Östergötland – prepared to meet the global hyper competition

by Lars-Goran Larsson on January 13, 2015

ÖstergötlandBearing has since 2009, in many different projects and roles, been involved in local and regional development projects in the Swedish county of Östergötland.

The last 2-3 years our focus has been on supporting the region with expertise and methodology in development and implementation of an enhanced quad-helix based innovation environment and definition and implementation of its knowledge based smart specialisation strategy, aligned to the EU Horizon 2020 strategy.

From 1st. January, 2015 the Östergötland County is reorganised into a fully-fledged region, named Region Östergötland. The former County Council – Östsam, has been integrated into the new body with a broader mandate. In addition to continued responsibility for a good health care and public transportations the new region also resume the task to prioritise and coordinate the efforts of the county’s development and growth. This includes regional development issues relating to business, culture and infrastructure, rural and public transport.

All these missions are now collected in a single organisation – Region Östergötland. East Sweden Business Region (ESBR) is a virtual co-operation platform co-ordinated by Region Östergötland.

East Sweden Business Region, coordinated by

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Since Bearing first started to work for the region and several of its local communities a pamphlet of regional and local growth, and place management projects has been delivered. Here follows a few examples:

  • Project management, methodology and process support for a long term vision, mission and strategy development project to realign and raise efficiency and cooperation between the 60+ regional publically financed actors and stake holders involved in creation of regional growth. The result of this project is a new virtual regional cooperation platform called East Sweden Business Region (ESBR) still under implementation and building up. ESBR also constitutes the ground for the region’s abilities to develop, implement and bring into practise the smart specialisation strategy (RIS3) focus areas developed in a parallel process for the last 2 years (see below). Bearings contract for this project is prolonged for continuation also through 2015.
  • Project management, methodology and process support for development of the RIS3 smart specialisation strategy and its implementation in the region. This project closely involves stake holders and contributors like Linköping University, the Scientific Institutes, the Science Parks, Clusters, Trade organisations and the Business life – primarily represented by the larger global corporations. Bearings contract for this project is prolonged for continuation also through 2015.
  • Pre-feasibility study for an integrated development project placing Östergötland in the global fore front as a Digital Destination. This also included adherence to the Digital Agenda.
  • Process support to the management of Visit Östergötland in their cooperation with the visiting industry council.
  • Development of a FDI investment management manual, templates and memorandum. The city of Motala was used as a pilot case but the target group for the methodology is all the 13 local communities in the region.
  • Several place management training seminars. These lunch-to-lunch seminars has been carried out at several occasions around the region involving different types of place managers (political and civil servants) from both regional and local levels.
  • Development of a cluster initiative establishment and performance measurement strategy and model for Linköping community.
  • An aviation cluster strategy workshop for Linköping community and aviation industry stake holders.
  • Development of a cluster strategy promoting business and real estate development to support industry and society development in Linköping. Client: Sankt Kors Fastighets AB, Linköping community commercial real estate and land Development and Management Company.
  • Long term engagement as expert consultants in the regional investment programme “Framtidsföretag”, a support, education and training programme offered by ALMI Företagspartner and Linköping University directed to SME’s with good possibilities and ambitions to grow.
  • Pre-feasibility study Agrar-Biotech. In this project everything from market analysis to actor’s and potential stake holder’s active involvement, market definitions, technical evaluations and business models were scrutinized. A vision, mission and goals for development of a new business sector emanating from the combined agrarian and biotech sectors was developed.
  • Development of a strategy and document for use in internal planning and preparations for a comprehensive program for development of the city of Motala. A critical success factor for Motala in creation of growth and social development in tomorrow’s society is to be able to establish a close and deeply integrated cooperation between the local and regional business life in general, it’s visiting industry, create talent attraction, society involvement and engagement of the public sector.
  • Evaluation of CleanTech Östergötland development project SAMTO, which had defined goals to create both new businesses and clusters. Our task in this project was to evaluate to which extent the project had fulfilled its goals and by that verify that the work models and methodologies that had been created was successful and could be generically used to create “sellable” value chain based systems solutions, both within the environmental industry sector and also for more general complex integrated systems solutions.

As we have now entered into a new year we look very much forward to continue to develop our services and deliver new and challenging assignments to both the new born Region Östergötland, and of course also to our since long established partners, both regional and local.

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