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The Next Generation of National R&D Programmes in Norway: Consequences for Action Research and Regional Development

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  • Jarle Moss Hildrum
  • Henrik Dons Finsrud
  • Pal Klethagen

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of a new national R&D programme in Norway, Programme for Regional Innovation and R&D (VRI), which uses action research (AR) to facilitate innovation-oriented collaboration between regional industry, R&D and public institutions. While the VRI programme builds on a sequence of previous AR-oriented regional development programmes, it represents a significant novelty as it democratizes control over research funds from central authorities to regional coalitions of private and public decision makers. Drawing on our own experiences from a long-standing AR project in the Telemark region, we discuss how the commencement of the VRI programme is affecting ongoing development initiatives there and the conditions for conducting AR in regional contexts. We conclude that VRI has led to a situation in which more regional actors are involved in action research activities, and in which there is closer collaboration between researchers and regional decision makers. At the same time, we suggest, there is a risk that the new programme will lead to regional lock-in, and marginalization of national R&D institutions and action research competencies accumulated there during previous R&D programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Jarle Moss Hildrum & Henrik Dons Finsrud & Pal Klethagen, 2009. "The Next Generation of National R&D Programmes in Norway: Consequences for Action Research and Regional Development," International Journal of Action Research, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 5(3), pages 255-288.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2009_03_hildrum
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    Keywords

    large scale action research; regionalization; national programme; Scandinavian model; social partners;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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