Innovation Norway creates effects! A report from Economics Norway indicates that companies that received advisory services and support from Innovation Norway in 2021 had an average increase in sales revenue of 10.4 percentage points compared to similar companies that had not received such support. The corresponding growth figures measured in value creation and productivity are 9 and 4 percentage points, respectively.
By Chair of the Board Gunnar Bovim These are good figures, not least considering that these are effects created in a period when large parts of the Norwegian business sector have been affected by the corona pandemic and its repercussions.
It is pretty clear that the effect figures indicate that Innovation Norway reassuringly fulfils its role as the state’s and county authorities’ instrument for realising commercially and socio-economically profitable business development. The fact that 95 percent of the companies state that Innovation Norway has to a high or medium degree been decisive in getting their project started also confirms this.
A major restructuring task
At the same time, the public business support system must also be prepared for new requirements and expectations regarding streamlining. A separate area review of the industry-oriented business support system has been ongoing since 2018, with the aim of simplifying a somewhat complex offer to companies and reducing the overall implementation costs in the business support system.
The 2022 national budget stipulated that Innovation Norway was required to reduce annual operating costs by NOK 100 million by the end of 2024. This is a significant reduction. Nevertheless, the goal is for this to have the least possible consequences for deliveries to Norwegian companies.
On the other hand, the business support system review has also resulted in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries asking Innovation Norway in 2021 to take on the role of ‘a door-opener’, a common first-line for the business support system, with referral expertise to the other instrument actors. It is a role that Innovation Norway will fulfil in close collaboration with Siva, Export Finance Norway and the Research Council of Norway, for the benefit of Norwegian trade and industry.
“As Chair of the Board, I feel that Innovation Norway’s role and social mission have been strengthened and will be crucial in contributing to the major restructuring task we will solve together in order to develop the business sector we want in the future. We will do our best to carry out the mission.”
Growth through exports
At the same time, it is also difficult to predict the future. A Russian invasion of Ukraine in the winter of 2022 was not something we had envisaged just a year ago. A number of sanctions are affecting development and trade and will have consequences for the global economy, including the Norwegian economy. This may threaten the opportunities and growth prospects for Norwegian companies.
Therefore, at the beginning of 2022, I find that the services provided by Innovation Norway are more important than ever before. Three main areas stand out: increased Norwegian exports, the green shift and simplifying the business support system for its users.
Measures that stimulate growth through exports and internationalisation are becoming an increasingly important part of Innovation Norway's efforts.
Creating more jobs
A strong, diverse and adaptable business sector is essential for Norway’s ability to grow and to have a high standard of welfare in the future. In order to maintain welfare growth, the Norwegian economy needs more than one string to its bow. We need to create more jobs, in more industries, across the entire country.
Innovation Norway is well equipped to take on the tasks that lie ahead of us.
Thank you for the trust that customers, clients and partners have shown Innovation Norway throughout 2021. And a big thank you to our employees – their expertise is our advantage.