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Through networking and collaboration with other regions in Europe, we want to develop and demonstrate new business solutions. The Vanguard Initiative offers great opportunities for investments in demonstration plants and new business opportunities for the industry, clusters and companies in Värmland.


Region Värmland is one of Sweden’s leading industrial regions. 75% of our surface is covered by forest and the paper- and pulp industry is our biggest industry sector. The steel- and material sectors are two other important industrial sectors in the region.

A brief description on how the region is working with industrial renewal and smart specialization. A mapping of the Region’s ecosystem, clusters, cross-border cooperation etc. 

Region Värmland adopted our smart specialisation strategy in 2015. The strategy outlines five areas of specialisation, in order of priority:

  • Forest based bioeconomy
  • Digitalisation of welfare services
  • Advanced manufacturing and complex systems
  • Nature, culture, and place based digitalised experiences
  • System solutions with photovoltaics.

We have important clusters working within all areas of specialisation, most notably Paper Province, a world class cluster within the area of forest bioeconomy, IUC Steel and Engineering within the field of advanced manufacturing, and Glava Energy Centre within system solutions with photovoltaics.

In 2016, Region Värmland and Karlstad University launched the “Academy for smart specialisation”. The purpose of the academy is to strengthen quadruple helix cooperation in the region and to fund research projects within the areas of specialisations outlined in our RIS3. The academy’s funding comes from the region, the university and external funding such as national and EU-funding. Within the framework of the academy, 10 research projects are currently ongoing within all areas of specialisation.

Interregional cooperation, both within Sweden and Europe, is very important for Region Värmland. Together with Region Dalarna and Region Gävleborg we compose the NUTS 2 region Norra Mellansverige. Together, we have strong collaboration regarding smart specialisation, cluster development and industrial policy, most recently through the EU-funded pilot project on industrial transition. As a border region, cooperation with our Norwegian neighbouring regions is also very important. (220 ord)

Concluding remarks about the way the Vanguard Initiative can benefit the Region

Region Värmland is convinced that our membership in the Vanguard Initiative will strengthen the interregional and international dimensions of our work connected to smart specialisation, industrial renewal and regional development.

In Värmland, we have a culture of openness and cooperation which we believe facilitates fruitful cooperation. Värmland has a unique position in the forest-based industry, a high-quality steel sector and Scandinavia's largest test park for solar electricity. We look forward to engaging with other Vanguard regions to explore opportunities for new partnerships regarding industrial growth and smart specialisation.


Region Värmland:

Paper Province:

The Academy for smart specialisation:

Director Regional Development