The Nordic Ministers of Trade and Industry have emphasized the importance of Nordic cooperation to meet the challenges the countries face due to climate changes and global competition. This is reflected in the new program for Nordic Cooperation on Business and Innovation 2011-2013 (Nordisk samarbeidsprogram for næring og innovasjon).
The programme focuses on innovation and how innovation can enhance the transformation to an economy based on green growth and simultaneously secure welfare for the Nordic citizens. It is through insistent innovation that the Nordic countries can be in the forefront, create new jobs and maintain competitive.
The Innovation forum creates a platform and a holistic framework for Nordic and national initiatives enhancing innovation within green growth and welfare. Representatives from the industry, innovation agencies, government, research and education will be gathered together in the Innovation forum for dialogue and exchange of knowledge of experience. Furthermore, the Innovation forum is meant to introduce international knowledge and methods for innovation, green growth and welfare to the Nordic countries.
The Innovation forum is a melting pot for innovation, green growth and welfare and will deliver an ambitious agenda and a plan of groundbreaking initiative on how Nordic cooperation can be further strengthen resulting in raised competitiveness of the Nordic region.
The overall aim of the Lighthouse project Innovation forum is to stimulate green growth and welfare through innovation in the Nordic region as described in the programme for Nordic Cooperation on Business and Innovation.
NORDIC INNOVATION CONTRIBUTION
The project is funded by Nordic Innovation and corporate partners.
Economic growth cannot continue without environmental and social impacts being considered. Therefore, the scope of the project includes both green growth and welfare.
As a starting point the following definition will be applied:
- Green growth: “The pursuit of economic growth and development, while preventing costly environmental degradation, climate change, biodiversity loss, and unsustainable natural resource use”. (OECD http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/23/63/46141709.pdf )
- Social welfare: In this project welfare is interpreted as social welfare, “The various social services provided by a state for the benefit of its citizens” (World English Dictionary)
Innovation is defined as essential for economic growth. The overall definition of innovation is:
- Innovation is a new product, service, process, organizational structure or business model that creates value in economical and/or social terms. Innovation takes place in the companies and in the public sector. Innovation is important in all sectors.
Furthermore, the most applicable definitions of innovation to be applied for green growth and welfare are the following:
- Eco-innovation will provide the technologies, business processes, and management techniques to decrease the environmental impacts of our actions while contributing to green growth, innovation and jobs (www.eco-innovation.net )
- Social innovations “can concern conceptual, process or product change, organizational change and changes in financing, and can deal with new relationships with stakeholders and territories”. (LEED Forum on Social Innovations, OECD)
Iceland is the leading country for the Innovation forum on behalf of the EK- N which is the project owner. The Icelandic Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism is the project leader. Nordic Innovation is the project secretariat and will be responsible for the project process, including development and implementation, in close collaboration with the Icelandic Ministry and a steering group.
A Nordic conference on innovation within green growth and welfare. A report with concrete recommendation on how to stimulate innovation within green growth and welfare at a Nordic level, including an action plan.