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

The Next Step in NORIA

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

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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The Nordic and EU Cooperations in Research and Innovation: NORIA and ERA

Since 2000, both the Nordic region and the European Union have taken important initiatives to increase internal cooperation in research and innovation. The small scale of the Nordic area means that it has limited influence over the European level but can strengthen Nordic actors in playing a part in the bigger European and global scenes. In the past, a key difference between Nordic and EU cooperation has been the bottom-up approach of the former (often based on informal as well as formal mechanisms) and the top-down approach of the latter, based on large calls for proposals. With the creation of stronger Nordic structures (NICe, NordForsk) and the use by the European Commission of greater selforganisation by participants in the ERA-NETs and Technology Platform, this distinction has become les clear.

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