Millions granted to digital competence development

21 January 2020

BI Norwegian Business School has received 2.3 million NOK from Skills Norway (Kompetanse Norge) to develop a flexible digital offer of further education.

BI’s application was prepared in cooperation with Digital Norway and Lørn AS. This is the first time BI receives such funding. Ragnvald Sannes of the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship is academically responsible and makes the following statement on the project:

- I look forward to getting started on the project and find it exciting to have the opportunity to develop an offer of education in such a partnership with a scalable model of delivery. LØRN will contribute with new podcasts and Digital Norway has its own content, contacts in the market and will contribute with scaling of the deliveries.

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From left: Liv Dingsør, David Sagen, Synniva Solbjørg Larsen, Silvija Seres, Linda Hesselberg, Annita Fjuk og Ragnvald Sannes.

The target group consists of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Norway is a country where a large share of the value creation takes place in small and medium-sized businesses. Both research and experience, however, show that a very large number of these enterprises struggle with releasing the potential inherent in a digitalization of their activities. This affects the future competitiveness and growth of the businesses, but also the value creation in an eco-system of different players. The SMBs must be able to identify how digitalization can create value for their own businesses, but also how this may take place in cooperation with other players. They must understand how digital technologies may be applied to reach business targets and strategic goals. Last but not least, the enterprises need to maintain enthusiasm and a go-ahead spirit among the enthusiasts who take the initiative to reorganizations and changes that follow from increased digitalization.

-To a large degree, the programme of study will provide the participants with knowledge, skills and tools in the field of practical competence for change linked to the digitalization of the participants’ own businesses. The purpose of the programme is to contribute to enabling more SMBs to profit on digitalization and thus strengthen their own competitive situation, says Sannes.

DigitalNorway is an initiative by and for Norwegian business and industry and the goal is to increase the businesses’ competitiveness and growth through increased use of digital technologies and digital transformation. The company was established – and is owned by 15 of the country’s leading enterprises, such as Equinor, AkerBP, Telenor, DNB, Kongsberg Gruppen, DNVGL, Schibsted and Yara. DigitalNorway cooperates closely with a network of regional partners, owners and research and educational institutions on a wide range of activities, in particular, however, through the development and organization of various types of continuing and further education.

LØRN will collect the best success stories from the selected enterprises who will participate in piloting the programme with a focus on digital change work. A local and concrete focus is important, since this efficiently builds a go-ahead-spirit and a technologically strong identity. LØRN has a great deal of experience in organizing and collecting similar content through the building of a library consisting of more than 500 podcasts.

Even though we are already prioritizing digitalization strongly, this grant will give us an opportunity to intensify the development of flexible courses, which in turn will give more people the opportunity to take further education, says David Sagen, Director of Executive Programmes.

This is the third time Skills Norway (Kompetanse Norge) provides funding for flexible further education programmes in digital competence. The scheme is intended to meet needs for additional competence and to support projects aiming at improving the ability of businesses to tackle technological development and reorganizations.

The award is part of the competencies reform “Life-long Learning” («Lære hele livet»).

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