Open innovation platform to boost innovation – Innovation as a strategy to strengthen and grow a small community

author: Erik Holm Melby, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
published: May 11, 2011,   recorded: April 2011,   views: 3344
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Norway has a district policy to maintain and grow small communities that are located far from urban areas and citys. Norway is a far stretched country with an enourmous coast line. If you turn the country around Nordkapp will reach far south in Italy. The state is putting billions of Euros every year into strategies to make these communities more sustainable. Innovation as a strategy hasn’t been used that much. Only the last year we have started to see some reports on innovation initiatives. The most influental organisation to puth pressure on municipalities is KS. In addition to this there are collaboration initiatives like Ibestad municipalities open innovation platform that consists of Induct Software and a selection of Norwegian municipalites. Ibestad municipality is a restructuring municipality which means extra efforts from the county, mostly economically, are given for a period of 3-6 years. As a restructuring municipality there are a number of strategies that can be choosen from and innovation is one. Restructuring is described as putting focus on value creation, growth and new competences. Ibestad municipality has had challenges to fully understand and implement good strategies for restructuring. Today 3 main strategies are used for developing the community; Development of local business, Local development (local places) and innovation. As a pilot project Ibestad municipality together with Induct software have deployed the first open innovation platform in a Norwwegian municipality. To boost innovation and to be able to implement more and better ideas in the local community an open platform is implemented and deployed. In addition to the open innovation thinking the platform represent the municipalities process management tool for implementing ideas. During 2011 more municipalities will join in a national effort. Arendal municipality launched their platform this month and more municipalites will join; Nøtterøy, Stavanger, Bærum, Gjøvik is among some that will be part of the same open innovation initiative. Induct software and KS will be the collaboration partners and make sure that effects will be widely distributed to the rest of the 430 Norwegian municipalites.

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