Presentation of the Region
Region Värmland is a Swedish region located along the Norwegian border. We are an outward looking region, committed to interregional cooperation along value-chains. Värmland's capital city is Karlstad and we have one principal university, Karlstad University.
Värmland is a strong innovator according to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard (2019) and one of Sweden’s leading industrial regions. More than 75% of Värmland's surface is covered by forest and the paper- and pulp industry is our biggest industrial sector but we also have steel- and material sectors at the forefront of global competition. Furthermore, Scandinavia's largest test park for solar electricity is also located in Värmland.
In 2016, Region Värmland and Karlstad University launched the Academy for Smart Specialisation with the purpose to strengthen quadruple helix cooperation in the region. The Academy conducts research and supplies cutting-edge expertise within the smart specialisation areas, creates policy impact and stimulates investments, export and growth. Thanks to the Academy, more that €20 million was dedicated to research projects related to smart specialisation in Värmland in 2016 - 2020. The Academy for S3 has recently been evaluated by the OECD that considers it a successful example of quadruple helix cooperation.
Region Värmland’s smart specialisation strategy was adopted in 2015 and Värmland was the first region in Europe to create a gender-integrated innovation strategy for smart specialisation. The strategy focuses on five specialisation areas:
- 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 specialisation areas, most notably Paper Province, a world-class cluster within the forest based bioeconomy, IUC Steel and Engineering within advanced manufacturing, Glava Energy Center within system solutions with photovoltaics and Compare within the field digitalisation of welfare services.
In Värmland, we also have 6 testbeds and demonstrations facilities connected to the specialisation areas focused on, amongst other things, surface treatment technologies to the coated paper and board industries, tissue technologies and pulp laboratories, research and innovation on processes for exploiting biomass, testbeds for packaging materials and 3D-printing in wood. Sting Bioeconomy is also located in Värmland, an incubator supporting startups and business ideas in the field of bioeconomy, services and products that promote the use of renewable resources.