It is not easy to become a Norwegian Centre of Expertise. NCE clusters are an ambitious venture with ambitious participants.
The NCE programme must make an offer to the best and most developed clusters in Norway, to clusters which have the best conditions for further growth through cooperation on innovation and internationalisation.
The NCE programme is open to clusters in all industries across the country. But the competition to become an NCE is heavy. We are constantly progressing with regard to network construction here in Norway. There are many good environments which stand out. But far from all are permitted to become an NCE.
In order to become an NCE, an industrial cluster must have good resources and established competitive advantages. Together these open up for further development.
* An NCE consists of a number of companies with activities within the cluster’s core activity. Related companies can also be included.
* An NCE must also have knowledge-, development- and financial actors who support the core companies’ development.
* Within an NCE there must be shared interests among the actors, related to functional dependency and/or shared challenges.
* The networks which become NCEs must be based on well-developed relationships between the operators.
* The operators must have a shared awareness of the group's importance for their own development. They must also have a vision of the cluster’s further development.
* Before assignment of NCE status, meeting places, cooperation forums and networks for dialogue and cooperation between operators must be established.
* The NCE cluster must also have an activity plan and be organised efficiently.
The NCE programme will when selecting new projects put emphasis on the cluster’s dynamic and already implemented development processes.
The cluster’s core companies must have a high export share and the group must have international growth potential in its field. Alternatively innovation processes must take place – in cooperation with knowledge environments within or outside the cluster – which maintain a high international standard.
An NCE project must prompt and strengthen further development processes within the cluster.
Companies and knowledge environments which together will constitute a new NCE must be able to document the will and ability for binding cooperation on further innovation and internationalisation processes
No sectors or regions are prioritised within the NCE programme. But the programme puts a certain emphasis on participating projects having a reasonably good spread across sectors and industries.