Promoting green research and innovation in Vestland county

Ung mann på veranda med fjell og bygd bak seg, ser i kamera
Vestlandsforsking deltek i FoU-forum Vestland med Øyvind Heimset Larsen som representant.

A new, collaborative forum has been established to address research and innovation issues in Vestland county. A key goal is to promote and strengthen research which stimulates R&D linked to innovation and sustainability.

The new R&D forum Vestland was formally established in 2021 and gathers participants from private enterprises, municipalities and county administrations, various public enterprises, as well as the research sector. Western Norway Research Institute's representative is Øyvind Heimset Larsen, a researcher in the area of technology and society.

Kvinnehender med glas som inneheld svart biokol
Å lage biokol av avall er eit døme på grøn innovasjon som for tida føregår i Vestland. Foto: Astri Knudsen.


"It is vital for our institute to take part in this working group, which has formal ties to Næringsforum Vestland, because research and knowledge-building is often decisive in creating new innovation, says Larsen.


Green platform


The newly established forum is already in the process of supporting regional initiatives for applications to the Norwegian Government's "Green Platform". The government has set aside NOK 1 billion for research and development projects that may lead to green jobs and a more sustainable future, and both enterprises and research institutes are invited to apply.


Vestland county administration offers financial support, a total of NOK 600,000, to consortiums looking to submit an application for the current call, with a deadline 12 May.


"World champions in collaboration"


Participating organizations:

Sogn og Fjordane næringsråd: Arvid Andenæs

Næringsalliansen i Hordaland: Astrid Hårstad 

KS: Tom Gundersen  

Bergen kommune: Richard Taule         

Universitetet i Bergen: Benedicte Løseth                

NORCE: Hans Kleivdal                                               

Vestlandsforsking: Øyvind H Larsen                   

Høgskulen på Vestlandet: Eirin Fausa Pettersen  

Innovasjon Noreg: Egil Henning Ytrøy                   

Forskingsrådet regionalt: Merete Lunde, Rigmor Fardal

Statsforvaltaren i Vestland: Christian Rekkedal     

Vestland fylkeskommune: Jone Engelsvold, leiar FoU-forum, Siri Hansson, Randi Lotsberg, and Kate Clarke


Future tasks for R&D forum Vestland are likely to involve coordination of support to research and development in Vestland, a prerequisite being that the participants share both experiences and information with each other.


Vestland's County Director for innovation and commercial development, Bård Sandal, said in an interview with on 23 April that the forum seeks to contribute to making the county "world champions in collaboration", which will - needless to say - become an advantage in the effort to reach Vestland's target of zero emissions by 2030.


An additional topic of relevance to the R&D forum is the county administration's Regional Plan for Innovation and Commercial Development, to be approved by the county council in June.


Led by the county administration


The initiative to establish this forum was taken by Vestland county administration, and they will also be the ones to coordinate or lead the forum. Other members are listed in the fact box of this page.


The proposed frequency of meetings in the R&D forum is 5-6 times a year.




Read Vestland county administration's news item on R&D forum Vestland