Partners include Harstad University College (coordinator of the project), Murmansk Humanities Institute and Syvtyvkar State University in Komi Republic, Russia. The project application was one of eight applications that received funding of the in all 27 received applications that fulfilled the formal criteria.

The application capitalizes on complementary experience from placement and business education in each of the three institutions. Harstad University College brings to the project extensive experience from working with student companies, as well as experience from project work, including an ongoing project; “Business Development in the Borderless Region of Sápmi”.

Murmansk Humanities Institute (MHI) has long participated in the Murmansk Municipal Infrastructure of support to Small- and Medium Sized Enterprises and participates in the Nota BENE with the aim of developing Entrepreneurship in the border areas.

Syvtyvkar State University is forming a new business school emphasizing internationalization and adopting a Northern perspective in its educational programs and research. The university already has a portfolio of courses that accentuate the effect of a Northern context on business management.
Three years’ funding

The grant runs from the fall 2012 until spring 2015 and will fund a placement program in addition to the development of a joint Norwegian Russian course on Managing Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the North as well as case-development.
In the placement program, Norwegian and Russian students travel to the other country to work for 3-5 months for a host-company. Interns will work four days and spend one day a week writing a thesis under the supervision of faculty from the sending institution of higher education. Students in the program will gain invaluable practical experience, as well as experience from working in a different culture and contacts.

The grants allow 12 placements a year; 4 from Norway to Russia and 8 from Russia to Norway and also cover workshops on case writing, course development as well as the completion of a case- reader on managing SME’s in the North. The grant will form a basis for new applications to fund similar cooperation between other institutions within the circumpolar North, including institutions in Canada, Alaska, Finland, and Iceland to develop and expand activity within the thematic network.