Sustainable development of the Nordic region is dependent upon innovation and entrepreneurship at the regional and local level. Nordic regions are part of an open global economy, but also base much of their growth on local commodities and resources. On this page, you can learn about our latest projects related to the regional innovation.

Innovative and Resilient Regions

The Nordic thematic group for innovative and resilient regions 2017-2020 aims to develop policies and new solutions to the challenges that the Nordic regions face when it comes to resilience, innovative capacity and skills provision while focusing on green transition, smart specialisation and digitalisation. Find out more about the thematic group for innovative and resilient regions.

Skills Policies – Building Capacities for Innovative and Resilient Nordic Regions

Skills flexibility and lifelong learning are hot topics on the current political agenda and are important elements for the regional capacity of being resilient to economic and social shocks. This project aims to increase knowledge of how do the Nordic regions work with skills. Find out more about the project.

Digitalisation in rural and sparsely populated areas – joint Nordic-Baltic learning

With the Nordic‐Baltic Region being at the forefront of digitalisation in Europe, this project explores potential challenges and opportunities in rural regions, connected to this phenomenon. Find out more about the project.

Trend analysis for Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region

The project aims to investigate the fluctuations and variations of bioeconomy within the Baltic Sea region and pinpoint the most important and relevant macro trends for the area. Find out more about this project. 

The Synergy Project

The Synergy project aims to find commonalities and synergy effects of the in-depth studies on regional economic and social resilience, smart specialisation, digitalisation, and the skills project. The synergy project will focus on these interlinkages as well as the horizontal perspectives, such as gender, green transition, youth and arctic aspects. Find out more about the project.

 Other Nordregio projects on regional innovation

Share the Care

Share the Care project will provide new knowledge towards a less gender-segregated health care sector, a heavily female-dominated sector. The study will focus on the educational path of male professionals. It will provide recommendations on how to recruit and retain men in the nursing sector. Find out more about the project.

Nordic & Northwest Russia cooperation on wood and construction

This cooperation aims at establishing sustainable Nordic-Russian business-to-business and business – academic partnerships in the wood and construction sector. Find out more information about the project.

National Claims in Spatial planning

The objective of this project is to provide a Nordic outlook of three Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland and Norway) with regards to the planning systems’ national planning instruments or other important national policy documents which guide or steer the spatial development. The project limits itself to the planning systems’ main national planning instruments and aims to identify potential other “national claims” of importance with effects on spatial development. Find out more about the project.

Regional disparities and the geography of service within the Nordic countries

Territorial cohesion and balanced development are key goals within regional development policy in the Nordic countries. In order to better understand progress towards the goal of a more balanced regional development, this project analyses regional disparities in the Nordics from the perspective of accessibility to services. The point of departure in this study is to use a GIS-based approach to map, analyze and visualize the degree of disparities in this regard. Find out more about the project. 

Regional collaboration on service provision and social innovation

The main objective of this project is to identify and analyse good practices that serve as examples for learning and finding tools, methods and approaches to improve service provision. Find out more about the project.

GROM – Green transition in the Arctic

The resources in the Norwegian Arctic contribute significantly to the overall Norwegian value creation, and the Arctic’s marine resources play a particular role in further developing the region (Regjeringens Nordområdestrategi 2017). Coupled with marine resources, renewable energy potential is significant. Find out more about GROM.


The project aims at analysing and comparing the digitalisation of planning data in Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. Find out more about ESPON DIGIPLAN.

Regional Development Network Cooperation Model VALUMA

The aim of the project is to support the launching of regional and urban development network cooperation as well as the preparation of priorities and instruments for the national development of regions. Find out more about the project.

Linking innovation and resilience: Synergy effects for regional development

This project aims to find commonalities and synergy effects of the in-depth studies on regional economic and social resilience, smart specialisation, digitalisation, as well as the so-called “skills project”, all part of the activities under the ongoing Nordic Cooperation Programme for Regional Development. Find out more about the project.

BeUBio –targeting youth in the Baltic Sea Region for the SDG:s and Bioeconomy

BeUBio aims to promote youth involvement across the Baltic Sea Region for the transition to a bio-based economy and create synergies with other actors and initiatives addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about BeUBio.

Sami Youth Involvement in Regional Development

The purpose of the analysis is to provide insight into the priorities and initiatives of Sami youth and Sami education institutions regarding economic development. Find out more about the project.

Sino-European innovative green and smart cities (SiEUGreen)

SiEUGreen aspires to enhance the EU-China cooperation in promoting urban agriculture for food security, resource efficiency and smart, resilient cities. Nordregio is the leader of the work package: “Support to Institutional and Social Structures for creating resilient cities with urban agriculture” and contributes to other working papers as well. Find out more about SiEUGreen.

HIGHER – Better Policy Instruments for High Innovation Projects in the European Regions

Nine European institutions collaborate in the framework of the Interreg Europe Program for the implementation of HIGHER. The project has the objective to improve the innovation framework and the smart specialization strategy of different EU regions. HIGHER will analyse and exchange experiences and good practices on the management and implementation of regional policy instruments designed to promote the innovation projects under the collaboration between research centres, industry and public authorities. Find out more about HIGHER.

Social Green – Regional Policies towards Greening the Social Housing Sector

The Social Green project intends to address the issue of green social housing in order to contribute to reduce GHG emissions as well as to reduce the fuel poverty indicators in EU regions towards a lower-carbon economy. Find out more about Social Green.

RELOCAL (Resituating the local in cohesion and territorial development)

Location matters. Where one is born and raised (still) determines to a considerable extent one’s opportunities and constrictions and it also impacts one’s personality. After a long period of catching-up for most of the disadvantaged regions, inequalities among regions within Member States are now growing again. Find out more about RELOCAL.

Advancing the bioeconomy transition in the Nordic Region (BioWiseTrans)

In the long run, the aim is to maintain and develop a unique transdisciplinary (interdisciplinary and inclusive of stakeholders) network to study and propel the transition towards a new primarily land and biomass-based bioeconomy. Find out more about BioWiseTrans

BT 2050

“BT 2050” stands for Territorial Scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region and with the aim of informing policy-making at different levels, this project develops territorial scenarios for the BSR. Find out more about BT 2050.


The EUSBSR SUPPORT project aims to provide individual, organisational and structural support to the Policy Area Coordinators / Horizontal Action Coordinators. Find out more about EUSBSR SUPPORT.

Improving Urban-Rural connectivity in non-metropolitan regions (URRUC)

This project aims to develop a transport policy toolkit for stakeholders to support transport policy decision-making and enhance connectivity between urban and rural areas across Europe. Find out more about the project.

Nordic Sustainable Cities – Export Efforts

The project aims at following-up, observing and documenting the efforts of joint Nordic export platforms in three markets: China, India and North America. Find out more about the project.

ESPON ESCAPE – European Shrinking Rural Areas Challenges, Actions and Perspectives for Territorial Governance

This project will investigate the future of Europe’s shrinking rural regions: trends, perspectives & new agendas for territorial governance. Find out more about the initiative. 

Health care and care with distance-spanning technologies

The Nordic countries face similar challenges regarding an ageing population and depopulation of the rural areas. This poses challenges to traditional health care and care systems. One way of dealing with these challenges is to take advantage of digitalization and distance spanning technologies. Find out more about the project.

Territorial Impact Assessment for Cross-border Cooperation Cooperation

This project aims at developing and testing a methodology specifically tailored to assess ex-post territorial impacts of Cross Border Cooperation programmes. Find out more about the project.

Territorial Evidence support for European Territorial Cooperation Programmes

The project analyses 12 selected European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes. Nordregio’s role is to review existing and develop new indicators which contribute to a more efficient measurement of the impacts of ETC programmes. Find out more about the project.

Browse publications

Regional Economic and Social Resilience

How capable are local and regional economies of recovering from global and local shocks and threats and ensure resilient long-term development paths? The empirical research included a close examination of a variety of threats as well as factors driving resilience in regions in all five Nordic Countries.

Governing the Digital Transition in Nordic Regions

The Nordic countries are often positioned as digital front-runners in the European and global contexts. Digitalisation is changing the nature of business, jobs and provision of public services. How to create an enabling environment for digital transformation at the local, regional, national and Nordic levels?

The Status, Characteristics and Potential of Smart Specialisation in the Nordic Regions

Smart Specialisation (S3) as a policy tool has quickly been adopted across the European Union and in the Nordic countries, but the implementation of S3 is not uniformly adopted. What is the added value of smart specialisation implementation in Nordic regions?

The Value of High-Speed Trains in Internmediate Regions

The value of high-speed trains in intermediate regions – a cross-border perspective along the Oslo-Stockholm corridor. This policy brief examines how small and medium-sized (SMS) cities can benefit from the introduction of a high-speed train connection, but it might not be the best fit for all SMS cities.