The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated NOK 150 million to business projects under Norway’s High North efforts for the period 2014–19. The funds will be managed by Innovation Norway in the county of Finnmark. Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende launched the agreement with Innovation Norway during his visit to Tromsø today.
Companies and organisations that have established operations in Norway and that wish to carry out business-related projects can apply for funds, irrespective of where they are based, their size, and the sector in which they operate. The purpose of the projects should be commercial. They can be carried out in Norway or in cooperation with partners in other countries, including our Nordic neighbours, Russia, other Arctic countries and other international actors with an interest in the High North.
One of the forms of project that will be given priority by the new support scheme is cooperation between public, private and international partners. Projects in the areas of energy, marine resources, minerals, transport and logistics, health, the environment and cultural industries also have high priority.
“The High North has enormous potential. We have succeeded in building up significant expertise and knowledge on High North issues in Norway, particularly in North Norway. We now need to manage to take the next step, by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, so that we can realise this potential,” said Mr Brende.
The aim is that the agreement will help to trigger private investments in research and innovation in the business sector, and support efforts to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among young people – in the priority areas of travel and tourism and Arctic technology.
“The agreement with Innovation Norway is an important concretisation of the Government’s High North efforts, and it places greater emphasis on value creation, the business sector and public–private partnerships. The projects will help to strengthen business cooperation in the north between public, private and international actors. I hope the Norwegian business sector will grasp this opportunity to grow and develop in the north,” said Mr Brende.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will follow the projects closely, in cooperation with Innovation Norway. More information about the various programmes and the deadlines and procedures that apply will be made available on the Innovation Norway website.