The NVWN project is a pan-Nordic, inter-disciplinary project focused on investigating entrepreneurship and innovation in relation to virtual worlds. The project runs from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2012 and has a budget of approximately NOK 6 Million. The project’s primary financier is the Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe). The two main objectives of the project are to, first, study and explore how SMEs may use virtual worlds to improve their competitiveness, and, second, to create a virtual centre for virtual worlds’ entrepreneurship and innovation, which will facilitate and stimulate knowledge and resource sharing in the area.
Innovation in Small Knowledge Intensive Firms
The focus in this project was on how internal organizational and external relationships stimulated innovation in small knowledge intensive or high tech firms. This study includes several qualitative and quantitative analyses and has resulted in several international published papers. The study was initially financed by The Norwegian Research Council, with a budget of NOK 1.2 millions, but has later received resources from several additional sources. The study shows how dependent small knowledge intensive firms are upon building and using networks of relationship for entrepreneurship and growth. Several specific characteristics of the network properties leading to success were uncovered through this research project.
Innovation and Growth in Shipping Firms
This includes several projects on how internal capabilities and the engagement in external networks and cooperative arrangements impacts performance such as growth in shipping firms. These projects included both quantitative and qualitative analyses carried out over several years. The projects were funded by several sources including the Sørlandets Maritime Research Fund. The project revealed several key indicators stimulating innovation and growth in the shipping sector. And, among other findings, related to this highly competitive global industry, the project shows the importance of strategy formulation and implementation, as well as of developing cooperative arrangements and relations for innovative success.
State-of-the-Art in Entrepreneurship Research
The state-of-the-art in entrepreneurship research project involves a comprehensive and up-to-date literature review into entrepreneurship research, as well as empirical analysis of data collected in the southern region of Norway. The literature review includes published articles in major international academic journals and publications during the last 10-15 years, and follows themes that are relevant for the southern region of Norway. Main themes include entrepreneurial network development, internationalization, and ICT-enablement. And additional themes include women entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship education. The project runs during 2011-2012, has an overall budget of NOK 400,000, and is primarily funded by Sørlandets Kompetansefondet.