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Innovation Across Borders

Nordregio News Issue 5, 2013

Photo: Karin Beate Nøsterud/

Cross-Border Regional Innovation Policy

The Nordic Council of Ministers' (NCM) Committee of Senior Officials for Regional Policy have worked with cross-border cooperation since the 1970s. Cross-border innovation policy is of growing interest to the Nordic border committees. It is an area that some are actively engaged in. The question of cross-border innovation policy was studied in a recent OECD project, which this issue of Nordregio News takes as its point of departure.

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Why Consider Cross-Border Policies to Support Regional Innovation?

By Karen Maguire

The Regional Policy Division of the OECD provides policy guidance for the economic, social and environmental progress of regions and cities. Innovation is, of course, a major driver of growth in knowledge-intensive regions. However, regions do not always correspond to administrative boundaries, and they sometimes cross national borders. That is why determining policies for a specific place requires an understanding of its particular growth opportunities, and sometimes growth can come from working effectively with a neighbour.

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Boosting Innovation in a Cross-Border Mountain Area to Develop Tourism

By Monika Jönsson

On the border between Sweden and Norway, there are mountains and appealing natural attractions where visitors spend their time skiing and participating in other winter activities. Four municipalities, Sälen, Idre, Trysil and Engerdal, two on each side of the border, have been developing a tourist destination, which today is one of the largest in Scandinavia. After an expansion of 30,000 new beds, will be the largest in northern Europe. To complete the expansion plans, a way of working called the Mountain Package has been established, where local, regional and national actors collaborate closely to remove barriers to co-operation, with this work being co-ordinated by the regional partners, Region Dalarna in Sweden and Hedmark County in Norway. One aspect of this work is to stimulate innovations and ideas to grow future business.

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Nordic Cross-Border Innovation Policy

By Lise Smed Olsen & Maria Lindqvist

Cross-border innovation policy has been discussed in the recently completed OECD project Regions and Innovation: Collaborating across Borders? Some of the key issues included the need for cross-border statistics, identification of opportunities for co-operation, and the increasing role of private sector involvement.

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