Kompetensförsörjning i glesbygd : Om betydelsen av närhet och avstånd

Sammanfattning: Arjeplog in Norrbotten is an important winter testing site of vehicles and vehicle components for the international automobile industry. A considerable number of staff from the industry, the client companies, travel each winter to the small and peripheral Arjeplog in order to conduct tests. Thanks to this business, a number of local companies, service providers, which assist the incoming client companies with testing facilities and other services, have emerged in the area. Some actors want to develop this further and have initiated a collaboration with Luleå University of Technology and a few other regional stakeholders. An important motive for this cooperation is to increase the competitiveness of the region and by extension contribute to sustainable economic development. An important component in achieving this, is that the competence supply of engineers can be met, which is in focus in this study. This study describes the strategies which involved actors advocate to achieve regional development. The notions of triple helix and cluster development are mentioned by some actors as strategies to achieve this. Important factors when scrutinizing these strategies are how they are affected by the conditions which are common in a sparsely populated peripheral region. This is the purpose of this study and the analysis is carried out using the notion of proximity and its different dimensions, such as social, cognitive, organizational, institutional and geographical dimensions. The study suggests, in particular, that regional development would benefit from a communal inclusive vision, frequent meetings between the actors on site in the region as well as a regional coordinator, who would not interfere with the tasks of other actors but let each and every person do what they are best at.