The smart regions group started working in January 2017, replacing the previous Economic Development and Culture and Tourism groups.

What does the group focus on?

Smart specialisation strategies are vital components of a smart region, but a smart region is much more than that. It includes supporting smart cities and communities in the region, planning for smarter land use, smarter infrastructure – smarter, sustainable and energy efficient solutions at large.

This new smart regions group is currently discussing its priorities. The North Sea Region 2020 strategy is focusing on economic diversification and innovation with the development of emerging sectors like coastal tourism, blue growth and circular economy. These are themes that were also included in the work of the two previous groups. The new group will focus even more on cross-sectoral co-operation and coordination to boost economic and social development.

The group is currently building up competence on a wide range of policies, including migrants and the labour market, circular economy in tourism, digital economy/collaborative economy in tourism, skills development in the maritime sector, incentives for innovation in SMEs, co-operation between cultural actors, development of activity tourism, cruise awareness, development of a touristic North Sea seafood route, and blue growth opportunities based on marine resources.

The group also intends to stimulate project development in all these areas, and also in education and research.

For more information, please download the Action Plan 2019-2020.

How is the work organized?

The group meets 2-3 times per year. The group has a political leadership with a Chair and two Vice-Chairs, and is supported by an Advisor.

The membership includes both politicians and officers.


The group is politically led by a Chair and two vice-chairs and supported by an advisor

Chair: Cllr. Beate Johnsen, Vest-Agder
Vice-chair: Cllr. Birgitta Adolfsson, Västra Götaland
Vice-chair: Cllr. Otto Kjær Larsen, Nordjylland
Advisor: Geir Sør-Reime, Rogaland fylkeskommune


Geir Sør-Reime