21. September 2016

The Sørlandet Knowledge Foundation (SKF) is a financier of R&D and knowledge- building projects in Vest Agder county. Grants are given to the University of Agder and other educational institutions as well as to public and private enterprises.

The Foundation was established in 2001 with the overall objective to create and secure jobs and improve social conditions in the region. Since then it has donated some 400 MNOK to more than 800 projects.

With 140 MNOK in accumulated grants, the University of Agder (UiA) has by a large margin been the main recipient of financial support from SKF. These funds are often regarded as being instrumental in securing university status for the UiA in the mid-2000’s. Today, the bulk of funding towards UiA is aimed at strengthening engineering related education and R&D, supporting the needs of the region’s important technology industry clusters.

SKFs current strategy focuses six industries: In addition to the region’s two major technology sectors – offshore drilling and metal refineries – the Foundations also wishes to support the growing cleantech/renewable energy area; as well as the tourism/experience economy and wood products industry. An important aspect of this is to increase the potential for job creation in rural parts of the county.

It is the Foundation’s strategy to strengthen the presence of industry clusters as facilitators of job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Finally, a significant part of the Foundation’s support is directed towards knowledge development and research in the social sector, particularly related to pre-school early intervention and school drop-out prevention.

The Foundation’s financial fund originates from the sale of power company shares owned by the 15 municipalities of Vest Agder county. Starting with 600 MNOK in 2001, SKF has by 2015 donated close to 400 MNOK and now holds stocks and bonds worth approximately 850 MNOK. The net proceeds from these investments are the basis for the grants, which currently add up to 20 – 25 MNOK annually.

Application deadline is 1. November, and by early February the seven-member board decides among projects to receive funding.

Professor Torger Reve at BI Norwegian Business School has been board Chairman of the Sørlandet Knowledge Foundation since 2009.

Contact us at post@kompetansefond.no or telephone + 47 38 05 64 20.