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Building Nordic Strength Through More Open R&D Funding – Study 3

The Next Step in NORIA

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Research and innovation are the primary corner stones in efforts to strengthen economic competitiveness in an ever more globalised economy. This study states that the small Nordic nations face fierce challenges within research and innovation, and recommends that Nordic research cooperation be strengthened. The study points out that NORIA (Nordic Research and Innovation Area) could be strengthened at little cost by selective mutual opening of national R&D programs. Finally it is analysed what could happen to Nordic states’ interests under a number of different circumstances, specifically a strong/weak ERA (European Research Area) in combination with a strong/weak NORIA. The study concludes that a strong implementation of NORIA would in all cases produce the best position for Nordic actors. The study is compiled for the Nordic Council of Ministers by Technopolis, which has been aided by a reference group with representatives from the Nordic Research Board (NordForsk), Nordic Innovation Centre, Nordic Energy Research and the Nordic Council of Ministers. This study is part of a series of four studies, bearing the common title ”The Nordic Region as a Winner in the Global Innovation Economy”, singling out policy areas, which are relevant for the Nordic countries in the light of globalisation and increased pressures on national economic competitiveness.

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Executive Summary

The Nordic nations face important challenges in Research and Innovation. Both Nordic and EU experience shows the value of cooperation based on the needs and self-organisation of those involved. NORIA can be strengthened at little cost by selective mutual opening of national R&D programmes to allow research and innovation funders and performers to build Nordic platforms. However the institutions that could coordinate this at Nordic level are incomplete. They need to be strengthened through better coordination between ministries’ areas of competence and the creation of a Nordic arena for the discussion and creation of more holistic Nordic policies than can be constructed while the Nordic Council of Ministers’ structures remain overly compartmentalised.

English

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