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Innovation in rural areas- a Nordic source for increased value creation (Innovation systems and the periphery)

  • Published 05/03/2005
  • Last updated 07/06/2011
Innovation policy and the Innovation in rural areas represents a potential that has not been exploited in the Nordic countries. Especially in the areas of tourism and agriculture, the governments need a more proactive attitude towards possibilities in relation to innovation in the periphery.

In spite of some apparent disadvantages, associated with peripheral locations, innovation is possible and taking place in the Nordic periphery. It is important that policy makers reflect positive attitudes towards the broad topic of innovation in peripheral regions, for the purpose of creating an encouraging spirit in rural communities. The examples found by the ISP project should strengthen such attitudes and encourage policy makers to take on a proactive approach aiming at facilitating innovation in rural regions. 

Transparency of policy - and official support schemes
The study found that limited awareness, lack of familiarity, and in some instances limited confidence towards the whole system of innovation facilitation, commonly seem to characterize the firm representatives’ views. Policy makers should emphasize making policy and official support schemes more readable, applicable and visible to end-users.

Facilitating entrepreneurial culture
It seems reasonable to argue that without at least a certain level of entrepreneurial driving force, sophisticated innovation facilitation systems have an insignificant meaning. This lesson predicts that policy makers should be able to step out of the customary discussion on strategies, programs, services, etc. Policy makers should also consider initiatives that build on introverted approaches to community economic development, aiming at general capacity building and raising the motivation and self-confidence of potential innovators (e.g. therapeutic programs for encouraging positive or proactive thinking or constructive identity building at the community or community segment level). 

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