Innovative Forsight Planning for Business Development


IFP established a transnational framework of cooperation to systematically tackle challenges regarding the competitiveness of regions in the North Sea Region in the global economy. Foresight Planning was used as a method, not only to link regions and selected clusters transnationally and plan for joint actions in the future, but also to find solutions tailor-made for the regions facing challenges related to the shift of the industrial base (decline, transition, and growth).

The project designed forward-looking strategies and concrete action plans based on applied Foresight Planning processes to build capacity for innovation. The public sector was considered a key partner for facilitating the processes of innovation, internationalisation, and creation of critical mass in the North Sea Region.

01/06/2008 - 01/10/2011
1 - Building on our Capacity for Innovation
Area of Intervention
1.2 Building the transnational dimension of clusters and research and innovation networks
ERDF Grant
822,868.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
474,125.00 €
Total Eligible Budget
2,593,986.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Greater Stavanger Economic Development, Norway
Nina Othilie Hoiland
Tel: +47 959 10 878
Beneficiaries per Country
Greater Stavanger Economic Development
Innovation Norway
SpareBank 1 SR-Bank
NAV Rogaland
Business Adminisration College BI Stavanger
Vest-Agder County Council
Region Central Denmark
Gesellschaft für Technologieförderung Itzehoe mbH
The Netherlands
Province of Drenthe
Province of Friesland
Province of Groningen
Chamber of Commerce
N.V. NOM Investerings- en Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij voor Noord-Nederland
United Kingdom
Scottish Enterprise
Background and Aim

Foresight planning was applied in selected business clusters and regional development agencies. The transnational cooperation brought forward new ways and tools for supporting business development as well as creating a basis for business clusters and individual businesses to develop. This led to an improved platform for decision making in developing products and services, also in respect to enhanced transnational cooperation.

IFP aims were:

  • To improve the basis for decision making by developing and applying innovative foresight planning as a tool both for the private sector and public bodies related to business development
  • To apply the foresight planning approach in key sectors, on a transnational basis, leading to action plans for future cooperation, identification of joint projects and business collaborations
  • To develop an arena for networking between businesses and regions in a transnational context
  • To develop and strengthen public sector facilitation by creating transnational networks and developing a toolbox.

Industries and businesses face the challenge to become more competitive in the expanding global economy. An innovative and systematic approach to assessing the present situation and the future trends has been developed in several places in the North Sea Region. There is, however, a need to look beyond its own region, learn from and cooperate with other regions as well as combining competence and develop efforts to expand industries and businesses.

The individual regions on their own do not have all the components and critical mass to develop globally competitive clusters. Working together in an approach, which combines knowledge and expertise in a process of foresight planning, and applying this to the development of the selected industries, the partners designed forward looking strategies and concrete action plans which would build this capacity.

The transnational cooperation in this project was therefore crucial and was pursued by exchanging knowledge, developing and putting into practice approaches and methodologies on foresight planning, practical application in the development of transnational clusters, and facilitating business to business and business / research cooperation. It was also important that public and private sector institutions were cooperating in order to enhance the outcomes at various levels in the society's efforts to enhance the economy and create more jobs.

Foresight planning was a new, systematic and innovative approach. Foresight planning in the context of this project was to actively use the knowledge and competence of universtities, research institutes and the public sector, together with different businesses and companies to plan for the future in an interactive manner and creating a basis for innovative solutions.

The foresight planning method was developed and adapted to the regions and clusters involved. The foresight planning was applied in real situations, providing experiences channelled into best practices and recommendation. The transnational interaction through IFP also generated B2B relations and region-to-region cooperation.

  • Implementation of transnational Innovative Foresight Planning for businesses and business clusters for transnational means of future planning
  • Business development in four clusters (Food, Energy, Advanced Technology and Financial Services),
  • On-line policy tool-box
    Evaluation and assessment of interventions within foresight planning framework and cluster co-operation activities embedded within regional and transnational policy networks
  • Connecting clusters, businesses and public agents on a regional and transnational level.

Project meeting in Århus, Denmark, Nov 2010

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