International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development
IKED - International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development

Activities

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..:: A Comprehensive Approach to SMEs and Competence Development

Among the noteworthy findings, it is clear that no country as of today has been able to co-ordinate a comprehensive policy approach combining core-competence raising university-SME interface, on the one hand, with strategies for regional development strengthening the supply of complementary service functions on the other hand. The findings of this work have inspired regional SME development work in various parts of Sweden.

Following a number of seminars presenting the findings, in Sweden as well as internally, IKED has supported preparations of pilot projects to turn the lessons of this work into practice. Relevant regions within Sweden addressing this agenda in a novel way include "Gnosjo" in Smoland, an area marked by dynamic and geographically dense clusters of SMEs operating primarily in engineering, and a much larger area, spanning much of "the North" of Sweden marked by resource-rich but sparsely-populated land where entrepreneurial activities are less apparent, but which is still marked by great potential for developing a number of innovative industries. In the latter, under the aegis of "Academy Norr", key stakeholders display a shared vision and determination to back schemes that can be effective in fostering stronger and more relevant skills in SMEs and surrounding economic activities.

The IKED agenda in this area aims to inspire international cooperation and "bench-learning" in regional development and SME policies, notably how to provide incentives for SMEs to benefit from competence development and cooperation between academic institutions and also from a complementary private service sector. All main stakeholders, including individuals, SMEs and higher education institutions need to meet with appropriate incentives to engage for these purposes.
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