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.



The Nordic Nations in Research and Innovation Policy

The Nordic countries have strong traditions in funding and performing research and innovation activities but are not immune to the challenges of globalisation, increasing competition and new types of technological change faced by all countries. Like others, too, the Nordic nations increasingly use the idea of “innovation systems” as a guide to formulating policy and recognise the need for research and innovation to be treated holistically in order to capture the benefits of their interrelationship. As well as differences, there are important similarities among the Nordic nations’ research and innovation priorities, especially the pursuit of critical mass.


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