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The Interreg project FREIIA is a European research and collaboration project that investigates the special conditions that island communities face. It is about finding sustainable development and resilience within a limited local community. The island communities of the five participating countries have common challenges, but also significant differences. In the project, we learn from each other while each context learns and develops according to its specific context. FREIIA has university partners and partners representing island communities in five countries: Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

For three Swedish parties – University West, Kosters Framtid AB and Kosterhavets National Park, it is the Koster Islands in Strömstad municipality that are in focus.

Also involved in the project are the island communities of Schiermonnikoog in the Netherlands, Bornholm in Denmark, Hvaler in Norway and Iles du Ponant in France.

The project is a continuation of the Interreg project Islands of Innovation. There, a model for self-evaluation (TIPPING approach) was developed for islands that showed how and in which areas they were equipped for local innovation. The model is based on how development can take place in collaboration between the municipality (or equivalent) and the local community on the island.
The project FREIIA, aims further to find models for implementation of local innovation with local and municipal actors in collaboration. [LB4] 

University West works with two main focuses in this project, in slightly different ways. On the one hand, we work to establish a long-term and mutual collaboration between the University and the Koster Islands, while at the same time we design and develop forms and content for such collaboration.

Partly, together with the project's Dutch partner, we are leaders within the project's work package that studies governance or control over the site. In FREIIA's case, governance over local innovation. Who or who will have a say in local sustainable development?

Part of the central interreg project wants to develop a toolbox for how a municipality can support local innovation and development work. What a municipality is, however, means different scales and areas of responsibility in the different participating countries.

From our perspective, we are therefore looking at the levels of innovation management that are important at Koster in particular. It includes not only policy and institutional frameworks, but also the interaction between different local actors who together determine the priorities, strategies, activities and outcomes of sustainable innovation. Processes for local innovation and development need to include users and citizens, as well as local business. They should have the opportunity to be co-creators in a sustainable innovation system. It requires innovative coordination and integration between sectors, areas, levels of authority and different stakeholder groups. The project examines whether it is possible to find a structure for the process around a challenge or idea in a co- and co-creative way, which involves the local community and the municipality together.

Research Area

  • Humaniora
  • Annan humaniora

Research environment / Institution

  • Arbetsintegrerat lärande
  • Institutionen för ekonomi och IT

Project leader

Participants University West

Research funding

  • Tillväxtverket

Project time

2022 - 2025