Northern Sweden by wvd19763


									                       Northern Sweden

                        Development redefined

Europaforum Northern Sweden and the County administrations in Northern Sweden in collaboration with
                                   EuroFutures AB, June 2003
Northern Sweden is unique
                                                                Northern Sweden is going through a restructuring process, in which new
The four northernmost counties in Sweden (Västernorrland,       opportunities are being identified and developed in order to turn the
Jämtland, Norrbotten and Västerbotten ) included in the         negative trend. Northern Sweden therefore needs continued support for its
NUTS II regions Mellersta Norrland and Övre Norrland are        restructuring work. The unique conditions prevailing in Northern Sweden
a uniquely sparsely populated area. This area, Northern         should be noted in the European Cohesion Policy. We expand on this and
Sweden, covers approximately 55 per cent of Sweden’s            argue in its favour in four sections as follows:
area, but has only 10 per cent of Sweden’s population.          A. The appearance of prosperity
Northern Sweden has a mere 883,000 inhabitants but covers       B. Extreme sparseness
an area greater than Greece and Portugal combined. This         C. Consequences of sparseness to companies, individuals and public bodies
sparseness and the peripheral location in Europe bring          D. Will to develop - projects to show that it is possible
certain competitive disadvantages and difficulties.

• To individuals, this sparseness means limited availability        Southern Sweden                        Northern Sweden
of work and educational opportunities, and of public and
commercial services.

• To companies, the sparseness means that the home market
is greatly limited and that contacts and exchanges with
larger markets and areas with greater population density in
other parts of Europe entail high costs.

• To public bodies, the sparseness means that the costs of
providing services are high in practically every area,
reckoned per inhabitant : for schools, elderly care, public
transport etc.

Neither do the sparse areas benefit from relative nearness to
any large towns. Northern Sweden has no large towns. In
Northern Sweden, the communities are generally small and
dispersed. Southern Sweden, seemingly sparsely populated
from a European perspective, when compared with
Northern Sweden seems an urbanised, densely-populated
A. The appearance of prosperity
                                                                                    Northern Sweden
GRP per capita
GRP per capita is an indicator that carries considerable weight in
designing regional policy in the EU. GRP per capita, however, is a
blunt instrument. Regions with a large proportion of capital-
intensive operations in general have a high GRP per capita, which is
far from the same thing as high regional income, steady growth and
low unemployment. On the contrary, it is common for capital-
intensive operations through continual rationalisation drives to
reduce their workforce, while at the same time practically the entire
operating surplus can go to other regions. ‖Increased regional
economic growth, expressed as a growing Gross Regional Product
(GRP), does not necessarily mean either that employment in the                                          QuickTime™ and a
region grows, nor that purchasing power has improved.‖ Regional                                    Photo - JPEG decompressor
                                                                                                 are needed to see this picture.
policy evaluation, SOU 2000:36

      Northern Sweden has a per capita GRP which does not reflect
      the true situation in the region. The operating surplus within the
      extensive capital-intensive operations is channelled into other
      regions and few new jobs are created. In the period 1995-2000,
      Northern Sweden was among the regions in the EU that showed
      the highest relative GRP decline.

      Compared with the national average in Sweden, a much larger
      proportion of Northern Sweden’s GRP is generated by industry,
      while the private service sector has a correspondingly lower         Change in GDP/per capita (PPS), 1995-2000
      share of the GRP than is the case in Sweden as a whole.
      Structural problems remain and give rise to negative growth
Alternative income measuring
―There is good reason to believe that aggregate wage data has                      Per capita income development in
considerable advantages over available GRP measurements as
indicators of regional economic growth‖                                                      North Sweden
Nilsson, R., Ekström, C. & Lagnerö, M., 2002: Regional economic growth in                      Sweden=100%
Sweden 1986-2001. Vinnova in co-operation with Statistics Sweden.

      Both as regards per capita GRP and per capita wage packet,                         GDP
      Northern Sweden is below the national average. In addition,                        Income from employment - before tax
      both measurements of income show a clear downward trend,
      and each year more ground is lost to the rest of the country.                      Total wages
                                                                                         Purchase power
      Both the total taxable income per person and the disposable
      income per person in Northern Sweden lie somewhat closer to           100%
      the national average, because transfers are included in these          98%
      The dependence on income insurance systems for day-to-day              94%
      support is steadily increasing in Northern Sweden. This is a           92%
      direct consequence of the region’s structural problems and in
      time will bring about an unsustainable situation.                      90%
      In the final analysis, what counts is work that provides a             86%
      livelihood. Rationalisations in traditional industry must be
      compensated by growth in the private service industries. The old
      works culture and industrial tradition must be replaced by new         82%
      knowledge-based enterprises. This is a process that requires                    1998       1999        2000        2001
      both time and money.
Growing support burden
In Northern Sweden the employable population is diminishing
faster than the population overall. Rapid and extensive out-
migration of people of productive age (15-64 years) is leading to a
growing support burden to be carried by the employed people who
remain.                                                                                           Employment
                                                                           80%                                                                       Pop 15-64 as %
                                                                           70%                                                                       of total pop
     In general, the rate of employment is high in Sweden, since           60%
     traditionally, a large proportion of women are gainfully              50%
     employed. Thus Northern Sweden also ranks high in a                                                                                             Employment rate
     comparison with EU15/25 in the proportion of the population of
     productive age that is in gainful employment. Looking at the          30%                                                                       as % of pop 15-64
     proportion of the whole population in employment, the difference      20%
     between Northern Sweden and EU15/25 is much smaller. If one           10%
     also includes the large proportion of persons in Northern Sweden                                                                                Employment rate
     in labour market programmes (whom are counted as being                 0%
                                                                                                                                                     as % of total pop




     employed), then the difference is probably marginal.

     Northern Sweden is a depopulation area. Over the last seven
     years, the region has lost almost four per cent of its population.
     This drain is most noticeable in the productive age group, where
     one must observe a growing gap between the employable
     population and the proportion of old and children.                                          Population trend in Northern Sweden
     The considerably ageing population is a problem in the whole of                                      Total population                     Pop 15-64
     the EU. However, few regions are in such a dramatic situation as     100%
     Northern Sweden, which is 10 years ahead of EU15/25 in this
     problematic development. To simultaneously experience                98%
     structural problems, low growth figures and an increasing support
     burden puts the region in an disadvantageous position.               96%








B. Extreme sparseness
Sparseness worsening
A low population density creates big disadvantages for people,        Northern Sweden
companies and organisations operating in Northern Sweden. A
description is given here of the concrete negative consequences of
sparseness. The first question is of course: how sparsely populated
in fact is Northern Sweden, compared to the rest of Europe?

    As seen on the map, Northern Scandinavia in its entirety is the
    most sparsely populated area in EU25. The distance from
    Northern Sweden to more densely populated areas – primarily
    the Stockholm region – is also the longest in Europe. The
    nearest major towns are Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki

    If we compare single regions at NUTS II level, we find that the
    two North Swedish regions have the lowest population density
    in the whole of Europe (EU 25) at 3.3 and 5.4 inhabitants per
    square kilometre respectively. This is followed by Scotland at
    9.3 inhabitants per square kilometre. The EU 25 overall average
    is 119 inhabitants per square kilometre.

    The sparse population in Northern Sweden was a powerful
    argument for Sweden originally to receive aid from the
    Structural Funds. Since Sweden joined the EU and up to today,
    the population in the regions in question has diminished by
    39,000 inhabitants (equal to about 4 per cent) and the problem
    of sparseness has thereby worsened.
Intraregional differences
Northern Sweden is not a homogenous region, either as regards
sparseness or development. While the coast has relatively steady
development, in particular around the dominant towns, the inland
areas are characterised by rapid depopulation.

     The population density in Northern Sweden’s inland
     municipalities in general is less than two (2!) inhabitants per
     square kilometre, while for most of the coastal municipalities
     the figures are around or over 10. This underlines the dual
     character of Northern Sweden. Along the coast, development
     has been relatively stable – largely thanks to major public sector
     investments in regional colleges and other institutions – at the
     same time as the inland has been struggling with structural
     problems and accelerating depopulation.

     The environment that is characteristic for the interior of
     Northern Sweden, with extreme sparseness and practically no
     large communities, creates particularly difficult circumstances
     for all types of enterprise and for individuals. However,
     ingenuity grows in adversity and new solutions to everyday
     problems are taking shape. The Structural Funds have played a
     vital role in this work. Several of the inland municipalities have
     managed to turn an extreme downward trend into more
     promising development. However, there is still a distinct lack of
     resilience and much remains to be done before the whole of
     Northern Sweden’s inland can be said to stand on its own feet
     and have control over its own development.
                                                                                            Population 1990   Population 2002   % Change
     The coast municipalities also play an important role in this
     development work. The major towns in particular constitute            Coast*                   488 630           494 747         1%
     important regional growth centres that offer tertiary education,      Interior                 423 954           386 381        -9%
     specialised business services etc., but also a portal on the world.
     The interaction between coast and inland is vital to Northern         *Marked by yellow line on map
     Sweden’s development.
A distinctive region
                                                                North Sweden
  Northern Sweden covers approximately 55 per cent of
  Sweden’s total area, but has only 10 per cent of Sweden’s          Greece
  population. Even in comparison with the rest of Sweden
  the north is extremely sparsely populated – 3.9 inhabitants       Portugal
  per square kilometre, compared to Southern Sweden’s 36
  inhabitants per square kilometre. Population density is        Netherlands
  then almost 10 times greater in Southern Sweden.
  In a comparison with other European states, the sparseness                   0   50000 100000 150000 200000 250000
  is even more marked. Northern Sweden is larger than
  Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium together, but has                                     sq km
  less than three per cent of their aggregate population!
  One interesting exercise to illustrate the sparseness of
  Northern Sweden is to imagine that some other states in
  Europe had the same population density (3.9 inhabitants
                                                                North Sweden
  per square kilometre). The number of inhabitants in some
  Member States would then be :                                      Greece

   Great Britain                 853,000 inhabitants                Portugal

   Belgium                       107,000 inhabitants             Netherlands
   Greece                        461,000 inhabitants
   France                      2,121,600 inhabitants
   Germany                     1,392,000 inhabitants                           0       5          10    15       20
Long distances                                Accessibility
                                                              Northern Sweden
Northern Sweden is not simply a
sparse region. The region is also far
form the densely-populated,
expansive regions. The distance
from Northern Sweden to the
capital, Stockholm, is greater than
the distance many EU citizens have
to Brussels.

• The major population centres in central
parts of the EU mean that the difference
compared to Northern Sweden is
considerable as regards the number of
people that can be reached within a given
travelling time. In large areas of the EU,
ten times more people than in Northern
Sweden can be reached by three hours’
travel. Fewer than 5 million inhabitants
can be reached from parts of Northern
Sweden, compared with over 60 million
from large central areas of the EU.

• The long distance and the home region’s
sparseness make the situation in Northern
Sweden comparable with that on many
peripheral islands in the EU, i.e. the home
market is extremely limited and passenger
transport to the world around for reasons
of duration, must largely be by air.
C. Consequences of sparseness
                                                                                            Example: going from Gällivare
High costs of exchanges
Sparseness and the peripheral location in the EU bring a number of                          to a 2-hour meeting in London
consequences for those operating in Northern Sweden.
Geographical transaction costs, which have attracted increasing                                                            Gällivare
attention in recent years, are a key concept. Put simply, they are                                                                        Back again
added costs that arise when companies do business or co-operate                                                Start at                   11.25 am on
with players located in a different region. The costs increase with                                            6.15 am, day 1             day 2
the distance, not only travel and freight costs: everything becomes
more expensive when trade and co-operation take place over long
distances. This is highly patently obvious in Northern Sweden.                                                              8.25 am.        9.15 am.

                                                                                                                         9.20 am.             Stockholm
    An entrepreneur in Gällivare travelling to attend an afternoon meeting
    in London can serve to exemplify the difficulties caused by the long                                                               9.15 pm.
    distance. In order to arrive in time for the meeting, which begins at
    13.00, the flight must leave at 06.15 in the morning of day 1. The trip
    back from London begins on day 1 at 17.50. Upon landing in
    Stockholm at 21.15, there are no more connecting flights to Gällivare.
    The business leader’s trip home therefore must continue the morning
    of day 2 and he/she arrives home more than twenty-four hours after                     11.00 am.
    leaving home.

    The air ticket for the above trip costs about SEK 12,000 (over 1,300
    euro) and to this must be added the cost in working hours spent on the                Meeting       5.50 pm.
                                                                                       1 pm. to 3 pm.
    trip and for the hotel night. Trips from Northern Sweden to big towns
    in central parts of the EU often require two overnight stays even         London
    though the actual visit is brief.

    The long distances and sparseness also make goods transports time-
    consuming and expensive. Companies in Northern Sweden are
    required to pay considerably more than their competitors for their
    goods to reach central parts of the EU market.
Small labour market regions
Studies show that the size of the labour market has proven to be the
variable that above all others explains difference in a region’s
development. Large and diversified labour market regions have
structural advantages compared with smaller labour market regions.
This applies both to vulnerability to changes in specific industries
and companies and to the match between demand and supply of
       Towns form nodes in labour market regions and commuting
       takes place from the surroundings. A town’s labour market
       region generally includes the areas within a commuting time of
       up to one hour. In Northern Sweden’s 30 labour market
       regions the towns and the workforce are both small. Several
       regions consist of a single town/community. In an area
       corresponding to more than two-thirds of Italy’s, there are only
       0.35 million working people. In Italy there are 21.3 million
       working people.

       ‖Of the total increase in payrolls between 1986 and 2001, the
       major part has occurred on local labour markets with a
       population exceeding 100,000, and in particular the local labour
       markets in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg, which over this
       period have enjoyed more than 60 per cent of the total payroll
       increase. Even in the question of the growth expressed as a
       percentage, strong local labour markets lead developments.‖
       (Nilsson, R., Ekström, C. & Lagnerö, M., a.a. 2002)

       Northern Sweden’s labour market regions are not simply small,
       they are in many cases also vulnerable through their dependence
       on one or a few big employers. Unemployment in Northern
       Sweden has increased drastically over the period 1991-2001,
       from about 4 per cent to 7 per cent. At the same time in the EU
       (15) unemployment has fallen somewhat. In addition to open
       unemployment, Northern Sweden has a very large number of
       people in labour market programmes.
Competitive disadvantages
Few strong clusters are formed in an environment where the
number of players in many cases can be counted on the fingers of                         Number of industrial clusters
one hand and where the qualified workforce moves on to more
favoured regions. Competitive disadvantages mean that Northern            100
Sweden finds it hard both to compete for new ventures and to keep          80
its own companies in the region.                                           60
     Of the total 99 cluster formations identified in Sweden, only 5       20
     are in Northern Sweden (Lindqvist, G., Malmberg, A. & Sölvell,         0
     Ö., CIND, Uppsala University 2003, in collaboration with
     Porter, M.E., ISC, Harvard Business School). Sparseness and
                                                                                       Northern Sweden                  Southern Sweden
     long distances make it very difficult to achieve the
     agglomeration effects required to be a force on an international

     Despite the decentralisation of higher education , the proportion
     of employees with tertiary education in the private sector in
     Northern Sweden still lags behind the rest of the country. It is           Higher education in private sector
     true that an increasing proportion of Northern Sweden’s young                                     Sweden=100%
     people apply to regional colleges, but a large number, upon
     completing their education, then move on to the large labour        58%
     markets in Southern Sweden. Northern Sweden has therefore           57%
     acquired the role of exporter of educated, ready-trained            57%
     workforce to the major city regions.                                56%
     The development of the business sector in Northern Sweden           55%









     towards a more sophisticated knowledge-based economy
     demands major investments, but will eventually lead to a good
     return in the form of increased employment and higher incomes.
Additional costs for public services
A plain consequence of sparseness is that the costs of public services are
considerably higher per inhabitant in Northern Sweden than for Sweden
                                                                                                      Per capita cost of public
as a whole and compared with municipalities having the same                                                  services
population density as EU25.
                                                                                                                Swedish EU25*
        The total cost per inhabitant of public services in Northern                                            Northern Sweden
        Sweden is 13 per cent above the national average, while
        municipalities in Sweden with the same population density as
        EU25 have a cost 10 per cent below the average.

        The cost of the physical infrastructure rises drastically in               Elderlycare
        proportion to sparseness. In Northern Sweden it is necessary to
        invest almost 40 per cent more per inhabitant on infrastructure
        than the national average, and nearly 60 per cent more than in               Education
        the Swedish municipalities with a population density
        comparable with EU25.
        The high cost level is also evident in elderly care, where the
        trend towards a greatly ageing population is already burdening           Infrastructure
        Northern Sweden’s municipalities to a considerably higher
        degree than Sweden on the whole.
                                                                                                  0            50            100            150
        Only costs for childcare are somewhat lower in Northern
        Sweden than in the rest of the country, but this is primarily due
        to a lower proportion of children in the age group 0-6 and higher
        unemployment and thereby a higher proportion of parents in the
        home.                                                                                                       Sweden = 100
                                                                             *”Swedish EU-25” refers to values for municipalities in Sweden with a
                                                                             population density corresponding to the EU-25 average.
D. Will to develop
The importance of Structural
The EU cohesion policy has been extremely significant to the                      Northern Sweden activities 1995-1999
development of Northern Sweden after Sweden’s joining the EU.                     Number of projects                 ~3,500
Increased knowledge and awareness of the driving forces behind                    New jobs                          >15,000
development in the region, in combination with the development of                 Jobs saved                        >10,000
methods and new work modes in partnerships, and effective use of                  New companies                      >5,000
the development capital received through the structural funds have
considerable added value, not merely for Northern Sweden but also
for the entire Union.

The Structural Funds are of great importance to the future of
Northern Sweden. There are a large number of forces in the region
that wish to accomplish changes, which can be seen not least                       Project financing 1995-1999
through all the activities carried out during the first programme
period. Without the financial backing that the Structural Funds
                                                                                     EU                Public   Private
provide, however, the opportunities are few. The work is in no way
complete, and the need for input is still very great.
    In the period from 1995 to 1999, about 3,500 projects were carried out
    in Northern Sweden within the framework of the geographical
    objective programmes (Objective 2, Objective 5b and Objective 6).
    15,000 new jobs were created and over 5,000 new companies were
    started, and 10,000 existing jobs were saved. These encouraging
    results were achieved with a 32 per cent contribution from the EU
    (Structural Funds), 44 per cent from public financiers in Sweden and
    24 per cent from private co-financiers.

                                                                              0           2              4      6         8
    The evaluation stresses that the strategic choices made in the SPD for
    the period in question had a reasonable aim to meet the demands set                           Billion SEK
    for handling the problems in the area. However, the existing structural
    problems had developed over a number of years and the actions that
    could be implemented through a relatively limited programme were
    not sufficient to achieve the desired changes.
Objective 1 2000-2006
Northern Sweden is covered by two Objective 1 programmes in
the present programming period 2000-2006. Objective 1 Norra
Norrland and Objective 1 Södra skogslänen. The total
contribution of EU funding in these programmes are EUR 750

•    Strategies and control have been improved in the
     Objective 1 programmes in Northern Sweden during the
     period 2000–2006. Experience of the Objective 6
     programme forms the basis for setting clearer priorities,
     which in larger elements contribute to structural transition
     in Northern Sweden.

•    The fundamental aim for Northern Sweden is to develop a
     competitive infrastructure for sustainable industry with
     consideration given to the highly specific conditions that
     characterise the region – extreme demographic
     sparseness, long distances to markets both outside and
     within the region and a cold climate.

•    The following part will present a number of examples of
     strategies, priorities and strategic development projects partly
     funded by EU:s structural funds. The projects are considered
     contributing to an added value for Northern Sweden and the
     European Union.
                                                                        Red areas = Regions eligible under Objective 1
                                                                        Purple areas = Transitional support under Objective 1
                                                                        Dark pruple areas: Special programme to assist coastal areas of Sweden
                                                                        Blue areas: Obective 2
EuropaForum Northern Sweden in this                                •   Innovative solutions have been developed to provide
context stresses the following                                         services to citizens, both through partnerships,
strategies and priorities, which are of                                collaboration and local initiatives, and through the
special importance for development                                     support of IT infrastructure and applications.
in Northern Sweden.                                                •   Increased ability to participate in, and increased
                                                                       knowledge and awareness of European co–
•   The basic industries that depend on a plentiful supply of
                                                                       operation. This applies both to participation in the
    wood and minerals develop among other ways through
    increased knowledge intensity and product development.             dialogue on important future issues regarding
    Innovation skills and collaboration in clusters create added       European development and conditions for Northern
    competitiveness and attractiveness.                                Sweden, and to collaboration with other regions in
                                                                       Europe in project form or other forms.
•    The travel and tourism industries benefit from for
    example destination development in partnerships,
    improved marketing and packaging, and improved

•   New industries, e.g. biotechnology and IT, benefit from
    increased collaboration between research, business and the
    community. By on the one hand focusing on the
    development of regional and local infrastructure for
    citizens, regarding e.g. e-health and distributed education,
    and on the other hand stimulating business development
    through product development and marketing for example
    IT applications, added value is created for both citizens
    and business. Car testing operations, utilising the unique
    conditions provided in Northern Sweden, represent
    another example of a new industry developed out of the
    conditions existing in the region.
Base industries                                                  Research and pilot plant for bioethanol,
                                                                 Örnsköldsvik, Umeå and Skellefteå
Northern Sweden’s business structure is largely built around
traditional base industries, e.g. the forest industry, mining    •   The background of the project, the research and pilot plant for bio-
industry and engineering industry. This is natural since the         ethanol is the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by
region has abundant supplies of wood and minerals. A                 introducing renewable fuels. Cellulose-based ethanol is an important
                                                                     factor in the development of alternative fuels in the transport sector.
strategically important prerequisite for Northern Sweden, met
through EU Structural Funds, is the creation of conditions for
                                                                 •   The purpose of the project is to construct a research and pilot plant
positive development of the base industries, among other
                                                                     and to develop the technology to produce ethanol and lignin,
measures through increased knowledge intensity, new                  principally using coniferous wood as raw material. The pilot plant will
applications and product development. The capacity for               function as a Swedish and international research and development unit
innovation and collaboration in clusters improve                     for continued process optimisation and for the development of
competitiveness and attractiveness. Here follow three examples       complementary and alternative process solutions, new equipment and
                                                                     testing of raw materials. Today there is no pilot plant where the whole
of projects that are partly funded by the Structural Funds.
                                                                     process can be tested with recycling features, either in Sweden or
                                                                     abroad. The plant is unique in the world and forms a base for Swedish
                                                                     development and international contacts. Operations are expected to
                                                                     result in a research centre for ethanol development in Europe and to
                                                                     result in 15 permanent jobs, eventually also leading to research
                                                                     activities and spin-offs in industry and universities /colleges.

                                                                 •   The project has a total budget of EUR 7,2 million, with part-funding
                                                                     from the EU Regional Fund of EUR 1,6 million via Objective 1 Södra
                                                                     Skogslänen and is carried out in direct collaboration with an R&D
                                                                     project funded from Objective 1 Norra Norrland.
Georange, Malå                                                                Tools and product development centre AB,
                                                                              Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties
•   The aim of Project Georange is, based on natural resources in
    the form of ores, minerals and related operations, successfully
                                                                              •   The ‖ Tools and product development centre AB‖ project (VPUC)
    to contribute towards structurally developing the minerals and
                                                                                  aims to develop companies in the tool industry in Norrbotten and
    mining sector in Northern Sweden from its dependence on a                     Västerbotten and in so doing to achieve the goal of turning the
    small number of production sectors to a raised skills level and               negative trend as regards market shares and to raise the tools industry
    the capacity to provide qualified services.                                   to an internationally competitive level.

•   Sweden is the predominant mining nation in Europe and ranks               •   The project comprises five subprojects; (1) Development of
    number one or two in gold, silver, copper, lead zinc and iron ore             Verktygsteknik AB into a centre for research and development of
                                                                                  technology and processes in the field of product development,
    in the EU area. Sweden’s share of the EU area’s production of
                                                                                  construction and manufacturing of moulding tools, (2) Technical
    iron ore is 94%, of lead 54%, of silver 64% and of copper 31%                 laboratory for steel shuttering, (3) Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
    (1998). The development potential in the mining industry                      Centre (RPTC) in Skellefteå is a centre for rapid production of
    cannot be fully realised, due among other things to difficulties              prototypes and tools. (4) Industrial networks aimed at the development
    in recruiting key personnel. Northern Sweden – the ore district               of tool-based components with among its subgoals to create conditions
    with perhaps the best development potential in Europe - is to                 for collaboration by building up an industrial network and (5)
    become a centre for geoscientific teaching and research. The                  Development of process models and IT support for collaboration in
    idea is to use modern technology to develop an industry which                 virtual companies.
    is one of the cornerstones in the Swedish inland economy and
    which must be regarded as a considerable added value to the               •   It is expected that the project will directly result in 35 new jobs, two
    entire Union.                                                                 new companies and two new company networks. Additionally it is
                                                                                  estimated that about 50 national and international client companies
                                                                                  will be linked to the project. The indirect effects to the individual
•   This is the background to the initiative by the municipality of Malå to
                                                                                  companies can be considerable. The project ‖ Tools and product
    raise and broaden skills via the project Georange. This is to be done         development centre AB‖ (VPUC) has received funding to a total of
    partly by growth in knowledge, skills and service sectors.                    EUR 5,4 million. The EU Regional Fund has contributed EUR 1,9
    The project has a total budget of almost EUR 12 million, of which             million, via Objective 2 Norra Norrlandskusten and Objective 1 Norra
    just over EUR 5,7 million is from the EU Regional and Social Funds            Norrland).
    via Objective 1 Norra Norrland.
Travel and tourism industry                                        AC United: Development process in the travel
                                                                   and tourism industry in Västerbotten County
Northern Sweden has a major development potential when it
comes to the development of the travel and tourism industry.       •   Several local projects in the travel and tourism industry in
The EU Structural Funds have contributed to the further                Västerbotten County during the current Structural Funds period have
development of the travel and tourism industry, among other            targeted the basic conditions for the development of the industry, such
things by improving conditions for destination development in          as skills, product and destination development, and to create
partnerships, marketing and packaging and through the                  conditions for a more structured collaboration with the sales aspect of
development of infrastructure and research. A presentation             tourism. In this context, discussion of functional destinations has taken
follows of three projects examples co-financed by the Structural
                                                                   •   The inter-county project AC United aims to drive forward this positive
                                                                       development and give organisations, destinations and geographically
                                                                       delimited projects effective tools for their work. The development
                                                                       process has been carried out during the period Feb. 2002 – June 2003.
                                                                       The project participants included the county’s 8 co-operation
                                                                       areas/destinations and thereby more than 150 representatives for
                                                                       tourist companies, organisations, projects and individuals. As a
                                                                       method development project, AC United has added value for other
                                                                       regions in Europe .

                                                                   •   The purpose of AC United is to strengthen the competitiveness and
                                                                       attractiveness of the county, its companies and destinations, by
                                                                       creating a joint commitment and assumption of responsibility for
                                                                       future development. The goals encompass increased employment,
                                                                       profiling, increased participation and collaboration, improved skills,
                                                                       improved availability and quality of tourism products, as well as better
                                                                       marketing impact. The project budget amounts to EUR 0,5 million, of
                                                                       which EUR 0,25 million is from the EU Regional Fund.
European tourism research institute, ETOUR,                                    Tourism and infrastructure initiatives in
Östersund                                                                      Västerbotten inland: Hemavan –Tärnaby

•   An ongoing project is to complete the establishment of ETOUR,              •   The Hemavan-Tärnaby area is located in the north western part of
    which began in 1997 with support form Objective 6. By 2004,                    Västerbotten County. During the period 1995 up to and including
    ETOUR shall be a well-known and internationally leading tourism                2001 about 30 projects have been run in the area with the support of
    research institute that provides good research and dissemination of            the EU Structural Funds. Two main industries have been closely
    knowledge of practical value to the tourism industry and relevant              studied; tourism and transport infrastructure. The transport
    public bodies. ETOUR’s operational concept is through research and             infrastructure sector comprises two projects involving Hemavan
    the dissemination of knowledge to contribute to the development of             Airport. The tourism industry project today comprises over 20
    the tourism industry.                                                          individual projects involving hotels, restaurants and alpine skiing
•   The project has an interdisciplinary approach with ‖The tourist
    destination‖ as its research profile, that is, the development of the      •   During the present period, both air traffic and the tourism industry in
    networks of companies, public bodies and organisations that form the           the area have shown a clearly positive trend. The number of air
    character of the tourist destination. The research and development             passengers has increased from 1,666 in 1995 to 4,368 passengers in
    work is run in three programme areas; destination development,                 2001, that is, a 262% increase over the period. In the first three
    business administration, and natural and cultural resources. To this is        months of 2002, the number of passengers was 5,814, which means
    added a special programme area for transfer of knowledge to the                that the number of passengers by the end of March was already
    tourism industry with the task of disseminating information on                 greater than for any whole year previously. The tourism industry
    research findings.                                                             reports that the number of guest nights in the Hemavan-Tärnaby area
                                                                                   has also increased, with a growth of 52,299 overnight stays, or 338%
                                                                                   between 1995-2001.
•   Within the project 45 different research projects are currently going
    on. All the research projects are based on current issues in the tourism
    industry, which has lead to considerable interest from the business        •   The total cost has amounted to EUR 4.1 million of which the Regional
    community, which sees it as an important source of information for             Fund has contributed EUR 2.0 million.
    the industry’s own development.

•   The ETOUR project has a budget of EUR 7.9m for the period 2001-
    2004 and the EU Regional Fund is contributing EUR 3.9m.
New industries                                                    Embedded Internet System (EIS), Luleå
                                                                  •   The purpose of the project is to build up an industrial platform for the
Northern Sweden has three universities – Umeå University,             company and a research platform inside Luleå University of
Luleå University of Technology and Sweden’s University Of             Technology (LTU) dedicated to EIS. The project goal is to achieve a
Agriculture. Mid Sweden University, with campuses in                  leading-edge position nationally within the strategic R&D area EIS.
Sundsvall, Härnösand and Östersund, will gain university status   •   The industrial platform is to create a critical mass of skills and
                                                                      resources in the region’s business sector and comprises three areas;
in 2005. The Northern Sweden University Hospital is located in
                                                                      (1) increase awareness of EIS among in the business sector, (2)
Umeå. Taken together, the research carried out at these               influencing attitudes to increase the level of maturity of businesses to
universities and colleges creates good conditions for the             work with EIS and their interest in working with LTU in R&D and (3)
development of new industries, for example, biotechnology and         Stimulate and strengthen business networks.
IT, through increased collaboration with business and the         •   The research platform is on the way to gaining international scientific
community. The EU Structural Funds have contributed to                recognition and is already attracting competence. The project owners
                                                                      co-operate with universities and research centres internationally, for
stimulating the development of new industries. In the following
                                                                      example L’Aquila University, Italy; Fraunhofer Institut, Erlangen,
section, a number of projects are presented, which are part-          Germany; Stanford University, USA; Oxford University, UK; and the
funded by the Structural Funds.                                       University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
                                                                  •   After 24 months, the project has created ten new jobs (target was 7),
                                                                      participating companies in the network: 277 (target 1), and one new
                                                                      company (target 2). The indirect effects in the participant companies
                                                                      have not been calculated. Luleå University of Technology (LTU) has
                                                                      received funding from the EU Regional Fund amounting to EUR 2,8
                                                                      million via Objective 1 Norra Norrland. In all, EUR 5,3 million is
                                                                      being invested.
Digital Printing Centre, DPC, Örnsköldsvik                                       Cell culture and synthetic transplants for
•   Digital four-colour technique opens completely new opportunities for
    producing printed matter. Rapid technological development in the
                                                                                 •   About 600,000 injuries per annum occur in the western world where
    industry, in combination with new possibilities and markets, makes
                                                                                     the patient is in need of reconstructive surgery. However, the
    new demands on both suppliers and users. Through digital
                                                                                     amputation of a limb leads to the loss of nerve cells, which often
    applications, one can greatly reduce the disadvantage of long
                                                                                     causes chronic pain, sensory loss and reduced function. The project
    distances to the major markets that the graphics industry labours under
                                                                                     being carried out at Umeå University Hospital aims to produce a nerve
    in sparsely populated areas.
                                                                                     prosthesis using nerve cultures, to replace the lost nerve tissue. The
                                                                                     nerve prosthesis will also function as function as an alternative to
•   There is now a great demand for qualified research, development and              primary nerve suture taken for example from the patient’s leg.
    education and the purpose of the project Digital Printing Centre, DPC,
    is to create a centre for research and development. DPC shall maintain
                                                                                 •   Stem cell research is the key to success in this field, and the first tests
    the highest international class and shall give Sweden and the region a
                                                                                     on rats started in Umeå in spring 2002. The first results indicate that
    leading position in digital printing techniques. The investment in DPC
                                                                                     the cultivated cells double nerve healing. A multicentre study is
    is part of Mid Sweden University’s effort named ‖Fibre Science &
                                                                                     planned in co-operation with the university hospitals in Manchester
    Communication‖ and is run in collaboration with other research and
                                                                                     and Glasgow during 2003. An estimate of the market potential of an
    education institutions, the forestry industry, the graphics industry, and
                                                                                     approved product is astounding– a sales price of EUR 1650 per nerve
    other research institutes and education centres.
                                                                                     prosthesis would mean an annual turnover for this product of SEK
                                                                                     EUR 3 billion.
•   About ten research projects have been started, in fields such as colour
    control, test printing, parallel publishing, variable and customised
                                                                                 •   Umeå University and Norrlands University Hospital through the
    printing, post-processing, the effect of different raster techniques,            project ‖Cell cultures and synthetic transplants for neurosurgery
    packaging printing and distributed printing. Results achieved so far in
                                                                                     received funding for an en initial study during the year 2001-2003
    relation to set goals show that the project is progressing satisfactorily.
                                                                                     amounting to EUR 0,3 million, of which EUR 0,12 million was
    New jobs amount to seven (the target is ten), jobs saved number over
                                                                                     provided through the EU Regional Fund. During the years 2003-2005,
    20 (20), the number of active researchers amounts to four (zero) and
                                                                                     the same project has received EUR 0,7 million from the EU Regional
    the number of research projects amounts to 25 (ten). In addition, there
                                                                                     Fund for a total project budget of EUR 4,5 million.
    are about ten networks, some of them international, which have been
    set up and five new training courses have been developed.

•   Project Digital Printing Centre, DPC, has a total budget of EUR 2,7
    million, of which EUR 1,0 million is provided by the Regional Fund
    via Objective 1 Södra Skogslänen.
Development of local and regional                               AC-Net: Information technology
infrastructure for service, training and                        infrastructure throughout the county

business operations
                                                                •   Västerbotten County realised at an early juncture the importance of
                                                                    having a good IT infrastructure. As early as 1996 AC-Net went online
                                                                    with the regional logic network that links the administrative centres of
Northern Sweden’s conditions - extremely sparsely                   the municipalities in the county. This was a broad alliance between the
populated and with long distances, demands new, innovative          county’s municipalities, business, the County Council and the County
systems to provide municipal services and education. A well         Administrative Board. In the years 1996-1999, AC-Net was funded
                                                                    through the Structural Funds (Objective 2, 5b and 6) and players in the
developed IT infrastructure and collaboration project               county, but has since been run on a purely commercial basis. The AC-
permits an infrastructure for service and training, which are       Net co-operation, in addition to low-cost Internet access and
                                                                    telephony, has created awareness of the importance of co-ordinated
necessary for business development. The EU Structural               efforts in the IT field. An organisation for the whole county for IT co-
Funds have contributed to the development of a local and            ordination (IT Västerbotten), and an early startup in building the
                                                                    physical IT infrastructure are clear effects of this. Much of the
regional infrastructure for service, education and business,        broadband infrastructure has come about on a non-profit basis,
in several cases with IT support. Here follow some                  through the mobilisation of "village power" around the county. This
                                                                    has created a belief in the future and a co-operative spirit, which can
examples, part-funded by the Structural Funds.
                                                                    lead to other growth effects.

                                                                •   Through the early infrastructure efforts, Västerbotten today is seen as
                                                                    a leading county in Sweden in IT infrastructure, and the county has
                                                                    also attracted international attention. The county’s enterprises now
                                                                    have improved opportunities to strengthen their competitiveness and
                                                                    the inland municipalities through these investments have relatively
                                                                    quickly been able to access the benefits of an infrastructure which
                                                                    reduces telephony charges and which can support IT activities in rural

                                                                •   In all, EUR 2,6 million has been invested in AC-Net in the years
                                                                    1995-1999, of which the EU Regional Fund has contributed EUR 0,8
E-health from a growth perspective                                               Academy North

•   In interaction between Västerbotten County Council, Umeå                     •   Academy North is a framework programme focusing on strategic
    Municipality and local businesses, the project Tillit is bringing results.       skills development as an instrument for regional development. The
    By creating an effective tool for improved healthcare and social care,           purpose is for thirteen inland municipalities in Northern Sweden to
    one also creates a more effective organisation with the patient at the           create county-wide collaboration on tertiary education. The
    centre. The local company STT Care contributes technical solutions               programme will bring about a stronger and clearer voice in
    and works to create new products of commercial value – which is the              discussions and decision-making about aims, funding and localisation
    basis for growth and a dynamic region.                                           of tertiary education. The programme will increase the availability of
                                                                                     tertiary education and improve the ability to identify, develop and
                                                                                     implement innovative courses based on local conditions and
•   New methods will improve conditions for those needing healthcare                 increasing growth potential.
    and social care in the home. A database of all relevant information
    about the care receiver is the base. When the project is completed it
    will be possible to determine exactly what every person in the care          •   Some examples of courses include Nordic Ski Academy in Lycksele,
    chain is doing and has done. For the present, care and social services           Sollefteå and Tärnaby, Car systems in Arvidsjaur and Arjeplog, and
    personnel are working with ordinary computers. Fairly soon the work              the GIS programme in Lycksele. In addition, both long programmes
    tools will be handheld computers and cell phones.                                and short courses are offered at locations where there are
                                                                                     concentrations of applications.
•   Today, those who work with patients have little knowledge of what is
    done, and where and when it is done. The personnel seldom meet –             •   The first phase of the framework programme was carried out during
    with new technology they will be linked together. The system will be             the period 2000-07-01—2002-12-31, with funding from the European
    able to inform personnel whether, when and by whom interventions                 Social Fund in Objective 1 Norra Norrland and Objective 1 Södra
    have been carried out. If for example a dressing for some reason has             Skogslänen. The total project cost amounted to approximately EUR
    not been changed, then perhaps the next person in the chain can do it.           3,2 million, of which the Social Fund contributed EUR 1,25 million.
    If a patient has fallen and needs to be lifted, perhaps the nearest              The framework programme is continuing during the period 2003-
    personnel member can come and help. There is great interest in and               2005, with a total budget of approximately EUR 3,1 million, of which
    outside the county.                                                              the Social Fund is contributing EUR 0,9 million.

•   The Tillit Project for the years 2001-2003 had a total project budget of
    EUR 1,0 million, of which the EU Regional Fund contributed EUR
    0,35 million. Tillit is now in its second phase, 2003-2005. This phase
    has a budget of EUR 0,35 million, of which the EU Regional Fund is
    contributing EUR 0,4 million.
Business@Jämtland - Small and medium-
sized enterprises on the Internet

•   The Objective 6 project ‖SMEs on the Internet‖ through the
    association IT Jämtland has made it possible for an additional 370
    Jämtland small enterprises to reach the world. That is how many
    companies have received training on the possibilities of the Internet
    and through the project have acquired a website.

•   Business@jamtland is a business portal that displays the services and
    products of Jämtland companies. The portal also has a much-visited
    editorial section (approx. 14,000 visitors per month), which deals with
    the everyday life of the Jämtland companies. The portal is member-
    based and today has over 1,500 members. The aim is to support
    business development, including different types of on-line functions.
    These include a resource bank, business register, contact support, web
    conferencing, training, etc. This is needed, not least because the
    individual companies find it hard on their own to develop techniques
    that are needed today and in the future. It is hoped that development
    processes in the business sector in the county will be sped up with the
    help of this portal.

•   During the first period from 1998 –2000, the project was included as
    part of a larger project ‖SMEs on the Internet‖ which via Objective 6
    Regional Fund was financed with a contribution of EUR 0,6 million,
    out of a total project budget of approximately EUR 1,4 million. In the
    period 2001– 2003, the project, Business@jamtland has received a
    contribution of EUR 0,13 million from the EU Regional Fund.

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