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The role of competence brokering in creating industrial innovation network of SMEs in regional development


This paper is an introduction
to a business development progr
amme called "The Innovation Network Concept"
seen from knowledge transfer per
spective. It is developed by th
e research institute SINTEF in Trondheim, Norway, and
specifically designed for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (S
MEs) that want to expand and strengthen their innovation
abilities. The main objectives of
the Concept are mapping the c
ompany's needs for technology development, analysis of the
current situation, definition and implementation of technology
projects, technology watch, marketing, cooperation and
networking. To accomplish the technology projects, expert knowl
edge from relevant R&D institutes, universities or other
knowledge environments are used. The concept facilitates each c
ompany to work in close cooperation with a
researcher/mentor and a process
manager in a given period, norm
ally 1.5 years. Apart from the specific technology
challenges defined by the project, the company has the opportun
ity to make use of the researcher or even a consultant to
look at other special challenges within the company, e.g. strat
egy, creativity and access to ideas, competence and knowledge
management, organizational devel
opment, export, and other areas
that need special attention. The paper presents the
Norwegian approach and experiences of competence brokering in r
egional innovation and development, and focuses on
describing aspects like brokering methods, working steps, curre
nt practice, and the role of competence brokering to
contribute and develop industrial networks and clusters. The pa
per is based on literature studies, reflection and experiences
from competence brokers' point of view, and lessons learned in
the establishment and implementation of the Innovation
Network Concept, especially when
it comes to knowledge transfer
activities, business development and innovation in SMEs.
Promoting regional development and creating industrial clusters
lead to nationwide value creation. The paper aims at
contributing to more understanding on regional development and
its role in developing industrial networks, by focusing on
collaboration and knowledge transfer between organisations. Thi
s focus can trigger new ideas, and lead to further discussion
that can generate new knowledge. The paper also raises certain
related issues, primarily about
how to achieve better results
in improvement of processes and further development of programm
es for competence brokering and networking.


Academic article





  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Community / Mobility and Economics



Published in

Proceedings of the ... European conference on knowledge management






242 - 250

View this publication at Cristin