SNÖRIK – Snow Research and Innovation Across the Border

The purpose of the project is to increase growth for businesses and increase societal gain by promoting and expanding the knowledge within the field of snow, as well as by strengthening and developing the cross-border innovation system for snow. The project is primarily financed by the Interreg Sweden Norway Programme. In Sweden, the project is run by Peak Innovation (Peak Region AB) in Östersund, with Mid Sweden University (Sport Tech Research Center) as co-applicant. On the Norwegian side, the project is run by NTNU SIAT in Trondheim (Center for Sports Facilities and Technology, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

There are common challenges related to snow on both sides of the Norwegian-Swedish border, in terms of being able to maintain profitability and competitiveness for winter sports destinations and events in a changing climate. On both sides, these industries are important for securing regional attractiveness, jobs and growth, as well as from public health and cultural perspectives with the strong tradition of skiing. In addition, there is a need for energy efficiency around snow management in these industries as well as in other industries in the regions working with snow for other purposes, such as cooling systems. By sharing and developing the common resources, in terms of research and innovation environments, snow-related expertise and cross-sectoral knowledge development and transfer around optimization of methods and technical solutions around snow management, cross-border benefits can be reached. The project creates structures in the cross-regional innovation system for snow, where skills, test sites, research environments, networks with all 4-helix stakeholders on both sides the border are made visible and strengthened. Contacts between different stakeholders in the innovation system (for example between academy and industry), to other related industries that also use snow management for other purposes and other innovation environments and systems nationally and internationally are shortened and made available. The project works towards formalizing the cooperation into a snow institute/snow center, which is expected to provide cross-border value in terms of opportunities for accelerated knowledge development, synergies between research environments and industry, resource efficiency and strengthened international position for the regions as leading in research and innovation related to snow.

 

Work Package 1: Demand-driven snow research for increased benefits for businesses and society

The activities focus on demand-driven snow research, compilation of results in reports, models and educational materials as well as knowledge dissemination. Knowledge dissemination is carried out focusing on the continuous transfer of experiences, needs and research results between different snow-related sectors (academia, industry, public sector and social sector). For this purpose, workgroups are created in which people are grouped based on various expertise and interest areas, with the aim of promoting mutual and interactive knowledge exchange. Short-term effects that these activities will generate after the end of the project are knowledge and skills that give companies/organizations improved quality in products and services, awareness about climate change, environment and energy efficiency issues, as well as reinforcement of cross-regional clusters for specific snow issues. Expected long-term effects are increased profitability, growth and competitive advantage for the tourism industry, reduced climate and environmental impact from the regions’ snow-related activities, as well as increased attractiveness in the regions for winter sports events.

 

Work Package 2: Innovation System for snow

Work Package 2 focuses on coordinating, strengthening and communicating the regions’ resources within the innovation system for snow. This also includes linking with other relevant innovation environments outside the geographical regions of Tröndelag, Jämtland/Härjedalen och Västernorrland as well as other related industries. The innovation system is marketed outwards through the development and dissemination of communication and marketing materials about the region’s opportunities for academia, test beds and corporate collaborations. A Nordic network-based Snow institute / Snow center where academic focus is run by NTNU, Mittuniversitetet, Luleå Technical University and SINTEF in collaboration are created, with close links to private, public and social sector. Short-term effects that these activities will generate after the end of the project is a complete structure for the network-based Nordic Snow Institute / Snow Center, which enables new joint research projects in the field of research environments and companies in collaboration, available test beds for snow tests and research in the regions, clearer connections to different industries who work with snow as material, as well as increased collaboration between academia and private, social and public sector within the area of snow. Expected long-term effects are jobs and economic growth, increased R&D investments in companies, strengthened international positioning as a knowledge hub for snow, and attractiveness for corporate and organizational establishments.

Contact:

Erik Melin Söderström | erik.m.soderstrom@peakinnovation.se | +46 (0)70 541 97 19