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Innovative and Resilient Regions

The Nordic thematic group for innovative and resilient regions 2017-2020 aims to develop policies and new solutions to the challenges that the Nordic regions face when it comes to resilience, innovative capacity and skills provision, while focusing on green transition, smart specialisation and digitalisation. 

The thematic group for innovative and resilient regions is a part of the Nordic Co-operation Programme for Regional Development and Planning 2017-2020. The programme has defined three sub-themes for the group to explore:

-          Conditions for green transition in Nordic regions,

-          Measures to ensure the supply of skills and capital,

-          Regional strategies for sustainable growth and smart specialisation.

Since sustainable growth of the Nordic Region is dependent upon innovation and entrepreneurship at the regional and local level, it is important that national and regional policies support and stimulate regional innovation environments and business promotion measures so that the regions can take advantage of their potential for smart and sustainable development. This involves establishing and developing strategic partnerships between education and research bodies, public authorities, and businesses in urban and rural areas with a view to achieving sustainable development.  Cluster development and regional innovation processes are interesting topics to expand on, as is understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by globalisation and climate change and the following policy implications.  The activities of thematic group builds on the previous work of Nordic working group for green growth – innovation and entrepreneurship 2013-2016 .

Analysis of innovation and research environments in the Nordic Region is at present closely linked to the concept of smart specialisation, which is widely applied throughout Europe. The Nordic regions can use this approach to create their own innovation strategies and to develop innovative and sustainable regional environments based on their existing strengths and by combining resources in new ways that involve new stakeholders in their efforts.

Nordic regions are part of an open global economy, but also base much of their sustainable growth on local commodities and resources. Understanding local, regional, national and global relationships and market potential is vital to the development of the bioeconomy and bio-based products. 

Based on the findings and accumulated knowledge from the previous Nordic working group for green growth 2013-2016 (www., the new thematic group will explore successful examples and promote the opportunities to expand regional innovation environments (clusters, centres of excellence, etc.) not only in small and medium sized cities but also in more peripheral regions such as in the Arctic.