Suldal is a municipality situated in the north east of Rogaland County, Norway. Suldal has nearly 4000 inhabitants, of which approximately 1200 people live in small rural communities outside the municipality centre. The applicants are a consortium consist ing of 8 firms in the region. Two theoretical approaches are relevant in this project. First, we focus on the literature on innovation systems, and second we look into the theory of place branding.
Four R&D challenges are presented. The first challenge i s how to enhance Suldal as a tourist destination.
Challenge number two is how to establish a sustainable local innovation system in the tourism industry in the region.
The third R&D challenge is how to develop an interactive technological communication p latform in the interface between two innovation systems; the tourist innovation system in Suldal and the innovation system in the audiovisual industry in Rogaland. The fourth challenge is how the branding process in Suldal involves and affects women and men in the region, and how the production of information on the web will be suited to fit both women and men.
We will use a community action research approach, which involves learning as a community of practitioners, consultants and researchers.
The main innovation in the project is to integrate technology, film, video and geographical maps and produce an interactive communication platform on the Internet aimed at tourists and inhabitants. The platform will be a tool for marketing, sales, communication a nd dialogue with tourists and inhabitants. A second innovative aspect is the mobilization of resources and increased collaboration between the partners. New arenas for dialogue and knowledge generation are thus created. None of these innovations will be n ew in a global context. However, they will be radical concerning the partners in the project in Suldal, and also of moderate importance in a national context.