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regional development plan agder 2020

creative energy





Torshavn Valle




Gjerstad Åmli

Åseral Evje og Hornnes Froland


Sweden Helsinki

Vegårshei Risør






Kvinesdal Hægebostad Audnedal Flekkefjord

Arendal IvelandBirkenes Grimstad Vennesla Marnardal Lillesand Lyngdal Songdalen Kristiansand Farsund Lindesnes Søgne Mandal

Latvia Riga








United Kingdom



Berlin London



Germany Paris

Czech Republic






Bern Switzerland Ljubljana

Monaco Andorra La Valla

San Marino









Romania Bucharest



Bosnia & Herzegovina Serbia



Italy Rome





St. Helier




Bulgaria Skopje


Turkey Greece Athens

content 4 2020 AIMS 6 CLIMATE: High ambitions - low emissions 10 THE GOOD LIFE: Agder for everyone 16 EDUCATION: value CREATIon based on Knowledge 20 Communications: THE SUSTAINABLE CHOICES 26 Culture and the Arts: Experiences for life

ABOUT AGDER Agder is the southernmost region in Norway and consists of two counties and 30 municipalities. The counties, Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder, have a combined area of 16 500 km2, and a population of 283 000 inhabitants with backgrounds from 140 countries. The two largest cities in the region are the county capitals Kristiansand and Arendal with 82 000 and 42 000 inhabitants, respectively. The majority of the region’s population and businesses are concentrated along the coastline. Agder is the leading region in Norway on entrepreneurship and export from processed goods. The industry in Agder is to a high degree based on energy intensive raw materials processing (e.g. aluminium, nickel, and silicium). The region is also host to world leading producers of off-shore equipment (drilling and mooring), and has also strong maritime industry clusters. There is furthermore a strong potential for the production and distribution of clean energy from the region in to Europe, as Agder is one of Norway’s biggest producers of hydroelectric power. Kristiansand’s Airport Kjevik connects the region to Europe, whilst the Port of Kristiansand is one of Norway’s largest ferry boat and container hubs. Last but not least, Agder has the country’s newest university with about 9 000 students, attracting more and more students from abroad each year.


2020 aims



In 2020 Agder is a leading international region when it comes to climate friendly production and distribution of renewable energy. This is achieved by developing renewable energy and by facilitating energy exchange to increase delivery of green energy to the European mainland. The export industry in Agder sets a global example through innovative climate friendly production processes and efficient energy consumption. Climate considerations are a top priority in all political decisions, both at regional and local level. An increasing share of heating is covered by other energy carriers than electricity and fossil fuels. Emission of climate gasses from the transport sector has been reduced.


In 2020 Agder is characterised by inflow of people, and the population growth is above the national average. The region attracts new expertise and necessary manpower. There has been a substantial decrease in young disability pension recipients. Unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and the share of inhabitants with higher education is increasing. Womens’ share of the labour force has also increased significantly the last ten years. Agder no longer stands out in a negative way in national statistics concerning living conditions and gender equality.


In 2020 the region’s efforts to increase the level of knowledge has given significant results. Through dedicated work across sectors and levels of government, Agder has succeeded in boosting the quality of education from kindergarten to university. Everyone is offered a kindergarten place. Our pupils are scoring well above the national average, and the number of drop outs from upper secondary school is considerably reduced. The university and colleges perform well both nationally and internationally. Initiatives for improving knowledge and cooperation have increased the numbers of entrepreneurs and start-ups. The companies in the region assert themselves in a tough international competition.


In 2020 we may state that the opening of the new four lane motorway between Grimstad and Kristiansand in August 2009 had initiated a successful development of transport in Agder. The work with a safe motorway through Agder is well under way. The Regional roads have been significantly improved and targeted road safety efforts have reduced the most serious accidents. Kristiansand Airport Kjevik has got several new international flight connections which are meeting regional demands, and the airport is equipped to tackle additional growth. The shipping traffic has increased and there is a natural division of labour between the ports in the region. A forward-looking strategy for rail development has been worked out, and the linking of the Vestfold line and Sørlands line is under way. Public transport and cycling have experienced significant growth.


In 2020 regional Culture and the Arts are characterised by diversity and creativity. A number of new jobs have been generated in cultural and creative industries. Cultural initiatives have created prosperity and well-being, boosted regional identity and contributed towards making the region even more attractive. Regional cultural centres have created substantial development and improved quality of life. The diversity of festivals in Agder is greater than ever, and the region’s largest music festivals are recurring and profitable national events. Regional museum initiatives have resulted in a substantial increase in visitors. There are excellent conditions for Culture, the Arts and sport, partly as a result of new, modern facilities throughout the region. 5




Climate issues are a dominant and global challenge for our society. Agder is particularly well placed to help society adapt to climate changes and reduce climate emissions. This climate challenge also provides opportunities for the region’s businesses and knowledge environments. A region extending from the sea to the highlands has natural advantages when it comes to the production of renewable and climate friendly energy. Agder’s considerable hydroelectric power resources and its proximity to the European mainland make it an important supplier of climate friendly energy to Europe. The region also has strong industries associated with energy production and leading research environments for energy and climate matters. The GRID information centre in Arendal is a partner in the UN’s Environment Programme. This will help to strengthen the region’s position in this field. The region also has a proactive public sector with high competence on energy and climate issues. Agder aims to become a region with the lowest possible emissions - a lowemission society. This requires an infrastructure that can encourage maximum climate friendly and future-oriented behaviour. In order to become a lowemission society we need to exploit our energy resources better, reduce transport demands, establish more energy carriers, pave the way for increased use of renewable energy and encourage technology development in the region. The existing knowledge networks in the region need good growth conditions. This applies in particular to our export-oriented processing industry which produces important goods and services for building a global, climate friendly future. A high degree of innovation in climate friendly production processes will make

Agder an important industrial region internationally. This requires cooperation between the public sector, academia, industry and other knowledge environments. These cross-sector linkages will help to create substantial added value for the region and will make Agder a pioneer region within this field. Agder has vast forest resources and great opportunities for using its forests more actively as a “CO2 vacuum cleaner”. There is considerable potential for increasing the use of timber and bioenergy. Increased forestry activities will be beneficial for the climate and important for the industry, not least in sparselypopulated areas.

ACHIEVING OUR OBJECTIVES The climate sets the parameters Climate considerations must have top priority under all political decisions that are made in the region. This applies especially for decisions relating to land use and transport planning, education, research, innovation and the development of public transport. The municipalities and county councils have a special role in facilitating a lowemission society. Improving energy efficiency and utilising new climate friendly technology in the public sector are important priorities. The public sector must be proactive regarding green industrial development, facilitating links and joint venture arenas between industry and the academic sector. The public sector also needs to pioneer climate friendly activities.


MAIN MEASURES: • Regional and local action plans need to be drawn up, outlining specific measures for coping with the climate challenge. • Climate considerations and adaptations shall be included when assessing the development of municipal plans, all major development plans, as well as land use and transport plans in the region. • Climate considerations shall always be included in overall assessments relating to localisation and the prioritisation of infrastructure. • The public sector should always be a forerunner for climate friendly behaviour.

nursery to university, and cooperation between industry and voluntary organisations. It is particularly important to strengthen education and research networks with respect to energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and industrial processes. Climate friendly behaviour needs to be both profitable and possible.

Towards a climate friendly future If Agder succeeds in claiming a position as an international climate region this would position the region as future-oriented and proactive when facing the greatest challenge of our time. This is an important remedy for retaining and attracting talented and innovative people. It is not just about what we say. The most important thing is what we do.

MAIN MEASURES: • Developing information campaigns at local level, preferably in cooperation with regional knowledge environments, e.g. the University of Agder, the United Nations Environment Programme collaborating centre GRID in Arendal and the industry. • Establishing cooperative measures with industries specialising in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the processing industry and the petroleum-based supply industry. • Prioritising low and zero-emission vehicles in public procurement. • Facilitating use of climate friendly fuel. • Emphasising reduced transport demands at each level of land use planning.

Moving towards a low-emission society puts demands on political decisions and on each and every one of us. The population’s attitudes and behaviour have to change. This means that the region must establish structures and initiatives capable of encouraging the whole population, particularly children and young people, to adopt climate friendly behaviour. Key factors involve the development of public transport services, the inclusion of climate issues in education from


The public sector needs to spearhead this development. Examples of public measures that need to be prioritised are investments in energy efficiency, action plans for local climate neutrality and enabling extended use of alternative energy sources and climate friendly vehicles. This could mean developing charging stations and access to alternative fuel throughout the region.

• Improving energy efficiency in public buildings and ensuring a smooth transition to climate friendly heating by increased use of alternative sources of energy. • Strengthening educational and research environments in respect of all fields of energy and technology. • Paving the way for technology developments in order to reduce energy loss in the power line networks. Asset-boosting climate initiatives Agder already has several major leading companies contributing towards the development and production of renewable energy. This provides the region with an advantage that needs to be developed further. There are vast market opportunities to be gained in the interface between climate measures and the development of industry and expertise. Proactive and future-oriented policy in this area can contribute to both economic growth and a better environment. Strengthening existing business clusters in the field of renewable energy and in the processing industry in Agder is an important public task. One of Southern Norway’s most important contributions towards a future low-emission society will be the industry’s ability to develop and produce more energy-efficient. Initiatives need to be established that will link our world-leading expertise in such fields as the offshore supply industry with the development of new sustainable businesses. Increased EU focus on renewable energy, e.g. wind and solar energy, will be valuable for the development and distribution of flexible climate

friendly energy to and from Agder. This means that Agder will be important for achieving reductions in global climate emissions. At a regional level we will work towards strengthening the links between the academic sector and industry. The region has an excellent knowledge environment that needs to be utilised better in order to establish arenas and projects that unite the research and development environments at the University of Agder, our colleges and key companies in Agder. MAIN MEASURES: • High priority is given to projects, measures and business concepts addressing climate challenges when allocating regional development funds and engaging in other public intervention in respect of framework conditions and business development. • Stimulating the regional development of climate friendly technology by funding projects and initiatives emphasising energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy through joint ventures between academic sector, industry and public sector. • Supporting projects that contribute to process improvements in the energy-intensive industry. • Facilitating development of renewable energy by developing wind power, small hydroelectric power stations and bioenergy. • Initiating the mapping of suitable areas for establishing wind power projects, both onshore and offshore.




For the vast majority of inhabitants Agder is a good place to live and grow up. But the region also has challenges, especially due to the fact that a considerable share of the population has low scores on important variables connected to living conditions. The region consists of valuable outlying areas, rural communities and traditional coastal towns. Commitment to local development contributes positively to preservation of the cultural heritage, cultivated land and the improvement of living conditions. Agder now join forces to improve the living conditions and to develop further the qualities that give the region its special advantages. This is absolutely necessary to attract new resources, to fulfil the demand for manpower and maintain a future welfare society in the southernmost part of Norway. The health services are crucial conditions for social security. Primary care is the core of the regional health care system. The current hospital structure must be sustained and further developed to meet the population’s expectations and needs for specialised medical care. There is a labour reserve in the region that could be utilised. This means that we so far have failed to realise the potential for added value that already exists in our part of the country. We must attract highly qualified manpower motivated by the unique qualities that our region offers. Our first competitive advantage is international oriented businesses competing with the best within their branches. Furthermore our geographic location and nature-given qualities stand out compared to congested areas in other parts of the country. Agder is the place where you get creative energy!

Despite a very favourable development within the regional business community and sustained population growth the recent years, Agder has not succeeded to change the fact that we score significantly below national averages on important living condition indicators. The positive social progress in Agder has not been sufficient to improve the conditions in these matters. The Agder region has substantial challenges related to gender equality. The most visible issue is the relatively low participation of women in the work life, and a big number of part time jobs. Like other regions we also have challenges regarding social inequality, ethnic differences and adjustments for disabled. Through systematic and long-term interaction Agder shall become an equal society with good living conditions for all. Diversity should become a strength for our part of the country. Joint commitments like “Girls and Technology Subjects”, “Female Future”, “Global Future”, “Free choice – the Ten Year Commitment for Equality “ and “Agder Equality Centre” at the University of Agder have proved that systematic efforts in these areas give results. The share of inhabitants over the age of 60 is increasing. It will be a big challenge to find ways to utilise senior inhabitants’ skills and experience, while recognising their special needs for health care. The county councils are in charge of providing education that ensures enough professionals within Health and Social care. In our region we have examples of undertakings that have taken national leading roles concerning inclusive working life and sick leave. Two well known examples are Stormberg and the “Trust Project” in Mandal municipality. This kind of work


must be encouraged and continued so that as many as possible can participate in the working life. Reports concerning living conditions from the regional research institute Agder Research suggest clearly what is needed to stimulate a development to combat the challenges related to living conditions. Determined work to achieve inclusive and high quality education, all the way from kindergarten through to university, is the most important measure to equalise social differences, thus supporting as many as possible in finding their way into working life, and succeeding in developing their own potential as active and creative citizens.

ACHIEVING OUR OBJECTIVES Freedom of choice and equality Agder aims to be a pioneering region in the development of human resources. Public sector has a particular responsibility to take on a leading role by conducting a conscious and inclusive employer policy, emphasising each individual’s opportunities. Inhabitants should experience openness and tolerance, in order to thrive in the region. There are unsolved challenges in several areas of our society. We therefore need more bright minds, able hands and warm hearts in our working life. We must utilise women’s work capacity in a better way. This demands a work life that


offers full time job to everybody who wants it, place in a kindergarten for every child that needs one, and possibilities for further education for those who want to qualify for new work life challenges. Both the education system and the labour market must include immigrants to a greater extent. Agder must utilise important skills within the immigrant population, e.g. language and culture competences, possibilities to build international networks and transitional expertise. The potential to release unused resources within the immigrant population has been exposed through the project Global Future, where Agder has led the way nationally. Good role models are crucial to change attitudes. Genuine freedom to choose education and profession must be facilitated by the public sector. This will contribute to diversity, inclusion and equality and the effect will probably be increased added value and reduced social problems. In order to help as many as possible to qualify for the work life, good counselling in the schools is important. Necessary career guidance and educations adapted to the individual’s conditions to succeed are crucial.

MAIN MEASURES: • Giving priority to measures that increase women’s work life participation, and focus on women as leaders both in private and public sector. • Stimulating initiatives that include more people in the work life – regardless of gender, ethnic origin, age, functional ability, sexual orientation or social background. • Systematic use of success stories from the region that illustrate the benefits of equal opportunities and inclusion towards employers. • Preparing a common public employer and education strategy to promote diversity in recruitment processes.

Cooperation and participation Agder is a technology region. A proactive and future-oriented policy has secured the development of a broadband network throughout the region and thus contributed to a better basis for innovation and establishment of future-oriented job opportunities all over Agder. There are good conditions for interaction and an efficient division of roles between the towns along the coast and the rural inland areas. The interaction must be characterised by trust and tolerance. Agder should be recognised as a region with a commitment towards helping neighbours to succeed as well. A well-developed technological infrastructure opens possibilities to create new

arenas of interaction, enabling groups outside the established power circles to contribute to decision-making. In order to improve quality of life in the region it is crucial to release the potential for vigour in the voluntary sector. This is where we often find the enthusiasts for active community involvement. Within the voluntary sector it is possible to release considerable return by making minor investments. MAIN MEASURES: • Emphasising transparency in public administration, and encourage additional publicity. • Creating good arenas for broad public participation in developing local strategic plans. • Elaborating more arenas for interaction between public administration and voluntary organisations. • Starting up with new modes of e-democracy and citizen involvement through new technological solutions. • Municipalities and county councils must create good framework conditions for voluntary organisations, and facilitate good information flow and competence building. Preventive action leads to better living conditions Problems related to living conditions and increasing social inequality that excludes large groups from common prosperity, affect not only the individuals but


the society as a whole. In addition to personal costs they lead to increased public expenditure and loss of potential value creation. Research clearly shows that these problems are diminished through early intervention. The single most important measure is a systematic emphasis on education. Problems related to living conditions are often linked to social inheritance, and research results indicate that good kindergartens have great impact on future life, especially for vulnerable groups. In order to improve living conditions for as many as possible, targeted efforts throughout the whole line of education are required. The aim must be that each individual acquires the necessary resources to make choices that lead to secure income in the future. Kindergartens are the first professional learning arenas the children attend. The goal is to give all children equal opportunities. Hence it is crucial to adapt the kindergartens to those that need them most. Interaction between kindergartens, schools, health care centres, social services, cultural agencies, police and parents is necessary to give each child the best starting point. Parents have a key role, and in most cases support and training of parental management will give the best results. Improved quality in primary education is another condition for tackling the challenges concerning living conditions. Transitions from kindergarten to school and between school levels throughout must be improved. Smooth transitions be-


tween different levels of education will facilitate educational completion, motivation to learn and the acquisition of knowledge. The goal is that everybody completes upper secondary education and receives university or college admission certification, trade certificate or a certificate of competence. Those standing outside the working life must be supported to get work or to get started with other activity. Within the education system customised training is required. Likewise we must utilise the individual human resources by creating an inclusive work life that offers opportunities for everybody. Individuals with unused resources should be included in different activities within cultural and social life, and the competencies of individuals with immigrant background must be utilised in a better way. Health-promoting and preventative public health measures are important parts of the work to improve living conditions and reduce social inequality. Increased participation in outdoor activities is important to counteract social division in the population. The cooperation reform stipulates new requirements for the municipalities and the county councils when it comes to preventative health work. The recent law on the county councils’ public health responsibilities provides new opportunities for cooperation on improving living conditions. Agder should take on a leading role in this field, and seize new possibilities to develop effective measures to improve living conditions in the region.

MAIN MEASURES: • Developing good kindergarten services in all municipalities, emphasising that those who need them most should be included. • Securing that everyone who leaves upper secondary school gains university or college admission certification, trade certificate or a certificate of competence. • Developing Agder into a leading region with regard to public health work, and exploiting the opportunities within the cooperation reform to strengthen preventive health work. • Publishing annual status reports on living conditions in the Agder region. • Increased quality in kindergartens and primary schools to facilitate transition between different levels of education, so that more complete their education. • Participation in outdoor activities should be supported, with special focus on families with children and youths.




• Motivation is essential for learning. • Learning is essential for developing competence. • The right competence is essential for innovation in society and in the workplace. This kind of positive circle will strengthen the region’s competitiveness by improving living conditions, inclusiveness, business development, attractiveness and creativity. The establishment of the University of Agder has been a great inspiration to the region. The university, with its two campuses in Grimstad and Kristiansand, and the colleges need favourable conditions to ensure their future growth and development. Agder is creating a learning culture that comprises the entire course of education from kindergarten to college and university, including adult and further education. This will enhance Agder’s position as a knowledge region. We need to develop and strengthen those fields in which we possess top expertise. Those areas in which the region already is in a leading position serve as good examples for other knowledge development in the region. It is important to develop educational services that meet the needs of the region’s industries. One good example of this is the university’s mechatronics programme which was established in cooperation with the NCE NODE offshore cluster.

Children and young people must be motivated to learn and to complete an education that will provide them with knowledge and skills necessary to participate in society and in the workplace, in a meaningful way. By focusing on increasing students’ motivation, well-being and confidence, we will also achieve better school results and a reduced dropout rate from upper secondary school. This will contribute towards making the region a more attractive place. A higher level of knowledge and competence will also make it more competitive. Agder is a creative region. We have been one of the best counties in Norway in terms of start-up activities and new business establishments. We will continue to develop this entrepreneurship culture by encouraging and supporting talent and creativity. During the course of their education children and young people shall acquire courage and competence to make individual choices and to create a society that both encourages the creative and the well educated to stay in the region and attracts new resourceful inhabitants. The region’s industry has a strong international focus. In order to remain competitive the region needs to have a high activity level with regards to research and development. Our region should actively exploit the opportunities available in EU programmes and our partner organisations in order to boost our level of competence and to exert influence.


Achieving our objectives Lifelong learning All Agder residents shall have the opportunity to realise their learning objectives. Right from the start in kindergarten every child should experience a good, well organised education. Through early intervention in kindergarten and in school each individual will get the best possible starting point for an education and a career in harmony with his or her potential. Cooperation between school and home is a prerequisite for obtaining an education promoting motivation, equality and respect. People from industry, community and the cultural sector shall be used as motivators in our schools. By this means pupils shall be motivated to complete their education at the highest possible level according to their abilities and wishes, whether that is in vocational training or higher education. The region has many technology companies that are world leaders in their fields. The industry needs to engage in recruitment in order to develop its competitive advantages. It is important to inspire children and young people so that they become interested in technical subjects and natural science. The establishment of a science centre will be one instrument within such a strategy. Opportunities and motivation must be created for everyone who is interested


in pursuing adult and further education. Such education could take place at schools, work, cultural arenas or knowledge parks. MAIN MEASURES: • Quality shall be the red thread running through the entire course of education. Motivation shall be the most important factor behind the develop ment of educational services. • Industry, Culture and the Arts and other parts of the community shall be more closely linked to teaching at all levels in order to encourage motivation. • Establishing a regional science centre in Agder. • There shall be good, accessible services for adult and further education in a wide range of disciplines throughout Agder. Knowledge region Agder is a future-oriented knowledge region. One good way of developing this further is to ensure that people working in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, colleges and the university shall have more advanced expertise than on national level. The right recipe is systematic interaction between kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, academia and employers. Teacher training, including adult and further education of pedagogic personnel, shall be a priority. Development work in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools shall be based on research, and

the region shall attract a high percentage of research and development (R&D) and project funding for school-related R&D projects. The scope of public and private funded R&D work shall be increased substantially. It is a common regional task to strengthen the university and college communities and to ensure good interplay between academia and employers. The region’s research environments shall be on a par with international ones. Research shall be carried out both in line with regional requirements and towards more long-term, pioneering goals. Agder’s research and development strategy is an important tool for realising this.

MAIN MEASURES: • Substantial increase in the research and development work being undertaken in the region. • Development of teacher training courses at the University of Agder. • Adult and further education for teachers and school managers is an important remedy for improving quality at the schools. • The Cultiva Foundation, the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway, the Aust-Agder Development and Competence Fund and the Regional Research Fund for Agder all play an important role in boosting regional initiatives in respect of R&D work. Active cooperation between these bodies is essential. • Strengthening R&D cooperation between the university, colleges, industry and the public sector.

Public and private businesses must make the most of the opportunities available in the EU system, both as regards participation in different international projects and the activation of international financial support for regional development. MAIN MEASURES: • Establishing a common arena for coordinating and allocating tasks within the regional and national innovation system in order to increase entrepreneurship and value added. • Strengthening the university’s and the colleges’ roles in terms of start-up facilitation and developing the interplay between the university, the colleges, the industry and the public sector.

Stronger through interaction Agder shall develop advanced business environments that are based on the region’s industrial traditions and competitive advantages. The NODE and Eyde industry clusters have demonstrated how it is possible to establish good cooperation between companies in the same industry and with the public sector. The experience acquired from these clusters shall be used actively in order to develop similar company networks in other industries in the region. The creation of such networks must be based on individual industrial needs, although the public authorities must contribute to establish and support the development of cluster cooperation. The travel industry is important in Agder; it could grow and develop even more efficiently by having a stronger focus on network cooperation.

Cooperation for entrepreneurship Agder is characterised by many start-ups. This is an advantage that needs to be developed further so that it will be equally natural for young people to start their own businesses as it is to seek employment.

Building networks and engaging in cross-industry cooperation shall be encouraged. By continuing to use this approach Agder shall develop the knowledgebased and climate friendly industry of the future and become a leading energy and technology region.

Initiatives relating to young entrepreneurship and pupil and student enterprises shall be developed further. These measures could serve as a good and targeted tool for identifying groups with special potential and motivation for starting their own businesses.

MAIN MEASURES: • Encouraging existing clusters and thus contributing towards further network development. • Utilising experiences acquired from existing industrial clusters and network cooperation in order to develop similar cooperation in other industries. • Developing good arenas for cooperation between the public sector and industry clusters.

The region shall develop a strategy for value creation based on cooperation between businesses, research and development institutions and the public sector, both at national and international level.




An adapted and well-functioning transport network and a well developed infrastructure for electronic communication are important requirements for a desired development in the region. It is not possible to develop a competitive business community and to ensure settlement throughout Agder without an efficient communications network. Transport and communications should be accessible, efficient, predictable, safe and environment-friendly. The need to reduce climate emissions requires a holistic perspective on transport and land use planning. The total transport demand may be reduced by developing well-functioning transport systems where transport- and land use planning concerns are combined. The business community in Agder is depending upon good communications towards Europe and our neighbouring regions. The connections westwards towards Stavanger and eastwards towards Oslo have a particular significance for the major industrial stakeholders. Agder should therefore cooperate with adjacent regions in order to ensure a combined development of transport corridors. Through the cooperations for improved main roads and digital infrastructure the region has managed to reach common priorities and has conducted coordinated lobbying efforts towards the central authorities. These efforts have resulted in increased infrastructure investments. It is a main aim to obtain larger and more predictable government grants for developing infrastructure in the region. Agder should be characterised by transport services where the different modes are regarded in combination, thereby

exploiting the comparative advantages of each mode when it comes to efficiency and sustainability. Our region is small in a national scale. A close cooperation, unifying the whole region behind common priorities for the most important projects is needed to achieve the targets.

Achieving our objectives Cooperation on transport planning Since 2010 a new management model is in effect for the public road network, whereby the county councils have become responsible for a big share of the network. Common regional transport plans after model of the National Transport Plan should be developed in order to realise good decision making processes and common priorities. The region will assume responsibility for both prioritisation, planning, funding and implementation. A broad cooperation with the municipalities is thus needed to find the best solutions. Some of the most important transport arteries in the region will also after 2010 be main roads (type E18, E39 etc.), which are mainly being planned and funded by the state. Unified support for common priorities is therefore an important tool in the regional transport policy and decisive for obtaining national endorsement for regional priorities.


Increased knowledge about regional transport flows is needed to improve the basis for decisions, and good statistics must be developed. Factual arguments will be decisive in the competition to achieve a fair share of national resources. Transport corridors and hubs are key elements for viewing different modes in combination, and will thus be important for regional transport planning. Efficient transfers between modes, so called intermodal hubs, are amongst others a key for efficient exploitation of the transport network. In order to shift more transport from road to sea and rail, it is important with coherent planning to exploit the intermodal hubs in the region. Kristiansand is the most important port in the regional port structure. Arendal, together with several ports in Vest-Agder will be important nodes for sea transport and offshore-related industry. In order to facilitate for increased sea transport it is important to exploit the opportunities within the existing port infrastructure in Agder through improved organisation and operational cooperation. This requires agreement on the division of labour between the different ports. Kristiansand Airport Kjevik is the main airport in the region. The airport should be further developed as a modern airport with attractive services for the travellers and good accessibility. The national aviation agency Avinor must ensure that the airport is further improved and that requirements for safety, regularity and runway length are satisfied.


A strategically important focus for the region will be to develop the airport as a transport hub with aeronautical activities. The population basis in the region sets natural limits for the scope of air services. Well developed services, especially to airports like Oslo Gardermoen, Copenhagen Kastrup and Amsterdam Schiphol are particularly important for the export-oriented business community in the region. In order to maintain and improve the current route network from Kristiansand airport Kjevik, the development of other airports in the region must not serve to undermine the traffic potential to key destinations. Gullknapp in the eastern part of Agder is an airport which is mainly privately-owned. The runway has now been extended to 1200 meters and the airport will offer taxi flights to cover the demand from the local business community. This function will be in accordance with strategies previously decided by the Agder Council (an umbrella structure for the county councils and municipalities in the region). Gullknapp could also become a base for aviation training and aeronautical subjects. Integrated land use and transport planning will create well-functioning and sustainable labour market-, housing- and service regions - facilitating a balanced development in the whole region. The larger cities are together with the county councils and other public agencies the drivers for common land use and transport planning. The smaller municipalities should be involved in themes affecting them directly, ensuring coherent solutions with focus on the challenges and needs of the region.

The high number of road accidents in the region leads to fatalities and reduced quality of life for many people. A strong effort for road safety is therefore still needed. MAIN MEASURES • Working out and adopting common transport plans as a basis for developing the infrastructure in the region. • Implementing committing land use and transport planning in all urban areas. • Developing the Port of Kristiansand as a national hub - integrating sea-, rail and road transport. • Ensuring a clear division of roles between the different ports in the region. • Strengthening Kristiansand Airport Kjevik as the main airport in the region. • Reducing the number of traffic accidents through coordinated and knowledge-based efforts for road safety. Upgrading the main roads The main road network consists of the European routes E18, E39, and National roads Rv9 and Rv41. It is a major aim to upgrade these roads to a standard ensuring good mobility, traffic safety and good environmental conditions. For E18 and E39 the aim is to have continuous motorway standard throughout Agder. Clarification of planning requirements and funding are important tasks ahead. The development needs for the National road 41 Kjevik (Airport) - Telemark border must also be clarified.

Further development of the road network is not only dependent upon state grants, but is also requiring regional prioritisation and efficient planning. The most important responsibilities locally are requirements for concept studies, opportunities for local co-funding and municipal sector plans to clarify the choice of routing. Facilitation for public transport is also part of the main road projects. Efforts for new and efficient funding- and construction schemes are also needed. MAIN MEASURES: • The projects prioritised in Agder must be included in the National Transport Plan. • Ensuring that the Public Road Administration starts the planning related to prioritised projects. • The municipalities and other public agencies must contribute to good and efficient planning processes. • Complete adopted development targets for the European roads E18, E39 and National roads no. 9 and 41. • A unified Agder region should rally behind the priorities and jointly contribute in the lobbying for increased government grants for the infrastructure projects. On the track of the future More of both passenger and freight transport should be shifted to rail in order to relieve the road network as well as achieving positive impacts on climate and


environment. In the first instance, the linking of the Sørlands- and Vestfold rail lines is the single measure with a potential to really renew the rail service. The linking of these rail lines would make the railway in our region competitive in relation to alternative modes of both passenger and freight transport. A simultaneous upgrade of the Sørlands- and Vestfold rail lines would realise the full potential for reduced travel time, increased frequency and flexibility. The main aim is to ensure that the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget, endorses in principle the linking of the Sørlands- and Vestfold rail lines as soon as possible in this planning period. In these efforts it is important that the region stays united as in the case of important previous road issues. Lobbying efforts should build on documented facts. Updated analysis on the socio-economic impacts of the linkage should be taken forward. The linked rail lines will be a part of a future high speed network. National investigations on the possibilities for realising a high speed network are going on, and the Agder region should gather behind strategies which could contribute to this. A modernisation of the Sørlands line would be a part of such a strategy, opening up for a modern South-West rail line.

MAIN MEASURES • Working out a future-orientated strategy for rail development in Agder. • Obtaining national endorsement for linking the Vestfold and Sørlands rail lines.


Public transport upgrade initiative The competitiveness of public transport should be strengthened in order to offer more people a real option of choosing this form of transport. The development of a more competitive and accessible public transport service is part of the region’s efforts for improved infrastructure. Common transport planning will ensure the most efficient management of the resources. The county councils are responsible for operating local and regional public transport services and are at the same time owning regional roads. The councils have therefore got a particular responsibility for coordination. It is important that the municipal land use plans facilitate for public transport services. Public transport could then become a real option for more people. MAIN MEASURES • Developing the public transport service to a real option for as many as possible. • To make public transport more competitive, emphasis should both be put on frequency, accessibility and price. One should focus on flexible demandresponsive services in less trafficated areas. • It is important to strengthen public transport in cities and towns to relieve the traffic growth in such areas. • Housing development should be concentrated around selected axes for public transport.

Cycle Region Agder Kristiansand, Grimstad and Mandal have status as national cycle cities, showing the way for further facilitation of cycling in the region. Cycling and walking are an important part of a future-orientated transport strategy seen from a climate, tourism and public health perspective. We will facilitate for attractive cycle routes and hiking paths, as well as for cycle as a mode of transport. Planning and developing a main cycle network in towns and cities will lay the foundation for reduced car use. MAIN MEASURES • Facilitating for attractive cycle routes and hiking paths, as well as for cycle as a mode of transport. • Planning and developing a main cycle network. First on the digital motorway The Agder Region is already a beacon when it comes to the development of digital infrastructure. Through the project ”The Digital Agder”, the region has succeeded in developing a dense broad band network enabling everybody to link up to the digital motorway at an affordable price. This scheme has succeeded through interaction. The public sector has established a cooperation on procurement to the benefit of the whole region. At the same time municipalities and other public institutions have got access to a well developed network with high capacity.

To secure and strengthen the position of Agder when it comes to the digital access, the region must build on the excellent experiences from the project ”The Digital Agder”. The cooperation between municipalities, county councils and other competence environments should be further developed to create a modern public sector and service production through use and access to digital infrastructure and tools. The cooperation between the business community, the public sector and academia should promote ICT clustering - enabling the region to strengthen its position as a strong ICT region. MAIN MEASURES • Expanding public sector cooperation on development and use of digital infrastructure. • Simplifying dialogue and contact with public authorities through the use of digital channels (e-services). • Making Agder to the region with the best mobile phone coverage.



5. Culture and the Arts: Experiences for life

Culture and the Arts are of great intrinsic value to people and society. Agder’s regional culture sector includes voluntary activities, cultural heritage, cultural institutions, festivals and experience-based industries. Together these constitute aspects of creativity that are decisive for the vibrancy and growth of Agder. 1) The Arts, cultural activities and experiences based on the good things in life, may create a sense of mastery and identity. Agder’s cultural diversity has increased with its growing immigrant population. New impulses and expressions create a better basis for identity, tolerance and development. These developments are being spearheaded by the region’s cultural institutions. The Kilden Performing Arts Centre and other cultural centres in the region are attracting considerable attention, inspiring artistic scope and creating arenas that are attractive to both performers and the audience. If we are to achieve the best from the potential that exists in our region, we need to coordinate our culture resources and ensure that the region’s expertise is utilised through interaction between all the relevant parties involved. It is the sum of these factors that influences Culture and the Arts in Agder: cooperation between different cultural expressions, links with industry, education, research and good facilitation by the public authorities. In the same way that cluster formation in industry creates greater opportunities for all concerned, strong cultural clusters within Culture and the Arts also contribute to more innovation, growth and the development of markets. The region needs to cultivate these success factors. This will form the basis for growing professional environments and will in turn result in expertise and business

development within the experience economy and culture-based industries - which will also help to create new companies and lead to growth in tourism and other industries. A characteristic feature of Culture and the Arts in Agder is the diversity of festivals. These festivals incorporate events that are significant both nationally and internationally. Due to the diversity of festivals, we also find smaller events that engage both the organisers and local communities. These events appeal to niche audiences. Another special cultural aspect in Agder is the unique culture originating in Setesdal where we see a high number of professional performers in the fields of folk music, crossover, art and crafts that have strong links with the area’s cultural heritage, traditions and folk culture.

Agder needs a thriving culture with a wide range of different events in the fields of music, dramatic and performing arts, sport, visual art and literature. Having a vibrant, creative and attractive cultural life is important for the region’s ability to recruit labour.

Achieving our objectives Culture in the Region Agder must utilise its diverse resources and invest in art, culture, experiences, sport and an active voluntary sector. The region must develop forms of cooperation and measures that benefit and develop expertise in order to be competitive in relation to other regions. This will make the region attractive to people involved in the Arts and the population at large and help to market the region. Culture and the Arts should also be used for telling the great stories about modern Agder. Relevant cooperative fora need to be established between the region’s cultural institutions, and cross-boundary municipal cooperation relating to the location of cultural centres and arenas needs to be developed.

1) In Norway, sport is included in the cultural sector and voluntary work has a strong position. Norwegians strong connection to nature and outdoor activities is also important to mention. Therefore these aspects are included in this chapter.


A forum for cooperation and expertise relating to festivals in the region needs to be established. We also need a Nordic centre for the experience economy, which will serve as an arena for cooperation and the development of expertise between the various artistic modes and branches, industry, academia and the public sector. The region shall market its brands in the fields of culture and tourism in a professional manner. In order to increase the attractiveness and the marketing of the region, our cultural monuments must be developed as experience arenas. The region shall proudly present its diversity in respect of both its tangible and intangible cultural heritage - including buildings, artefacts, environments, folk music and natural heritage. This will contribute to develop the region’s identity.

MAIN MEASURES: • Extended cooperation relating to the management of cultural institutions and festivals. • Establishing and developing cultural and sporting arenas satisfying local, regional and international requirements. • Establishing a centre for experience industries as a common arena for the Arts, industry, academia and the public sector. • Developing an integrated cultural strategy with emphasis on broad involvement and voluntary participation.

Knowledge, expertise and talent Cultural expression is all about knowledge, expertise and talent. Artists, athletes, individuals involved in the Arts cultural institutions and experience companies must therefore have the opportunity to improve the quality of their activities. This also relates to market expertise and providing all aspects of culture with the best possible opportunities for communicating with and reaching their public. We need to create room for authentic, experimental and professional cultural life in Agder. Individuals involved in the Arts must find the region interesting, and measures designed to improve the living conditions of artists in the region need to be developed. The region must provide motivation for broad participation in respect of Culture, the Arts and sport. The most important target group is children and youths, because participation in Culture, the Arts and sport gives greater quality of life and enthusiasm. Voluntary efforts must be encouraged because this is the best way of nurturing the enthusiasts in their involvement. At the same time the voluntary organisations provide opportunities for participation and inclusion. Voluntary cultural, artistic and sporting contributions are often responsible for the emergence of new facilities as well as ensuring that large events can be organised and held in the region. The University of Agder must be able to offer good education in respect of art, culture, health and sports subjects. Regional culture centres must be available for


both performers and the public. This can be achieved through operating models that allow for the diversity of cultural expressions emerging from both the wide scope of culture and professional circles.

If we are to increase income for Culture and the Arts in the region, Agder needs to exploit existing funding schemes and to improve the opportunities available for funding on the basis of its own production and turnover.

MAIN MEASURES: • Artists and individuals involved in culture shall be provided with good opportunities for work and deployment, and they should be involved in designing locations and in teaching. • Children and youths shall receive good, diverse opportunities for education and participation in Culture and the Arts, sport and outdoor activities. • The University of Agder shall offer good education in respect of art, culture, health and sports subjects. • Strengthening the cultural involvement of immigrant groups.

Work needs to be carried out in order to improve cultural sector funding, based on state funds and contributions from industry. We also need to ensure that cultural workers and those involved in the experience industries are aware of existing funding schemes. Individuals and companies involved in culture can be offered expertise and support for marketing and selling their products.

Additional sources of funding for art, culture and sport Public funding has been decisive for the development of most cultural institutions. However, public funding alone is not enough. During the last decades it has been recognised that private businesses, educational institutions, semi-government bodies and the voluntary sector must interact with the public sector in an equal manner in order for society to achieve desired results. Agder needs to encourage broad, targeted cooperation in order to obtain funding for the region’s cultural services, from a diversity of sources.

MAIN MEASURES: • Working to increase the share of state grants to the cultural sector. • Cooperation between public parties and the business sector in respect of funding cultural activities that will make the region more attractive, both to its own inhabitants and to visitors. A stronger voluntary sector Participation in voluntary organisations contributes towards democratisation and enables more people to have joint responsibility in the community. Voluntary work has undergone a change during the last few years. The traditional form of organisation involving loyal members is declining, while ad hoc based voluntary service is taking over. This change demands that organisations become far more professional and efficient. The largest organisations will require more employees.


We need to develop an integrated cultural strategy with the emphasis on broad involvement and voluntary service. This applies at local, municipal and regional level. In order to coordinate and safeguard the requirements of all the voluntary organisations, the umbrella organisations for voluntary activities in Agder will need good framework conditions. We need to place priority on cooperation between these and the public sector. MAIN MEASURES: • Active cooperation between the public and voluntary sectors with a view to managing involvement and participation for the benefit of the community. • Increased assistance for organisational change and information. Experiences on historical ground Cultural heritage is an important aspect of Agder’s identity. We need to reinforce this by finding a good balance between conservation and development of our cultural landscape, urban areas and towns, and by providing support to museums and other institutions that preserve our cultural heritage. Based on the historical treasures administered by the region, we need to create experiences and attractions that contribute towards strengthening the quality of life for everyone living in the region and simultaneously develop tourism and the conditions that apply to living and growing up in the region. The region shall market its brands within culture and tourism in a professional manner. The region’s cultural monuments are important experience arenas


when marketing the region and increasing its attractiveness to both tourists and potential new residents. The region shall also display its diversity in respect of both its tangible and intangible cultural heritage - including buildings, artefacts, environments, folk music, coastal culture and natural heritage. MAIN MEASURES: • Developing and marketing the region’s museums, cultural monuments and housing environments with a view to making them known and attractive as experience arenas for a wide public. • Finding the right balance between conservation and development, based on the fact that cultural monuments, housing environments and the cultural landscape throughout the region represent living history. An attractive coastal zone One of Agder’s foremost advantages is its valuable coast, and this needs to be developed and preserved through planning processes that are designed to ensure local and regional management. MAIN MEASURES: • Clarifying the public right of access in the coastal zone. • Planning a coastal path throughout Agder.


Postal address: Aust-Agder fylkeskommune Postboks 788 Stoa 4809 Arendal Norway

Vest-Agder County Council E-mail: Phone: +47 38 07 45 00 Office address: Tordenskjoldsgate 65 4614 Kristiansand Norway Postal address: Vest-Agder fylkeskommune Postboks 517 Lund 4605 Kristiansand Norway

Further details about the Regional Development Plan Agder 2020:

regional development plan agder 2020

Foto: Arild Danielsen / Foto fra Kilden: Kjartan Bjelland

Office address: Ragnvald Blakstadsvei 1 4838 Arendal Norway

Gevir 27962

Aust-Agder County Council E-mail: Phone: +47 37 01 73 00

Regional Development Plan Agder 2020  

Regional Development Plan Agder 2020

Regional Development Plan Agder 2020  

Regional Development Plan Agder 2020