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Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN

Priorities for international cooperation

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation


Sogn og Fjordane County Sogn og Fjordane covers an area of 18 623 square kilometres, spread between 26 municipalities located along the coast and along various fjords in the western reaches of Norway.

Sogn og Fjordane is a study in contrasts in terms of geography and climate. Furthest east the county stretches into the alpine expanses of the Jotunheimen, home to some of the tallest mountaintops in the country. The fjords offer a distinctive landscape, typified by precipitous mountains and waterfalls. Jostedal Glacier, the largest glacier in Continental Europe, is spread over a mountainous region in the northeastern corner of the county and is easily visible and accessible from various locations. In the skerries, where the fjords meet the sea, are small settlements originally founded on fishing. Sogn og Fjordane had around 110 000 inhabitants in 2016. The county’s largest urban areas are Førde, Florø, Måløy, Nordfjordeid and Sogndal. The county is otherwise characterised by many widespread settlements of varying size. Sogn og Fjordane has a good transport communication network to the key administrative centres in Norway. The main thoroughfare along the Western Norwegian coast, the E39, links up Sogn og Fjordane with Trondheim in the north and Bergen in the south. Public transport bus services also depart from Sogn og Fjordane to these cities. Additionally the E16, one of the principal transportation routes between east and west in Norway, passes through the innermost stretches of the county, providing these with excellent connections to Bergen and Oslo. Flights leave daily from airports in Florø, Førde, Sogndal and Sandane for Oslo and Bergen. There are also express ferry services between Sogn og Fjordane and Bergen.

110 000 Inhabitants


18.623 Square kilometres

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation

2% Average unemployment rate 2010-2015

Value creation in Sogn og Fjordane 2014

Extraction of petroleum and natural gas 1% Other 3% Agriculture and forestry 3%

In addition to being a vital, independent source of revenue, hydroelectric power also provides the basis for energy dependent metal working industry at several locations in Sogn og Fjordane. Hydroelectric power is, and has long been, a key to creating wealth in both Sogn og Fjordane and Norway as a whole.

Fishing and aquaculture 6%

Transportation 8% Services 25%

Wholesale and retail 9%

Manufacturing 19% Electric power generation 16%

Agriculture benefits greatly from the fjord climate, which provides an excellent basis for growing vegetables, fruit and berries. The county has a significant food industry in the production and processing of fruit, meat products and of course the fisheries.

Construction 10%

Trade and Industry Of all the Norwegian counties, Sogn og Fjordane has the highest percentage of men and women in employment. During the last five years unemployment accounted for two percent of the working-age population.

Tourism is also a key industry in Sogn og Fjordane. The spectacular fjord landscape has provided the foundation for achieving the county status as a world-famous travel destination.

Sold farmed fish (1000 tons)

In Sogn og Fjordane, as with Europe generally, tertiary industries are the principal industries providing employment and wealth creation. A characteristic of the county is nonetheless that both primary and secondary industries contribute more to employment, wealth creation and exports compared to most other counties. With regard to wealth creation, aquaculture, based on marine farming of salmon and trout, is the industry that has achieved the most rapid growth in recent years. Sales of farmed fish from Sogn og Fjordane almost doubled in volume between 1995 and 2005, to then more than double between 2005 and 2015. Fisheries remains an important industry. Together these account for six percent of the total wealth creation by the county’s private sector. Both are directed at the global market. During the 20th century hydroelectric power became an important resource for Sogn og Fjordane. A high-rainfall climate combined with tall mountains, provides the ideal conditions for development of hydroelectric power. Thus electricity production accounts for a large percentage of power generated in Norway, representing 16 percent of the county’s wealth creation in 2014.








Wealth creation and development of the knowledge community Challenges Sogn og Fjordane County Council has defined the following challenges as having particular significance for the county: • Globalisation and centralisation • Migration and inclusion • Women, education and the employment market • Wealth creation and development of the knowledge community • Climate change For the work on wealth creation these guidelines mean • Increased emphasis on internationalisation • Increased emphasis on education and research • Industrial modernisation and green growth • Working to gain a larger share of the growth in knowledge-intensive and creative industries


The principal objective of the wealth creation plan is: 500 new jobs each year In order to achieve this target, Sogn og Fjordane must attain a larger share of the expansive tertiary industries. People are our most important resource The county must offer attractive jobs. We are competing with regard to where people will choose to settle, and where the most attractive jobs are established. Key strategies: • Innovation based on the natural advantages we have • To be attractive for people that will create jobs • To lay the groundwork for development of expertise, based on traditions, manual trades, occupations and academic knowledge


Our natural advantages • Renewable energy and energy processing industry • Marine and maritime industries • Nature-based tourism • Agriculture

Acquisition Sogn og Fjordane has comprehensive industrial clusters that can be developed to become even more complete. In the task of green restructuring, there is room for new enterprises to complement and strengthen these industrial clusters.

expansive tertiary and creative industries. We need jobs that will attract the younger well-educated generation. Our ambition is to be a driving force in the green transition, to generate diversity in jobs and contribute to interactive communication between the knowledge milieu, public sector and industry Values foundation Social responsibility is a premise for all endeavours. This means that we do not prioritise activity based on social dumping or irresponsible use of natural resources.

Important message in the wealth creation plan: The partnership will utilise the means we have at our disposition to create more jobs that link up with the

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation


Developing our rural innovation system Innovation is a bottom up process. The intention of our policy instruments is to facilitate proactive actions and to nurture sound initiatives. There are three primary areas of work: • Restructuring / industrial modernisation • Entrepreneurship - The county has worked long and conscientiously with young entrepreneurship in upper secondary education. • Increased number of jobs providing expertise-intensive services

Lefdal Mine Datacenter. Offering Europe’s greenest datacenter solution.

Public development agencies All municipalities have separate staff assigned to economic development Sogn og Fjordane County Municipality – Department for Economic and Cultural Development • We are a co-owner in a research fund for Western Norway State resource organisations with office in or with own contact person for the county: • Innovation Norway • SIVA • Norwegian Research Council


Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation


Research and education In Sogn og Fjordane there are three public research milieus: • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences • Western Norway Research Institute • Bioforsk (agriculture) Higher education: • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences • Fagskulen i Sogn og Fjordane

Four working areas where international co-operation is of special interest 1 International co-operation within youth entrepreneurship The upper secondary schools actively use the Erasmus+ Programme to develop skills within entrepreneurship. 2 Rural areas need to develop their innovation systems From January 2017 and until June 2021 Sogn og Fjordane County Municipality is heading the Interreg Europe project ”Policies to improve rural areas’ innovation systems by professionalising networking activities and use of innovation tools”. We aim to heighten our regions’ achievements within business innovation by improving our rural innovation system. 3 Step up efforts to mobilize businesses to use R&D The County Partnerships collaborate with the Research Council of Norway to encourage companies and company networks to ramp up investment in research into innovative processes. We also intend increasing our level of participation in Horizon 2020. 4 Smart regions Operating on the basis of our smart specialisation strategy, the wealth creation plan, we are seeking contact with regions with whom we see definite potential for a mutual cooperation to develop competitive value chains. Our starting point: Renewable energy


ŠJo Bergersen


Education and training

The Education and Training department of Sogn og Fjordane County Council coordinates a comprehensive ERASMUS+ mobility project for employees, students and apprentices in upper secondary vocational education and training. The project is a consequence of the dedicated work within international activities since 2007. The project concerns practical training placements of staff, students and apprentices within the Hotel and Restaurant Trades, Technical and Industrial Production, Building trades and Health trades. The placements shall support the curricular and training needs within each trade area. The project shall support the need for international working experience in the curriculum and training plans. Main objectives: • Provide an opportunity to gain cultural and working experiences in an international environment • Increase interest for the trades concerned and make these more attractive as an educational option and thereby increase recruitment to the lines of study and training involved • Provide an opportunity to communicate professionally in another language • Enable participants to achieve enhanced self development through new cultural and professional challenges

• Prepare the participants for their exams and trade certificate tests and their future working life through gaining a more varied and relevant work experience • Give employees a chance to further develop their competencies within the trades concerned and in international activities • Contribute to an increase in the level of success rates for education within the county • Raise the bar for international competence and understanding • Increase knowledge and competence with regard to education and training systems and qualification criteria in other European countries Our experience from prior projects has been excellent. In a longer perspective participation in these types of projects provide increased and valuable expertise amongst the participants and the companies they will be working for in the future. Future cooperation: The county council is looking to extend the area of international youth exchanges as a part of the educational options we have to offer.

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation


Renewable energy

Sogn og Fjordane abounds in energy resources. Hydroelectric power has a long history in the county and on its own represents a major industry. This resource base has been a key factor for development of the process industry in Bremanger (Elkem), Høyanger and Årdal (Hydro). Constructions have also resulted in large dam plants, thus ensuring the county has plentiful regulatory capacity. Sogn og Fjordane still has extensive, unexploited hydroelectric power resources. Sogn og Fjordane is a county with significant potential for small power plants (under 10 MW). Development of this potential will entail major investments, whilst providing opportunities for the supplier industry sector. The county is also rich in wind power resources. One wind farm is operative, six have been granted licenses, and four are under consideration for licenses. The county is also ideally located for offshore wind farms. Interest for offshore wind has fluctuated in Norway. The Frøya reef, located immediately out from Bremanger Municipality, is an area well suited in technical-economic terms, has relatively few opposing interests, which can be connected to the net unhindered by any major challenges by 2025.

and access to aid schemes play a role on the commercial side. The energy produced must also reach a market. Until now, the net infrastructure has caused a bottleneck, but the current construction of a new 420 kV line between Fardal and Ørskog is now remedying this problem. SINTEF Energi AS envisaged several years ago actual scenarios for overseas cables from Sogn og Fjordane to the far north of the United Kingdom, and then preferably in combination with electrification of installations in the northern reaches of the North Sea. One of the positive aspects here is the levelling out of production, in that there is no pronounced relationship between the wind system north and south in the North Sea. Sogn og Fjordane has invested in a large project directed at development of the hydrogen-based value chain, among other reasons due to a need for ample access to renewable energy. The maritime sector has particular prominence in this project. Flora Municipality has been accorded pilot status in the green coastal navigation programme with ambitions to develop a hydrogen powered driven passenger ferry service for traffic in the surrounding area. International cooperation Hydrogen-based and maritime value chains are accorded high priority.

However, even if the plant (applies to both hydro and wind power) is granted a license, it is not a given that it will be built. Project economics, profitability, electricity power prices


Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation

©Sverre Hjørnevik/Fjord Norway


©Harald M Valderhaug


Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation

Blue Growth

Maritime industry In the maritime sector the county has broad experience and a diverse environment with ship design, shipyards and shipyard industry, shipping companies (with Fjord 1 as “a world leader” in LNG operation). Approximately one-third of Norwegian oil production is concentrated off the Sogn og Fjordane coast. It is a prioritised objective for the county to participate in creation of this wealth. Flora has supply and operational services to major fields in the northern reaches of the North Sea. Investments have been made in development of subsea expertise, among others in establishing bachelor degree education in this field. Statoil has its main pipe storage base in Florø. Snorre is among the fields on the Norwegian shelf with largest remaining oil resources, and production is anticipated to continue until at least 2040. Lutelandet is located in Fjaler Municipality. The emphasis here is on removal and recycling of installations that have been withdrawn from operation on the shelf. The area is considerable in size and represents significant potential for development of industrial space. Conditions here are good for seaward approach and depth. Gulen Municipality has suitable area access north of Mongstad, and is equipped to gain benefit from the hive of activity at the refinery and supply base located there. A new coiled tubing base was recently established in Sløvåg.

Aquaculture and fisheries Fisheries and aquaculture (salmon and trout) are important export industries. Sogn og Fjordane has • Well established clusters with complete value chain within the fisheries sector • Well established clusters with complete value chain within farming of trout and salmon • A high level of creativity where R&D and innovation are highly integrated in fisheries and aqaculture sectors • Clean marine waters not yet exploited We also aim to contribute to the search for “green solutions” to further operation through new ideas and innovation. We are keen to see new jobs for expertise based on value-added processing (VAP) of raw materials Vital development work where international cooperation is prioritised • Further development of environmentally friendly catch methods and handling of catches is an important task to ensure a first-class product is offered to the consumers. • The county has good vicinities, which ensure sustainable and safe fish production. Preparation of good sites and sea acreage in order to secure future growth is an important task for the county council. Development is well underway of new concepts for more environmentally friendly production of salmon and trout. • Land-based facilities based on recycling of water, closed containment constructions for edible fish production in the sea and semi-sealed constructions are currently undergoing trials. • Industrial development based on new marine species.

Interested to find out more about companies in our maritime industry? Oil and gas activities and maritime industry are important to the supplier industry in Sogn og Fjordane. The Maritime Association in Sogn og Fjordane has developed a website for the supplier network servicing the maritime industry in the county. The website provides an overview of numerous companies in various segments of the supplier industry, A separate website will be developed for marine industry.


©Øyvind Heen -


Eco services and tourism

Private and public stakeholders have decided on three important topics for the tourism industry: - Increased productivity - Increased guest days/overnight stays - A more sustainable form of tourism The goal in 2008 was to increase the number of guest days/ overnight stays in the county from 1.5 to 2.3 million by 2025. Conservative indications show that the region will have 2.3 million visitors by 2020. “The fjords from glaciers to the sea” Sogn og Fjordane takes pride in being one of the leading regions in the world for sustainable, nature-based experiences and high-value activities. Together with dedicated individuals and a unique environment that embraces the fjords, glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, coast and sea; all contribute to providing the basis for profitable businesses, prosperity and job opportunities.

Impulses through international cooperation 1 Nature adventures Spellbinding nature, fascinating culture and an aweinspiring landscape have shaped a fertile basis for a rich diversity of outstanding tourism products in the county of Sogn og Fjordane. Fjord cruises, hiking, biking, skiing and stays at classical hotels are some of the products offered in the county. We are seeking impulses to further develop authentic and sustainable products for visitors to experience. 2 Local food and Eco services Small scale agriculture produces high quality local products. The small farms are also essential to maintain cultural landscapes integrated as part of the natural landscapes. Sogn og Fjordane is keen to forge bonds in cooperations to develop innovative approaches and new ways of thinking about how farmland and forests are managed. The intention here is to stimulate ongoing improvement in products and eco-system services offered to the public that are derived from agriculture and forestry industry.

We shall provide local character, top quality, dedicated individuals, thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experiences in a unique environment – of fjords, glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, coast and sea.

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation


The County Council – Partnerships - Contact information Sogn og Fjordane County Council has the political responsibility for implementing our smart specialization strategy; the Wealth Creation Plan Contact: The Chair of the County Council Ms Jenny Følling, e-mail: / cell phone +47 479 05 990 or The Deputy Chair of the County Council Ms Åshild Kjelsnes, e-mail: / cell phone: +47 918 88 568 Sogn og Fjordane County Municipality is heading the Wealth Creation Partnership. Contact: Director Jan Heggheim, Department for Economic and Cultural Development, e-mail: / cell phone +47 905 66 623 or

Organisations taking part in the Wealth Creation Partnership: NHO - Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise LO - Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions Sogn og Fjordane County Governor – Department of Agriculture NAV - The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration Innovation Norway KS - The Norwegian Association of Municipalities and Counties Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) Western Norway Research Institute The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries

Sogn og Fjordane fylkeskommune Phone: +47 57 63 80 00 E-mail: 16

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation

Design: • coverphoto: Arne Monrad Johnsen

Co-ordinator Lars Hustveit, e-mail: / cell phone +47 415 30 972

Profile for Gasta design

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN  

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN  

Based on Sogn og Fjordane County Council’s WEALTH CREATION PLAN Priorities for international cooperation