Regional Development policies – messages from a Nordic research programme

NORDIC RESEARCH PROGRAMME 2005-2008: Internationalisation of regional development policies – Needs and demands in the Nordic countries.

The research programme Internationalisation of Regional Development Policies—Needs and Demands in the Nordic Countries was commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) in the spring of 2005. The aim of the programme was to undertake research on key issues, where it was identified that new knowledge was needed and where such knowledge could benefit the development and implementation of regional development policies in the Nordic countries.

Three prioritised themes for the research programme have been identified; namely, “regional governance”, “innovation and regional growth”, and “demography and labour migration”. In addition, two crosscutting topics were defined: “enlargement of the EU and the challenges for Nordic regional development policies” and the broad topic of “three dimensions of sustainable regional development”; i.e., social, economic and environmental sustainability.

In all, 10 projects were funded during the programme period 2005–2009, and the research results were published in 10 separate reports. In this eleventh report of the programme, the three prioritised themes and two cross-cutting topics are revisited. In this report, key findings of the research projects are linked with trends to draw attention to issues of particular relevance for policymakers and practitioners working within the broad field of regional development.