Enterprises that collaborate are more innovative, more productive and more competitive.
The majority of Norwegian enterprises are small. If Norwegian business and industry are to deliver on global environmental and social challenges, the best enterprises and business communities must work together. That is why Innovation Norway seek to strengthen collaboration between enterprises and knowledge communities through our cluster and network programmes.
Four main services are intended to stimulate collaboration and development of business communities:
● Norwegian Innovation Clusters shall trigger and strengthen collaboration in regional business clusters, make the clusters more dynamic and attractive, and make the enterprises more innovative and competitive.
● Business Networks support small and medium-sized businesses that enter into commercially strategic collaborations with other enterprises.
● Competence Development in regional business communities shall make relevant expertise more accessible to enterprises in the regions through collaboration with universities and university colleges.
● Regional development shall provide guidance and quality assurance to local authorities in municipalities/regions with development/restructuring status.
Services for companies with capacity for growth
FRAM is a program offering small and medium-sized enterprises an opportunity to upgrade their business and management skills. A FRAM program focuses on improving each participant's competitiveness, profitability, and abilities to innovate.
The skillls upgrade takes place through:
• joint meetings with remaining participants
• individual consultation prior to and between joint meetings
• networking with other participants.
A program lasts between 10 and 24 months and contains from 4 to 6 joint meetings for groups of typically 8 to 12 enterprises.
Why: In a global setting, a key to competitiveness is to take an attractive, unique, clear and relevant position in the minds of defined target groups. Branding, or Reputation Building , is all about defining and building such a strategic position, and a strong Brand and/or a good Reputation is a magnet attracting not only customers, but also capital and skills.
Who: Most Norwegian companies are small, and only 1 out of 7 is market oriented (Damvad 2011). Whether they chose to go to the marked alone, or they want to tie their market penetration to a net-work, a cluster or a sector, a key to success is to find a niche in which they may take a leading position. This Service may support single companies, but we prioritize clusters or net-works where the combination of a Reputation Building process for an umbrella Brand may be combined with Brand-building projects for the members.
What: Choosing the right strategic position is a difficult task, and the Service supports the defining process. With the help of an external consultant or facilitator, our customer is lead through the following three steps:
• Mobilization: Based on experience, we claim that a successful process is based on having everybody on board, understanding the task, and committing to participate in the implementation of the positioning statement. In a single company this will be management, employees, Board Members and owners. For net-works or clusters this will include all participating companies..
• Analyses: Internal and external analyses shall consider and define vacant positions in the markets, based on internal recourses and external opportunities.
• Strategic Position: A Positioning Statement should be developed, describing the platform for Branding and Reputation Building, and setting forth guidelines for Communication, Organization and Deliveries of products and/or services.
How: Based on an application describing the steps and the objectives, documenting external costs, we may finance up till 50 % of such external costs under the code: 1079 UT-STATPOS
Since we have a small budget, total financial support should not be over nok 300.000 pr project.
Why: Our team of strategic advisors on design helps individual companies, networks and clusters on how they can take a clear strategic position, build a strong brand and use design strategically to gain a competitive advantage. We provide customers with specific advice and help them to get started with current project. This can be anything from user studies, insight into target markets and developing brand strategies for various design projects depending on the customer’s needs.
Who: Design can be used strategically in all industries and in all businesses regardless of corporate lifecycle and market. Entrepreneurs often have a hypothesis that further development of their product and their company may be appropriate in other countries than in Norway. Strategic design advice and use of design methodology can be integrated with our other services such as general business advice, financing and IPR or market advisory service from one or more of our offices abroad.
What: With the focus on design in connection with business and product development in emerging markets and continued growth, the entrepreneurs need a check relative to what must be in place in order to go internationally. They must take a thorough assessment, examining international growth potential and gain knowledge about the market before they begin the design development.
• We challenge the entrepreneurs on their business model to identify design needs, and carry out workshops in business modeling when appropriate. Then various methods to get more insight into the company's customers, users, and on market and competitive situation can be applicable.
• Design projects will often be one of several measures to take a clear position and strengthen the business model. Development occurs in the crossing point where physical shape is part of a result which may also contain digital interactive solutions, branding, systems or effective organized services.
• We help the companies on how to apply the insight from emerging/international markets or workshops and concretize on what they should emphasize in their mission statement. Furthermore, we can assist in tenders and setting up a contract with an external partner.
How: We can provide grants to small and medium enterprises with growth potential wishing to use design as a strategic tool for business development. The grant will cover the purchase of external design- / consulting services - 50% financing in most cases.
Innovation Norway's IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Advisory Team assists Norwegian companies in navigating the IPR landscape, and give advice on issues concerning copyright, patents and industrial design rights. The IPR Advisory Team contributes to the collection of correct information in order create a map of the IPR status in a company. When this information is analyzed, a company will be capable of creating value from their IPR. The company will be able to make better decisions with regards to protection and commercial use of their IPR.
InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators
InnovFin is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under the EU framework programme for research and innovation – Horizon 2020. Norway is an associated country to Horizon 2020 and participates fully in the framework programme. Norwegian stakeholders have full access to the InnovFin financial instruments and advisory services.
InnovFin aims to support and facilitate access to finance for innovative businesses and other entities involved in research and innovation (R&I) in Europe. InnovFin financing tools cover a wide range of financial instruments to gain easier access to loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, mezzanine and equity finance. The instruments are implemented by national financial intermediaries as well as directly by the EIB-group.
Innovation Norway is the Norwegian national contact point (NCP) for access to risk finance in Horizon 2020 and provides information, assistance and advice regarding financial instruments within the framework programme to Norwegian stakeholders.
See also our list of financial services