Name / Title
Case Study Region
Övre Norrland, Sweden
The region surrounding the northen parts of the Gulf of Bothnia; Övre Norrland in Sweden and northern counties of Finland
Network organization, owned and managed by it member companies
Main activity / focus
Supporting development of IT firms in the region is the main focus.
Target beneficiaries / market
All firms in the region, the strongest areas of operation are:
Current Funding source(s)
Membership fees, local municipalities, county council and EU (EU funding in projects only)
The Cluster InternetBay owns the company InternetBay AB which consists of an office with staff in charge of operational issues.
More than 80 businesses (mainly ICT) as well as public organisations like municipalities and universities are members.
InternetBay was started by companies within the ICT sector in northern Sweden who saw the need for an organization working with the support of sales and marketing for the ICT sector
InternetBay connects firms in northern Finland and northern Sweden with each other through the internal arrangements within the network, but also with firms in other parts of the world through seminars and business trips for example.
Internetbay consists of a network with about 3000 individuals involved who do not pay a member fee. Simultaneously there is a closer network of about 80 actors (member companies) paying a fee and receiving more information, more support and more invitations to arrangements. For the later group they more actively work to create new networks, market their services and products and to create business opportunities.
InternetBay’s areas of operation are determined by its members’ principal areas of business. This means that InternetBay’s areas of operation change over time depending on the members. The cluster has a Cluster board consisting of members, both public and private, which defines the area of operation and selects the Company Board for InternetBay AB. According to a study which is done each year, more than 50% of InternetBay members have initiated their own membership, about 30% was recommended by someone else, and 20% was initiated by InternetBay
The members are given the opportunity to take part in trade meetings, seminars, trade fairs, export services, support to establish sales offices abroad and support in identification of new products and ideas. InternetBay works actively with establishing cooperation between itself and similar organizations around the world. The biggest initiative within export is the project InternetBay Export which lasts for three years at a time. It is as much of a business development project as an export sales project and its success is measured in the percentage of the companies’ increased export sales from start to finish. For example, the previous export project produced a 100% overall for the companies attending.
InternetBay has in itself created long lasting relationships between firms within northern Sweden and Finland. Through InternetBay its member companies have built lasting business cooperation with firms in other countries, significantly increased its revenues and developed their business skills. This is measured in a yearly survey (since 2005) done by the Luleå technical University
Problems in developing firm’s networks? “Even though we live in a world which is supposed to support new ways of communicating, personal meetings are still they key to lasting relationships. Our geographical position has proven to be a bit of an obstacle at times. Travel costs are quite high and maintaining good relationships can be difficult when not being able to travel frequently.” (Interview with Communications and International relations Manager, InternetBay, 2011-02-02)