– Forskarforum was very successful and we discussed everything from theory to practical work methods. It is an important forum to meet and come up with ideas about research and development questions that need to be answered. Today we are facing a situation where we explore how digitisation can be a stepping stone for developing smart regions. The researchers who lectured during the day gave us interesting ideas on how technology can contribute to an increased community service for citizens, says Daniel Örtqvist, professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology.
Regional actors have a role to play
Vinit Parida and David Rönnberg Sjödin, researchers in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology talked about the shifting in focus where companies talk less about technology, and more about innovation and the new business models that the digitalisation enable. Vinit Parida says that the swedish industry in general is in the front when it comes to exploit the digital opportunities but companies need to develop new business models.
– Regional actors have a role to play with for example policy changes and incentives for the companies. We have some successful cases, but we need to see more of them, he says.
Another important part for regional development is the tourist industry, an industry that is dependent on an active presence in the digital channels.
- The e-generation travels more than previous generations, they rely on technology and share their experiences. We see a need for competence development, as only half of the companies we have studied have someone in charge of their online presence, says Åsa Wallström, professor in Industrial Marketing at Luleå University of Technology.