VESTFOLD OG TELEMARK FYLKESKOMMUNE
Vestfold and Telemark County is a region with more than 425.000 inhabitant living in 23 municipalities. The County Council is the region’s largest employer with more than 4000 employees. As a regional development authority, we make plans for and supports regional development, supporting and developing the regional innovation system through funding business attraction, investment attraction, talent attraction through regional innovation strategies. With its total area of 17,466 km², Vestfold and Telemark county has a population density of approximately 24.3 inhabitants/km². Parts of the county are characterized by large geographical distances, the population density is greatest along the coast of the county, and the interior of the county is characterized by more scattered settlement. Vestfold and Telemark are the sixth largest county measured by population and the seventh largest county by area. The county borders Viken in the north and east, Vestland and Rogaland in the west and Agder in the south. There is a great variation in the business structure in the county, where Tønsberg, Horten (Vestfold), Skien and Porsgrunn (Telemark) are the economic areas in the county with the highest R&D expenditure per employee. The R&D expenditure for these two areas is above the average in Norway. At the end of 2019, there were a total of 184.699 employees in Vestfold and Telemark, of which 122,552 were employed in the private sector. The county employs a total of 6,8% of all employees in Norway and 6,6% of all employees in the private sector. R&D expenditure in Vestfold and Telemark county accounted for 4.7% of the national level. Vestfold and Telemark county differ from the other counties in Norway as the business community has a relatively larger share of R&D expenditure. The research institute sector in the county is small and is mainly located in Porsgrunn and the surroundings (Telemark) and consists of SINTEF (formerly Tel-Tek), Norner and Telemark Research. The University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) is the major higher academic player and has several campuses in the county and accounted for 0.5% of the national R&D expenditure in the university sector. Vestfold og Telemark fylkeskommune County Council has participated in EU financed projects both as partner and supporting municipalities and High Schools since 1997. We have participated in a wide range of projects in different EU programmes like Horizon 2020, Interreg, Erasmus +, EEA Grants, Creative Europe and Espon.