“To be competitive, you need to cooperate”15 July, 2015 9:07 Del Del Del
For four years Marianne Terese Steinmo has researched success criteria between research and industry and what is necessary for these parties to collaborate on innovation. The idea is that through greater cooperation between industry and R&D the industry in Helgeland can strengthen its position.
“If we are to develop as a strong region and increase our competitive advantage it is incredibly important that we think about innovation development. Especially through research and development (R&D),” she adds.
Marianne Terese Steinmo was recently appointed associate professor at the University of Nordland, Bodø Graduate School of Business.
Steinmo’s thesis had the title ‘How Firms Use University-Industry Collaboration to Innovate: The Role and Development of Social Capital and Proximity Dimensions’. She defended her thesis on March 27 this year, as the first graduated at Campus Helgeland.
Steinmo was awarded a MBA from the School of Business, University of Nordland in 2010, where she was a PhD student at the faculty that autumn. Her research was mainly based on the analysis of data from three research programmes in a national context, under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway:
- The Norwegian Ferroalloy Producers Research Association (FFF)
- User-driven Innovation Project (BIP), and
- Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME).
“Fesil Rana Metall AS and Glencore Manganese Norway AS were also members of the FFF alliance. This has meant a great deal to me and we have enjoyed good collaboration,” she adds.
Steinmo also says that businesses are getting very large gains by collaborating with the research agency. This applies to all from small and medium sized businesses to large corporations. Nevertheless, patience is extremely important.
“Innovation processes require time and effort from business and research partners. It can be a formidable process, so it is important that the companies invest sufficient time and resources, preferably more. My research shows that successful R&D collaboration is built on the good relations between the stakeholders developed over time,” explains Marianne.
Steinmo shows through four scientific papers that personal relationships, trust, common understanding and goals are essential in order to develop thriving R&D collaboration.
Sintef established in Rana
“The reason I chose this topic was because I saw that this was important for my region, and that it was not so well developed here,” she says.
Steinmo believes the main reason for this is probably the long distances between research and businesses. Geographic proximity is one of the strongest drivers for collaboration.
“SINTEF is on course to establish itself at Campus Helgeland, in a project spread over two years. It provides us with a very special and unique opportunity. This is our chance to put in place a stronger technological environment. However, if SINTEF is to be a driving force, it is important that businesses at Mo open up and enter into a dialogue with them,” emphasises Marianne Steinmo.Del Del Del