Industrial clusters will contribute to restructuring through the Conversion Engine
Norwegian industrial clusters will have to contribute to competence lifting in small and medium-sized businesses across the country. This will help accelerate the restructuring and renewal in the Norwegian business sector. The “Conversion Engine” (Omstillingsmotoren) is the name of the new venture where the established Norwegian industry clusters are now invited to apply for funding of competency-oriented programs for companies across the country.
– Small and medium-sized companies will get help from “the Conversion Engine” to raise their own expertise. It will contribute to a more resilient and innovative business community. This is again crucial for ensuring jobs and continued high prosperity in Norway, says Monica Mæland, Minister for Industry.
Today business is challenged by rapid and significant technological changes, globalized markets and the green shift. In Norway this is compounded by a sharp fall in oil and gas prices. To meet this development, companies must innovate faster, become more efficient, find new business models and strengthen their position in their value chains.
With the establishment of the Conversion Engine, Innovation Norway will facilitate increased competence where it is needed. The goal is for 300 companies across the country to gain access to up to date expertise, methods and tools in areas such as innovation, sustainability and technology.
Innovation Norway aims to select up to four industry clusters to participate in the Conversion Engine, starting in November 2017. Clusters’ own expertise and network will be central to the skills transfer to the companies that will participate in the program.
– With the Conversion Engine, we take advantage of the cluster’s strategic role also for companies outside the clusters, says Mona Skaret, Director of Growing Firms and Clusters in Innovation Norway.
– Understanding and quickly utilizing new skills and technology becomes more crucial than before to maintain and enhance competitiveness. That is demanding, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, ” Skaret continues.
Greener, Smarter, more Innovative
Innovation Norway has allocated NOK 30 million to competence-oriented measures through the Conversion engine program. Earlier this spring, Siva was also donated NOK 50 million to the Norwegian Catapult, which will support investments in business centers for testing and pilotage that more companies and R & D environments can use for sharing. This will contribute to increased innovation and value creation through faster commercial application of new technologies.
Both of these measures complement each other and are follow-up to the Parliamentary report “Industry – greener, smarter and more innovative”, which the Government presented before Easter this year.
© Innovation Norway / Norway Today