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Results from the evaluation of InMotion

In 2009, Region Västra Götland initiated the program InMotion for regional mobilisation on environment, energy and sustainable transportation. The immediate purpose was to strengthen competitiveness in the automotive sector, which had been severely hurt by the on-going economic crises. Nordregio, in collaboration with Faugert & Co Utvärdering AB, made an evaluation of InMotion during March to July 2011.

The InMotion Program

Region Västra Götaland (VGR) is a politically elected public actor, responsible for regional development in West Sweden. The InMotion program was developed after a dialogue with other regional actors on the present and future challenges for the region. The program had an initial focus on the automotive industry, but was later broadened to also include development related to environment and energy technology.

The program had a clear ambition to build on strategic collaborations in the region and strengthen ongoing activities in order to speed up development processes. Within the program, three types of initiatives could be supported; pre-studies, development project and business development (including a program for R&D checks in small and medium-sized companies). There was also funding directed specifically to two of the strategic collaboration platforms of the region, Lindholmen Science Park and Innovatum, in the form of increased basic funding and a financial frame for pre-studies and projects. The project was run in collaboration between the Environment Committee and the Committee for Regional Development at VGR.

Evaluation of InMotion

During the evaluation from March to July 2011, many projects were still on-going and the evaluation focused on the organization, implementation and preliminary results, rather than final results or effects. Business support based on R&D-checks was excluded, since there was a separate evaluation of this initiative. The evaluation was carried out as a combination of desk research and interviews with about 40 stakeholders and participants in projects.

The analysis of the project portfolio indicated a good mixture of about 20 pre-studies and 30 development projects. Two thirds of the projects concerned sustainable transportation and one third energy and environment. However, almost 50% of the funding for sustainable transportation has been directed to one large project (ASTA). Most projects have an ambition to develop arenas for knowledge development, test and demonstration in sectors related to green growth. By adding to the regional infrastructure, these projects are expected to support new product development (including services and processes) as well as increased internationalisation and exports in the long run.

The InMotion program has been highly appreciated, not only for providing funding but also for creating a feeling of action in a time when the region was severely affected by the economic crises.

Maria Lindqvist

Senior Research Fellow