The pilot project seeks to develop a platform for “Entrepreneurship development in Cuba & Business Acceleration between Norway – Cuba”, this within selected sector(s). The overall idea is to build local knowledge and insight about Cuban business environment, cultural and organisational aspects and risks, knowledge that can support and assist in the bilateral development.
Thereby participate in the development of the Cuban private sector at policy and operational framework, based on the Norwegian partnership model; Government versus Academia versus Industry, which has proven to be a successful model for socioeconomic development.
Within the global economy there are a few countries that have developed an economic and political system that have been fully or partly excluded from the global economy. Among these countries are Cuba, it has been under US sanctions since the Cuba crises in early 1960’s. With recent changes in the political structures, the regime has highlighted the need for political and economic reform. President Barack Obama stated in April 2009 that he wanted a new beginning with Cub. Russia is also seeking to revitalize its economic cooperation after the Soviet collapse.
In preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16) in Mexico in November/December 2010, Minister of Development Aid Erik Solheim signed an agreement in Havana for the development of cooperation in areas of mutual interest among others aquaculture, petroleum legislation, the environment and mitigation of natural catastrophes. In May 2011, the Vice Minister Ingri Fiskaa from the Ministry of Development Aid signed four agreements; among others to establish a formal framework for G-to-G consultations, to promote development aid programmes that makes it easier for Norwegian organisations to collaborate with Cuban counterparts, to cooperation in aquaculture development and to promote oil for development projects in Cuba.
The project is conducted by Morten H Westvik, MARINTEK and Carla Dahl-Jørgensen, Department of Social Anthropology, NTNU, in cooperation with International Development Norway AS.
Mr. Stølan holds a M.Sc. degree at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), within technical-economic planning in regional and urban areas. Master thesis focused on Regional and Local Economic Impacts of Petrochemical Industrialization.
Presently he is the President/CEO of International Development Norway. He was a Research Director at SINTEF, one of the largest Scandinavian research institutes , in the period 1997-2003, and 2004-2008, as well as scientist in SINTEF Industrial Management, Economics and Logistics. As a researcher on “commercialization of technology” he was engaged at Surrey Technology Centre, Surrey University, Guildford UK, 2003-2004. He also has experience as assistant professor, Department of Managerial Economic and Operations Research, at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Mr. Stølan has extensive international experience in project development management and consulting, local economic development, innovation and trans-national technology transfer. More than 20 years of practice experience in delivering and managing SME innovation and competitiveness actions. In total more than 12 years of experiences in building up and manage research activities in SINTEF and proven competences in terms of R&D and innovation within Norway, Europe and developing countries. Direct access to numerous institutions and networks regarding technology innovation, innovative SMEs, regional development and science and technology policy. Experience in managing projects funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA), EU funded: Framework Programmes, Competitiveness Innovation Programmes (CIP), EEA grants, but also private clients (industry).
Of significant importance is his engagement at the projects with technology transfer and commercialization of technology, innovative solutions in solar energy and their contribution to decentralized robust solutions and job creation (project Technology & Business Cooperation Norway-Uzbekistan), Waste Treatment Solutions (2011-2013 Serbia), Process and Supplier Industry Development based on Natural Gas in Uzbekistan (2010-2011), Local Innovation and Business Development in Bioenergy and Plastic Recycling, Romania (2009-2011¬). In the period 2008-2012 he also provided support in Technological Innovations in Micro Combined Cooling Heating Power Romania (mCCHP Innovation), WEEE Technology Transfer and Promotion between Norway-Poland, as well as Environmental Technology Transfer Mid-Norway Poland and Joint Applied Research and Economic Cooperation between Norway and Kharhov Region.