Regional development

Despite the fact that ’regional development’ is a broad term, our research in this realm can be viewed as an effort to reduce regional disparities by supporting (employment and wealth-generating) economic activities in the peripheral regions of Norway. In the past, regional development policy tended to try and achieve these objectives by means of large-scale infrastructure development and by attracting inward investment.

Regional development as an academic field of study addresses not merely the outcome of “market forces,” but also complex political, institutional, and cultural factors that shape the way in which economic’ decisions are made. For this reason, economists, sociologists, political scientists, and historians, as well as geographers, are among those who have contributed to the study of regional development. The effort to understand regional development is a multidisciplinary (or even interdisciplinary) inquiry. The role of institutions, government, and governance all matter in terms of shaping patterns of development, but technology also matters. Vestlandsforsking contributes to this field of knowledge by action research in several subfields, including implications and effects of introducing new ICTs, and network cooperation.




  • Ung mann på veranda med fjell og bygd bak seg, ser i kamera

    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.

  • Foto frå utstillinga Grüne Woche i Berlin i januar 2020.

    Western Norway Research Institute visited the International Green Week in Berlin as part of a regional study tour. In an ongoing process to establish a business cluster in the intersection between local food, outdoor activities, and tourism, the institute finds a role in research-based innovation and knowledge-building.

  • Modellbilde av ViteMeir

    Vestlandforsking has assembled a working group of researchers who will contribute to the development of subject content at the new science center ViteMeir at Kaupanger.
    - The researchers here work on many topics that are both highly relevant and suitable for installations and practical experiences with ViteMeir, says Anders-Johan Almås, CEO.