The Foundation was established in 2000 with the overall objective to create and secure jobs and improve social conditions in the region. Since then it has donated some 460 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. Since 2010 the bulk of funding towards UiA has been aimed at strengthening engineering related education and R&D, supporting the needs of the region’s important technology industry clusters.
SKFs current strategy focuses on scalable start-ups and improving social conditions in the region.
An important aspect of this is to increase the potential for job creation in rural parts of the county.
SKFs current strategy focuses on support 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 utility shares owned by the 15 municipalities of Vest Agder county. Starting with 600 MNOK in 2001, SKF has by 2018 donated close to 460 MNOK and now holds stocks and bonds worth approximately 950 MNOK. The net proceeds from these investments are the basis for the grants, which currently add up to about 25 MNOK annual.
Calls for proposals will normally be issued mid-year. Multi-year ongoing projects must submit reneval Applications each year. Application deadline November 1st.
Professor Torger Reve at BI Norwegian Business School has been board Chairman of the Sørlandet Knowledge Foundation since 2009.