The Nordic model of cooperation is a recognized ideal to follow, would it be at the interstate level in matters of diplomacy or within the civil society and business sector. This culture of cooperation, probably inherited from a complex history of regional reunion and embodied at the governmental level since the creation of the Nordic Council in 1952, indeed also irrigates the business community and gives reason to talk about a Nordic way of business cooperation.

 

A perfect illustration is the new alliance formed in April 2018 by Finnish and Swedish industrial giants to lead the digital disruption with the promotion of knowledge and experiment sharing, focusing on AI and IoT. Gathering more than 20 of the largest Swedish and Finnish companies, including Ericsson, Wärtsilä, SAAB, Kone and Atlas Copco, this alliance aims at placing some Nordic stars at the forefront of the innovation in the digital sector, and also in company culture. The initiative was taken by Marcus Wallenberg after Finnish and Swedish companies had spontaneously started to work together and share information, reports the online newspaper Dagens Industri.

 

This model of cooperation is a bright example of how to develop synergies across sectors and across countries, a model in which France is committing. Partnerships at every level and scale are indeed crucial to boost knowledge creation and develop value-added innovation that would benefit society and businesses. Especially since France and the Nordics have in lot in common when it turns to breakthrough innovation: all countries are listed in the Bloomberg Innovation Index top 20 countries (Sweden #2, Finland #7, Denmark #8, France #9, Norway #15).

France and the Nordics are well engaged on the path of cooperation.

At state level, France and Sweden signed in late 2017 a new Partnership for Innovation covering a panel of fields: digital transformation, green finance, green energies, green transports, e-health and other greener solutions for sustainable cities.

Beyond interstate cooperation, Nordic companies are willing to invest in France and conversely, to capitalise on their mutual strengths. The Nordics are at the forefront of green innovation, and French market has a lot to offer in terms of innovation-friendly environment: R&D clusters in Paris and region, public support to innovation, leading start-ups incubators, and a large pool of highly-qualified workers, researchers and engineers. Many Nordic giants have already chosen French stimulating and supportive ecosystem to innovation. As an illustration, the Renault Trucks branch of Volvo AB chose France to produce a new generation of electric trucks.

 

The Nordic way of cooperating can therefore irrigate future partnerships to develop French-Nordic business collaboration, a sound practice that will help bolster breakthrough innovation to shape the societies of tomorrow.