Norway works strategically to build innovation communities between municipalities and agencies, and on the supplier side.

Clusters achieve effects

In the Norwegian Innovation Clusters programme, corporate networks and restructuring areas in the regions, Innovation Norway also works with ecosystems and groups of companies to help the business sector achieve effects that individual companies are not able to achieve on their own. Innovation Norway collaborates with Siva and the Research Council of Norway on the Norwegian Innovation Clusters programme, which in 2021 consisted of 44 clusters. Well over 2000 companies are members of a cluster.

Economics Norway has investigated how cluster membership affects corporate value creation. The cluster members experience the highest development in the first three years they are part of a cluster. The annual average value creation is 14.6 percentage points higher for companies in a cluster compared to companies that are not a cluster member. Sales revenues are 15.2 percentage points higher and companies have 5.8 percentage points more man-years.

In 2021, Innovation Norway has worked to strengthen the links between the clusters and international initiatives in order to take advantage of cluster dynamics and ensure interaction and innovation collaboration in the new, green industries. The clusters also form an arena where companies can mobilise to Horizon Europe and other EU programmes.

Collaboration works best

During the year, Innovation Norway has designed a new expertise service for green consortia. This will strengthen companies in areas that are important for the success of joint, ambitious innovation projects.

Regional restructuring is aimed at municipalities or areas with a vulnerable industry structure or shortcomings in their the industrial base. The goal is to help secure existing jobs and create new, profitable jobs, give them a stronger and more diverse business structure, and to strengthen their restructuring capacity. In 2021, Innovation Norway followed up 22 restructuring areas. Oxford Research has carried out final evaluations for Rollag, Tin, Bindal and Lierne, assessing that the restructuring programme has had an impact on growth in the number of jobs and increased collaboration between companies in all municipalities. The programme has contributed to 170 new jobs and 49 business start-ups in 2021.

Corporate networks will help more small and medium-sized enterprises with growth ambitions to establish strategic, commercial and market-oriented collaboration. The purpose is to strengthen innovation capacity and competitiveness, and growth in national or international markets. Innovation Norway funded 29 new corporate networks in 2021, with a total of 210 participating companies, research and education actors and other knowledge actors.

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