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From Vision to Practice – Insights from Nordic-Baltic 5G applications across sectors

This report builds on the findings of the Nordic-Baltic 5G Monitoring Tool (N-B 5G MT) project ‘Analytical Report’, which focused on mapping 5G activities in the Nordic-Baltic region and analysing their roll-out status. In this follow-up report, we delve deeper into actual 5G applications across different verticals (i.e. sectors), including healthcare, transportation/mobility, industry and media/broadcasting. The Nordic-Baltic region faces knowledge gaps in understanding 5G’s full economic impact, despite its role as both a service and an enabler. While there’s notable activity in sectors like transport, smart cities, and health, most 5G projects are still in the early stages, and the business case for widespread 5G deployment is not yet clear. This report examines how various sectors address these challenges and what can be learned from their experiences in advancing 5G development.  The report identifies challenges in each sector, such as funding constraints in healthcare, technical hurdles in transportation, market immaturity in industry, and infrastructure investment needs in media, highlighting the complex landscape of 5G deployment. The project’s key findings point to a number of cross-cutting challenges that require comprehensive attention and solutions: Overall, the report emphasises the need for a systemic approach to addressing these challenges. This includes clarifying the business value of 5G; fostering ecosystems for collaboration; and ensuring that policy and regulatory frameworks support the innovative, equitable deployment of 5G technology. Overcoming these hurdles will require concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including governments, industry and the wider community. Only then will the transformative potential of 5G for society be fully realised.

Policy tools for sustainable and healthy eating – Enabling a food transition in the Nordic countries

This report addresses the gap between current Nordic diets and the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2023, emphasising the urgency for policy interventions to drive substantial behavioural shifts towards healthier and more sustainable diets. It introduces a Nordic behaviour change framework that describes determinants influencing the individual’s dietary behaviour and the enabling role of policy instruments in incentivising behavioural changes. The report advocates for a multifaceted policy approach, including taxes, subsidies, public procurement, information campaigns, educational initiatives, nudging instruments and labeling to encourage a shift in dietary behaviour. These efforts are consolidated into five key recommendations. This report delves into the gap between prevailing Nordic diets and the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) 2023, emphasizing the necessity of implementing policy instruments designed to guide the food environment towards fostering significant behavioural change. It highlights the responsibility of governmental agencies in steering the food environment to achieve substantial behavioural shifts necessary for embracing healthier and more sustainable dietary patterns. Scholarly emphasis on behavioural shifts informs the report’s comprehensive analysis of determinants influencing a transition towards healthier eating habits. It introduces a Nordic behaviour change framework that prioritizes enhancing the availability, affordability, accessibility, and attractiveness of healthy food options, concurrently diminishing these aspects for unhealthy choices. This framework identifies determinants across food-related, personal, and socio-environmental spheres, shedding light on the critical influence of early food experiences, demographic factors, education, financial stability, cultural norms, and social determinants on dietary behaviours. Targeted interventions aimed at augmenting capability, opportunity, and motivation at various societal levels are identified as crucial for catalysing meaningful dietary transformation. The report underscores the criticality of policy instruments that address economic variables, provide information, and leverage nudging strategies to incentivise healthier dietary selections. It advocates for a multifaceted policy approach encompassing taxes, subsidies, directives for public procurement, public awareness campaigns, educational initiatives, and labelling…

Svensk-norskt samarbete: viktiga utmaningar och framtida möjligheter

Denna rapport, beställd av Region Värmland, analyserar gränshinder inom den statliga regionalpolitiken mellan Sverige och Norge, med målet att belysa integrationen av gränsperspektivet och diskutera utmaningar samt möjligheter för gränsöverskridande samarbete. Gränsen mellan Sverige och Norge beskrivs som “mjuk” med omfattande flöden, där historien av samarbete erbjuder betydande potential. Starka sociala band och ‘den mjuka gränsen’ främjar arbetskraftens rörlighet och affärssamarbeten, vilket bidrar till ökad konkurrenskraft och större marknader. Rapporten identifierar även gränshinder som påverkar individer, pendlare, och företag i gränsområdet. Den betonar vikten av dialog och samverkan för att ta tillvara möjligheter och hitta lösningar på gemensamma utmaningar. Rapporten framhåller att den regionala politiken i båda länderna ger regionerna ansvar för utveckling, men pekar på skillnader i hur gränsöverskridande aspekter hanteras. Den understryker vikten av gränsöverskridande samarbete för att skapa en integrerad arbetsmarknad och främja ekonomisk utveckling, trots att dessa aspekter har fått minskad uppmärksamhet i de nuvarande nationella strategierna. Rapporten uppmanar till en ökad inriktning på gränsöverskridande samarbete och bättre utnyttjande av regionernas potential för att överbrygga gränshinder och främja en hållbar utveckling i gränsregionerna.

Ten-year Regional Outlook: Future Perspectives for Electric Aviation in the Nordic Region

Electric aviation has gained momentum in the Nordic Region in recent years. Given its unique geographical features and strong commitment to climate-neutral transport, the Nordic Region represents an ideal testing ground for electric aviation. In five to ten years from now, electric aviation has the potential to become reality, so it is crucial to explore which factors may affect its implementation and how regional development may be impacted. Report from the “Electric Aviation and the Effects on the Nordic Region” project presents a ten-year future scenario for electric aviation in the Nordic Region. In this report, we explore future scenarios for five selected Nordic routes and identify the key driving forces behind that transformative shift, as well as the positive and negative impacts of electric aviation. The scenarios were developed through focus group discussions conducted with key stakeholders from each of the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). The main findings of the study show that electric aviation is generally perceived positively in the various Nordic countries. However, there are also certain contextual differences relating to whether electric aviation is viewed as a pathway to achieving climate targets and removing emissions, stimulating regional development and accessibility of remote areas, or as a new travel option compared to conventional flights. Even though the general attitude towards electric aviation seems to be positive, scepticism and questions regarding the social acceptance of the new technology emerged, as well as the uncertainty around who will be the investors to kick-off the new technology. Furthermore, the future scenarios suggest that a high level of support from local and national governing bodies is required in order to make electric aviation a viable air transport mode in the Nordic region. The insights of this report are intended both to inform decision-makers and to provide…

Who drives green innovation in the Nordic Region? A change agency and systems perspective

In addressing the critical challenge of systemic sustainability, this report explores the need for more than a one-size-fits-all approach in the Nordic Region. It investigates the role of change agency processes and the impact of policies and framework conditions on green transition changes in business sectors. Our two case studies reveal some of the bottlenecks and drivers of innovation and explore them from a systemic perspective and in different geographic scales, both from a place-based and place-less perspective. The methodology adopted in the report is comprehensive, including a deep dive into the evolution of innovation theory and policy, following by an in-depth analysis of green innovation in two sectoral developments, including multi-storey wood construction and the so-called ‘protein shift’. It examines the roles of different stakeholders, including governments, businesses, and communities, in fostering an environment conducive to systemic change. The report relies on the academic and policy evolution of innovation theory and practice, identifying, what is argued to be, an emerging generation of innovation policies focused not only on economic but also on societal and environmental goals, which has generated a heated debate. To add nuance to this debate, our report utilised sector-based case studies relying on expert interviews to shed light on the roles of different agents in producing, not only technological but systems innovation. Against the background of systems innovations theory, this study provides some insights into the relevance of place, and proximity – not just geographic, but cognitive, institutional, organisational and social proximity.   Key findings reveal that systemic green innovations in the Nordic region happen as a result of the sum of multiple actors intentionally and unintentionally driving change in place-based and place-less settings. Several obstacles hinder setting a clear direction to innovation and path creation as these barriers are deeply entrenched in governance complexities, social…

Remote Work in Rural Areas: Possibilities and uncertainties

This study investigates the role of remote work in enhancing the resilience of rural and remote municipalities in the Nordic countries, highlighting the shift towards hybrid work models. The report presents six case studies, each detailing the context, challenges and opportunities associated with remote work. The study found that many public authorities lack formal remote work policies, relying on pre-existing or pandemic-developed frameworks aimed at work-life balance. The research points to remote work’s potential for attracting and retaining residents and skilled workers, crucial for rural development, despite challenges like the need for improved digital infrastructure and the absence of formal policies. Initiatives like co-working spaces and the focus on enhancing regional attractiveness through quality of life and infrastructure investments are seen as key to leveraging remote work for sustainable regional development. However, the study also notes obstacles such as legislative issues and the need for comprehensive strategies to fully realise the benefits of remote work for rural revitalisation. Remote work offers a pathway to sustainable development in Nordic regions by introducing new skills, enhancing business innovation, and improving public services, which helps combat out-migration and boosts quality of life. For maximum impact, investments in digital infrastructure, supportive work environments, and regional attractiveness are crucial, paving the way for a more vibrant and sustainable future.

Employers’ perspectives on hiring immigrants – Experiences from the Nordic countries

This report dives into the perspectives of Nordic employers on hiring low-skilled immigrants. Its objective is to uncover both opportunities and challenges faced by employers and to explore potential solutions for a more inclusive recruitment. The Nordic Region faces significant challenges in labour market participation, with a notable gap between native-born individuals and migrants, particularly affecting women, those with lower education levels, and non-EU citizens. Paradoxically, the region is at the same time grappling with severe labour shortages across various sectors. This report was produced in close collaboration with the Nordic Welfare Centre as part of the Nordic Programme for Integration of Immigrants. It aims to inspire Nordic employers, staffing companies, and public-sector and civil society organizations to collaborate on creating inclusive solutions for the labour market. Existing research predominantly focuses on individual-level obstacles faced by migrants, such as limited language skills, low education, and a lack of work experience in the host country. This study seeks to shift the spotlight onto the role and responsibility of employers in fostering the successful integration of immigrants into the labour markets. Employers participating in this study express a belief that the long-term benefits of hiring immigrants outweigh the initial challenges. However, obstacles exist, ranging from structural and organizational barriers to individual challenges like language proficiency. Success is attributed to diversity management, committed leadership and collaboration with public-sector entities and third-sector actors. The literature review and interviews reveal that employers are driven by the need to address labour shortages, especially in sectors like healthcare and hospitality. The benefits of hiring immigrants include a diverse workforce, improved productivity, and positive community impact. The findings in this report underscore the commitment of many employers to instigate positive change. Their motivations extend beyond mere workforce gap filling, reflecting a desire to contribute positively to the local…

Demografi och kompetensförsörjning i gränsområdet Innlandet-Dalarna-Värmland

Denna rapport är beställd av Gränsregionen Innlandet-Dalarna med syftet att ta fram statistik över gränsregionen Innlandet-Dalarna (inklusive Värmland) med fokus på kompetensförsörjning i gränskommunerna mellan Sverige och Norge. Rapporten innehåller statistik över arbetsmarknaden i gränsområdet med fokus på nutid och utveckling under den senaste tioårsperioden. I den här avslutande delen vänds i stället blicken mot framtiden för att diskutera de trender som väntas påverka framtidens arbetsmarknad och de utmaningar och möjligheter det kan innebära för gränskommunerna i Innlandet-Dalarna-Värmland. Det som styr tillgång och efterfrågan på arbetsmarknaden på lång sikt är främst de större megatrenderna. Men även konjunkturfaktorer och specifika händelser kan ha stor påverkan på kort sikt. Arbetsmarknaden är tätt knuten till den ekonomiska konjunkturen och enskilda händelser som pandemin och Rysslands invasion av Ukraina är exempel på händelser som kan ha stor påverkan på kort sikt. Alla dessa trender och händelser manifesteras olika på olika platser då alla lokala arbetsmarknader har olika förutsättningar som skapar såväl möjligheter som utmaningar. I det här avsnittet tas först konjunkturens roll upp och sedan vänds fokus mot megatrenderna och vilka utmaningar och möjligheter som de kan komma att medföra för gränskommunerna.

Embracing the just green transition on the Nordic labour market

The green transition aims to reduce CO2 emissions and align with UN Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. It affects various sectors, labor markets, and society – and it is important to leave no one behind to ensure a just green transition. This reports shares best practice examples from around the Nordic countries to show how a just green transition can be tackled. Exchange of best practices and strong social dialogue can help achieve a sustainable Nordic region by 2030. This report provides background and insights for the “Green Transition on the Nordic Labor Market” dialogue, covering green transition impacts, just transition strategies, and Nordic best practices. The exchange of best practices among the Nordic countries and strengthening of social dialogue could be an enabler to achieving a just Nordic green transition based on economic growth, social justice and a steady path towards carbon neutrality. It could also be an important step towards achieving the Nordic vision of being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. This report sets out to provide some background and inspiration for the discussions during the “Green Transition on the Nordic Labour market: A Nordic Tripartite Dialogue”. It provides basic knowledge about the green transition and how it impacts the Nordic countries. It also discusses how a just green transition can be tackled and shares best practice examples from around the Nordic countries. In the first section, some basic knowledge about the green transition and how it impacts the Nordic countries will be provided. The second section will discuss how a just green transition can be tackled and best practice examples from around the Nordic countries will be shared. The report will end with some short final remarks.

Can local value creation induce a sense of justice during green transitions? A study of six rural areas in Denmark, Finland, and Norway

Nordic rural areas risk alienation due to top-down green transition measures that often overlook their unique needs and challenges. This report suggests early local engagement, transparent communication, and regional ownership of energy projects can foster trust, ensure equitable benefits, and better integrate projects with local aspirations. The accelerating impacts of climate change, the need to adapt to changing economic and political realities, and the recent energy crisis have made the green transition something that most Nordic citizens acknowledge. However, especially rural areas and their communities are at risk of being reduced to passive instruments of national green transition measures featuring heavy land-use. These conditions make it very difficult to create a sense of justness in green transitions, leading to growing sense of alienation and resentment and putting the national climate goals in danger. From this starting point, the case studies of the research project “Just Green Transition on Rural Areas: Local Benefits from Value Creation” set out to examine what kind of benefits would generate value from green transition measures in the direct impact zone of new energy projects. The case studies took place in three Nordic countries and six locations: in Northern Ostrobothnia and Northern Central Finland of Finland, involving wind power and land use planning; in Nord-Fron and Nord-Odal in Norway, involving both wind power and strategic sustainability work; and in Skive and Bornholm of Denmark, involving a hybrid mix of renewable energy sources in the context of industrial park development.  The results highlight the importance of local involvement and trust in green energy transitions in Nordic rural areas. Neglecting local needs can cause resistance to renewable projects. Early engagement, transparent communication, and ensuring local benefits are vital. While monetary benefits attract attention, relying solely on them can create community divisions. A blend of community engagement, environmental benefits,…