In the Nordic region, as in most other regions, innovation policy has generally focused on the scientific and technological drivers of innovation. However, the largest numbers of companies do not innovate based purely on these drivers. Today, the policy focus in both the EU and the Nordic countries is turning towards two â€œnewâ€ areas; regional innovation and user-driven innovation.
Innovation policy at the regional level has many benefits over national policies. What may be lost in the sheer economies of scale is often gained in the focus and efficiency of measures at the regional level. Proximity of key stakeholders and dense local networks often provide efficiency, as operators, actions and outcomes are more concrete and visible.
The main reason for addressing user-driven innovation as a thematic area is the low innovation â€œhit rateâ€: 9 out of 10 innovation projects do not reap returns. Innovation policy needs to address both the supply and demand sides of innovation.
The upcoming “New trends in Nordic innovation” conference, organised by the Finnish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Innovation Centre, will focus on regional and user-driven innovation.