COM³ pilots: kick-off with local business community in Vinje

11 November 2020 - Published by P. Khodabakhsh
Vinje municipality and the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) kicked off their COM³ pilot project on 2 November 2020. The participating companies received information about the project, before they provided the project team with valuable input.

The Vinje and USN pilot aims to strengthen Vinje municipality’s role as a hub, partner and facilitator for the local business community. The project has so far caught the interest of almost 20 companies, of which 16 showed up for the kick-off meeting.

“We were lucky to be able to meet in person, just before new corona restrictions were announced. It is great to finally get going, and we hope and believe that we were able to convince the companies to join the ride”, says Anders Sandvik, project owner at Vinje municipality.

Valuable input from the companies

The kick-off meeting started out with some general information about the project, before the companies were invited to an interactive workshop focusing on key challenges and needs. The project team used Mentimeter to facilitate participation and documentation.

“We decided to keep a broad scope in the beginning of the process. To start with, we asked the companies to identify the main challenges for their business, for Vinje as an area, and for the municipality as a facilitator. In a second round we asked them to prioritise the identified challenges. The input gives us a great foundation to build on”, says Kyrre Hegg, project manager at Vinje municipality.

Next steps

The results reveal that there are many challenges and needs that the project may look into.

“We’ll start out by focusing on some of the main topics emerging from the kick-off meeting. These include marketing, recruitment, competence, information technology and cyber security. In line with the COM³ project’s main idea, we’ll always keep in mind how digital technologies can help us meet the identified needs”, says Kyrre.

Word cloud: greatest challenges faced by local business community in Vinje, Norway
Slide with biggest challenges identified by the local business community in Vinje

The next step is a round of interviews with the companies, where the challenges and needs in the focus areas will be further investigated.