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KVAL: Commercialisation of the agent-based modelling software for socio-economic analysis

Alternative title: Kommersialisering av agent-basert modell for sosioøkonomisk analyse

Awarded: NOK 0.50 mill.

The project titled «Commercialisation of the agent-based modelling software for socio-economic analysis? (ABSEA) aimed at clarifying the commercial potential of applying the agent-based model for socio-economic analysis. The areas of application, market potential and willingness to pay were studied. Business models and strategies are developed. The project is based on theoretical knowledge and practical experience on socio-economic agent-based simulations that the Nordland Research Institute (NRI) research team has developed. The theoretical research results have already been published in recognised international journals. Agent-based simulation models (ABM) are led by the theoretical assumption that the macro-level social phenomena are the result deriving from the interactions occurring, at the micro-and meso-level, between individuals (persons, organizations, institutions), and between individuals and the environment. ABMs typically include a set of heterogeneous artificial agents simulating real-world actors and their behaviours, a set of rules of interaction and an environment in which dynamic, organizational and spatial characteristics are defined. Social and organizational simulation provides policymakers with the ability to run a what-if analysis. ABMs are used as an alternative and/or addition to traditional equation-based models. The proof-of-concept online demonstration model developed for Vestvågøy municipality was used to test some technical solutions. Preliminary findings point at that a) ABMs may be practically applied to the variety of socio-economic simulations, and b) the relevant simulations may constitute a basis for evaluations and scenario-analyses on local and municipal levels. The project will facilitate knowledge transfer from research environment at NRI to the market for evaluations/consulting, possibly through establishing a separate commercial business (spin-off).

The project team has studied the possibility for commercialization of the agent-based socio-economic model of Norwegian municipalities through spin-off. The rapport, including business plan and drafts for a licensing agreement and other agreements, was delivered for evaluation to the Nordland Research Institute (NRI). The documents and proposal to start a spin-off firm were discussed by the NRI boards of directors two times (September and December 2021). At the present moment the decision is postponed to the next board of directors meeting in March 2022. Thus, it is impossible to conclude on the projects results and effects until the board of directors makes its decision.

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