Showcasing and exporting innovative Nordic solutions for smart, liveable and sustainable cities.
As of 1 January 2017, the export module of the Nordic Built Cities will be known as Nordic Sustainable Cities and serve as a flagship project in the Nordic Prime Ministers’ new initiative “Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges”, which runs until the year 2019.
Nordic Sustainable Cities builds on the previous success of Nordic Built Cities and focuses on creating an ambitious showcase and export program for Nordic solutions to sustainable urban development. Its aim is to strengthen the Nordic brand and to expand the market potential for Nordic businesses.
The project will be carried out in close cooperation with national export organisations, clusters and businesses. It will include an ambitious branding effort, the creation of a joint export platform, as well political partnerships and networks.
The foundational work encompasses a thorough analysis combined with comprehensive dialogue with key stakeholders from companies, trade associations, trade promotion organisations and authorities authorities across the region and the Nordic Steering Group for Nordic Built Cities.
Based on this analysis and dialogue, three action areas have been set out for the export promotion efforts:
1. Branding and Storytelling
The initiative will be based on telling the story of the Nordic region’s liveable, smart and sustainable cities and the solutions that make them work. The storytelling will use the strong foundation of the Nordic Built Charter and draw upon Nordic strengths such as good governance, public-private partnerships, design tradition, environmental and social consciousness, as well as robust technological solutions.
The branding and storytelling efforts will be anchored in a systematic, evidence-based white paper of high analytical quality, including international comparison and benchmarking. The paper will present a core narrative of the overall story of how Nordic cities are being planned and built, as well as the values that underpin it. Within this, key elements will be highlighted along with illustrative examples that prove the business case for internationally excelling Nordic sectors, solutions and companies.
Based on the white paper, up-to-date and ambitious communication and marketing will be produced. This material will be flexible, adaptable and foremostly digital, providing the infrastructure for national agencies, companies or others to easily set up joint Nordic events and promotion activities around the world and unlock the potential for Nordic added value.
The communication material will also be tailored for selected existing international networks, conferences and exhibitions. Further, a joint Nordic presence at a number of Nordic and international events is being planned for funding, as well as a concerted effort to create a strong visibility of Nordic solutions in the most important existing global city networks.
2. Export of Nordic System Solutions
As the international competition for large urban development projects is highly fierce, many Nordic companies often lack the capacity to bid on them. Here, a joint Nordic effort can be seen as key for gathering all the competencies and products necessary to bid on these large projects.
The export promotion aims to create a platform, which allows Nordic businesses to go from selling single products to groups of businesses selling integrated systems solutions. Some work has already been done on this transition in the individual Nordic countries, but very few have so far been able to win contracts for very large projects, entire neighbourhoods or entire new cities.
This action area will involve relevant national networks, cluster organisations and Nordic trade promotion organisations in the formulation and implementation of concrete activities. A clear link to the City Partnerships action area shall ideally also be created.
3. City Partnerships
Due to the high degree of political decision making that characterises cities and city planning, access at the political level is seen as a great strategic importance in promoting the proliferation of Nordic knowledge and solutions for smart, sustainable and liveable cities. While the Nordic region is already well known for its societal model and good governance, strategic political partnerships and targeted networks can make it possible to capitalise on these facts.
By virtue of the importance of these political aspects, it is expected that relevant partnerships and networks will be selected at an early stage of this process and in close cooperation with Nordic trade promotion organisations and foreign services.
Based on the earlier mentioned preparatory analysis and dialogue, the export promotion will focus on all of the three action areas on 2 or 3 specific markets: North America and India, with the potential add of China.
The markets are chosen on the following factors: Feedback from Nordic businesses, Size of market, Urbanisation rate, Urban renewal potential, Current specific initiatives value of joint Nordic brand, and Distance from the Nordic region (the added value of Nordic cooperation being greater the further it is from the Nordic region).
Branding and Storytelling:
March 2017: First part of the white paper will be published
May 2017: Joint Nordic events and promotion activities will be continously added
City Partnerships and Export of Nordic System Solutions
Specific activities will be developed in Q1 and Q2 2017