Four innovation districts in Greater Copenhagen have established a network with innovation districts in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The Nordic parties kicked off their collaborative initiative at a meeting in Oslo on 28-29. April 2019.
Attracting business, investment, and talent
Innovation districts are limited geographies with a significant potential for invention and commercialisation. Cities, countries and regions all over the world are competing to establish these strong business and knowledge districts because they can support innovation and entrepreneurship, and attract business, investment, and talent.
The Nordic countries are no exception. Here capitals and university towns have ambitions to create well-functioning innovation districts. That is why the Nordic countries now plan to learn from each other.
A long history of collaboration between academia, industry and government
Nordic countries have qualities, which other countries are curious about. Most of our cities are born with the density that cities in the US and Asia are now trying to create. We have a long history of triple helix collaboration, where academia, industry and government cooperate and there is a high degree of trust between private and public actors. We have strong welfare societies that support our education levels and quality of life, and on virtually all global indicators of success and growth, the Nordic countries enter the top 10.
Learning to support Nordic innovation
Nonetheless, the Nordic countries are facing challenges. Challenges that we are working to solve. Not enough of our entrepreneurs turn start-ups into successful scale-ups, we suffer a shortage of venture investors and we lack models for how best to support a Nordic version of successful innovation districts. Here we can learn from each other.
Discussing joint initiatives
The new Nordic collaboration is initially a network between the Oulu Innovation Alliance (Finland), Stockholm Science City (Sweden), Oslo Science City (Norway), and the four innovation districts in Greater Copenhagen (Copenhagen Science City, Frederiksberg Science City, Ørestad Innovation City Copenhagen and Lyngby-Taarbæk Knowledge City).
In addition to holding an internal workshop, the Nordic innovation districts met with representatives from Nordic Innovation and NordForsk to share knowledge and discuss potential joint initiatives.