Lysbilde 1 - Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune



Lysbilde 1 - Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune
Lysbilde 1
Welcome to Møre and Romsdal
Lysbilde 2
Møre and Romsdal
-19 counties in Norway
-Population 250,000
- 36 municipalities
(smallest / largest
1000 / 40,000 inhabitants)
Distance to Oslo:
Approx 500 km / air: 1 hour
Møre and Romsdal is one of 19 counties
in Norway and is located in the northern
part of Western Norway. Møre and
Romsdal has a coastline with a total
length of 7,700 kilometres facing the
Norwegian Sea, and covers an area of
15,000 square kilometres.
A quarter of a million people inhabit this
beautiful and diverse county. More than
half live in the southern part of the
county – Sunnmøre. Sunnmøre is also
home to the largest town in the county,
Ålesund, with a population of more than
Møre and Romsdal consists of 36
municipalities, which vary in size and
characteristics. The smallest
municipality, Stordal, has approximately
1000 inhabitants, while the largest,
Ålesund, has more than 40 times that
figure. It goes without saying that the
challenges facing the municipalities vary
a great deal.
Møre and Romsdal has, as Norway in general,
a decentralized infrastructure. Here there are 4
hospitals, 4 airports and 3 university colleges.
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Historically Møre and Romsdal was
divided into three administrative
units, each with its own dominant town
centre; Ålesund, Kristiansund and Molde.
- Sunnmøre
- Romsdal
- Nordmøre
However, it was not the towns alone that
were the developmental force:
Åndalsnes, Ulsteinvik, Fosnavåg, Ørsta,
Volda and Sunndalsøra are villages that
have played an important part, not least
for the development of industry and
education. For the county of Møre and
Romsdal it is a clear goal that smaller
and larger towns and villages are made
attractive for settlement and localization
of trade and industry.
The county is, as most “rural counties”,
characterized by young people leaving.
In recent years a strong increase in
labour migration (particularly from
Eastern Europe) has led to an increase in
population figures.
The trend in settlement patterns is
nevertheless clearly towards
centralization and urbanization.
Møre and Romsdal also has a strong
newspaper tradition. There are three
daily newspapers in the county; Tidens
Krav in Kristiansund, Romsdals Budstikke
in Molde and Sunnmørsposten in
Ålesund. In addition to “the three
majors” there are a total of 16-17 local
newspapers around the county.
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To the south lies Sunnmøre, with
Ålesund as the centre of domination. The
town has a population of 42,500.
Amongst other things, Sunnmøre is
famous for the tourist attraction and
world heritage site of the Geiranger
Fjord, the Sunnmøre Alps and the
architecture of Ålesund. The current town
centre is the result of the city fire which
in 1904 left the entire centre in ashes.
From the ashes rose a brick city in the
art noveau style, which lends the city
its architectural character. Ålesund still
holds the position as the country's
fisheries capital, but a broader range of
sectors has emerged, particularly in
trade and specialist jobs related to the
maritime industries. The business sense
and entrepreneurship of those from
Sunnmøre is widely known in Norway!
Attractions in Ålesund:
The architecture, art nouveau brick
The art nouveau style centre, opened
by Queen Sonja in 2003, is a national
centre of art nouveau
Kube, which is the county art museum
for Møre and Romsdal
Atlanterhavsparken, aquarium with
visitor activities
The food festival, with the Norwegian
chefs championships
Sunnmøre museum, folk museum with
more than 50 buildings and 40 boats
Colorline stadium, home ground of
Ålesund Fotballklubb
Fjellstua, more than 400 steps from the centre
up to a magnificent view of the town
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The northern part of the county is
Nordmøre, home of the clipfish
Kristiansund. The town has a population
of 23,000, and the city centre is built on
three islands linked together by bridges
and a local ferry – Sundbåten - which
shuttles between the islands throughout
the day. The clipfish in the area dates
back to the 1690s. The industry was a
financial success and led to an explosive
increase in population, and gave the
town a distinctive character of export,
shipping and close ties with foreign
countries. Exports were largely to Spain,
Italy and Portugal, but also to the West
Indies and Brazil. The clipfish reached its
peak towards the end of the 1800s.
Today the town is becoming more and
more characterized by the oil industry,
which has given the town a huge
economic boost, and which in many ways
carries on the international character
that the town traditionally has had. The
heart of the petroleum industry is
Vestbase, where the operating
companies for Draugen, Heidrun, Njård
and Kristin fields and others are located.
In addition to the strong clipfish
tradition, the town is also famous for its
opera. Kristiansund was bombed in 1940
and had to be rebuilt following huge
Attractions in Kristiansund:
Bacalao, fish dish where clipfish is the
main ingredient. The town has its own
bacalao championships.
Vestbase, where the operating
companies for the Draugen, Heidrun,
Njård and Kristin fields and several other
offshore companies are located.
The Opera, with the Opera festival
which is held every winter.
Nordic Light, international photography
festival which has achieved broad
recognition in a short space of time
Atlanterhavsbadet, aquapark and an
example of the modernization of the
town that has taken place during the
past decade.
The Tahiti Festival, first organized in
2000 to create publicity for the town
quarter of Innlandet – which was locally
known as Tahiti - and which has grown
into an annual festival where many
major Norwegian artists hold concerts.
Sundbåten, the town's cultural
monument and the world's oldest public
transport company.
Grip, deserted fishing hamlet and an
obvious tourist destination during the
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Between Sunnmøre and Nordmøre lies
the county's third region, Romsdal. This
is where Molde lies, Town of the Roses,
with 24,500 inhabitants, famous for its
roses, its magnificent panorama and not
least its international jazz festival which
quadruples the town's population for a
week every July. The timber trade was
responsible for the establishment of
Molde, but it is currently the trade and
service sectors that constitute the main
industries. The town also has a large
industrial sector. The town fire in 1916
and the bombing in 1940 decimated
much of the old wooden houses and the
picturesque villa gardens Molde was
famous for, however, some remain and
are well taken care of.
The architecture is modern; Aker
stadium, with the prominent Rica Seilet
hotel close by are well-known. The
natural surroundings are also famous,
and the 222 mountain tops around the
town are a beautiful sight and offer
numerous challenges to hikers. Molde is
also home to the county authority
Attractions in Molde:
Varden, lookout point and restaurant
407 metres above sea level that provides
a magnificent view of the town and the
Romsdal panorama.
The Jazz Festival: has made the town
famous throughout the world.
Hjertøya, recreation area and tourist
destination. The Fisheries Museum is
located here, which displays the history
of Western Norwegian coastal culture.
The Romsdal Museum, opened to the
public in 1928, displays buildings and
cultural history from Romsdal
Aker stadium and Rica Seilet: Famous
for their modern design.
The Royal Birch at Glomstua is a
national symbol and a memorial of the
German occupation. King Haakon and
Crown Prince Olav were photographed
under the birch while taking shelter
during the bombing of Molde in April
1940. The actual tree was destroyed by
vandals in the early 1980s and was
replanted by King Olav V in 1982.
Moldebadet opens in April 2010.
Atlanterhavsveien, spectacular stretch
of road that ties together Averøya and
the Romsdal peninsula.
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Climate and
-Not as bad as you think
As the county in general, the weather
also varies.
The median temperature is above
freezing the year round, but the county
is characterized by great variation and a
lot of precipitation.
The close proximity to the ocean, the
Gulf Stream and dominant westerly
winds give most of the county a mild,
coastal climate.
The topography with high mountains,
long fjords and deep valleys lead to great
variations in temperature, wind and
It also provides great opportunities for
summer and winter sports.
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Møre and Romsdal has been inhabited for
more than 10,000 years. The first traces
of human habitation in Norway, the
Fosna Culture, may be found in the north
of Møre and Romsdal. The settlements
here are between 9,000 and 10,000
years old. There are numerous rock
carvings, graves and sacrificial finds in
the county. Traces of human activity are
numerous and distinct, both in towns and
rural areas. The great diversity, the
dramatic natural surroundings and the
strong history cause many to consider
Møre and Romsdal to be the country's
most interesting county.
The name is made up of two
components: Møre derives from
mare (ocean), and actually refers to the
rough Hustadvika stretch of ocean.
Sunnmøre and Nordmøre thereby refer
to the landscapes south and north of
Romsdal county was established in
1662 and following some initial changing
borders, the area has had roughly the
same borders that the county of Møre
and Romsdal currently has since 1689.
The county was administered from
Molde, where most of the governors also
Until the historical county system was
abandoned in 1919, the area was called
Romsdals amt, but then changed the
name to Møre county. Romsdal was
included in the name again in 1935, and
ever since the name has beenMøre and
Møre and Romsdal is characterized by
diversity and changes in landscape and
culture. Throughout the county there is
also a boundary that divides what lies
closer to the Western Norwegian and
what approaches Trøndelag.
In the Viking Age the mighty chieftan
clan Mørejarlane ruled large areas here,
and they formed alliances with the
emerging national kingdom.
Even in these early ages Sunnmøre,
Romsdal and Nordmøre represented
administrative units, a division that was
linked to military, judicial and religious
The two market towns of Borgund and
Veøy comprised the financial centre in
the High Middle Ages. Back then, fishing
and farming was the typical livelihood for
people in the area.
It is likely that the Black Death (1349)
cut back the population in the area by
more than two thirds, and it was only in
1520 the population once more started
to grow. During the period between 1520
to 1666 the population increased
fivefold. Easily available land for crops,
rich fishing and an increasing timber
trade were the forces behind the
expansion- Hamlet owners were involved
in extensive trade with Bergen and
Trondheim, and the clipfish industry in
the county can trace its roots back to
this. Sawmill operations and shipping of
timber abroad increased.
Throughout the autocracy (“Danish
Age” from 1660 -) the King's bailiffs
ensured that land charges and taxes
were harshly collected, but a gradually
awakening peasantry wanted
independence, and cultural life and local
enterprises supported this.
From the early Middle Ages the
churches had been a place of assembly
for the people of Møre, and religious life
gradually took the shape of a pietist
movement that gained support. This
movement in turn provided impulses to
book learning, reading and education –
which in turn gave rise to an awakening
sense of belonging.
During the great Nordic war, in the
first twenty years of the 1700s, large
cohorts of youths from the county were
conscripted. During the Napoleonic wars
in the early 1800s, the same occurred
again. In the aftermath of the wars came
great changes between the nations that
led to Norway becoming a spoil of war
for Sweden. Nevertheless, the foresight
of the Men of Eidsvoll led to the passing
of the constitution in 1814, which in turn
formed the basis for a slowly emerging
The Nordmøring John Neergaard worked
to give farmers more power in national
politics. He is considered to have been
the first major political agitator in this
country. Through the so-called Olaboka
he strongly agitated to elect more
farmers to the Storting.
Poverty in the early 1800s combined
with harder times and a fluctuating
population through the century prompted
mass emigration to America: Towards
the end of the 1800s and the early 1900s
there were many from Møre and Romsdal
who left.
At the same time the three largest towns
in the county emerged; Ålesund,
Kristiansund and Molde all experienced
strong growth during the 1800s, and
gradually made their mark as the centres
of their respective administrative areas.
During the latter half of the 1800s the
great transformation in peasant society,
followed by a gradual motorization of the
fishing fleet, to major changes to the
work and day-to-day lives of people. In
Møre and Romsdal fishing was very
important, both in terms of food and as a
livelihood. Later on, seal hunting, and
not least whaling, were established as
important industries in the county.
Industrialization and electrification
was the second major change that
altered the lives of many in the county.
Going into the 1900s this was to lay the
foundation for the furniture industry,
which Sunnmøre is particularly famous
Famous poets and intellectuals have
used the natural beauty and everyday
life in Møre and Romsdal as a backdrop
for their work; Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson,
Henrik Ibsen and Ivar Aasen are just a
few of them.
Towards the end of the 1800s modern
tourism took off, and Møre and Romsdal
with its overwhelming natural
surroundings was one of the most exotic
destinations for many foreigners. The
county was also more accessible due to
better roads, expansion of the ferry
service and not least the establishment
of the Rauma railway.
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Møre and Romsdal is the country's
foremost ferry county. In a county
which is divided by fjords and numerous
islands, the ferries have been the glue
that has tied the county together.
Several ferry stretches have been
replaced by mainland connections in the
shape of bridges and tunnels. Currently
25 ferries remain. We have used gaspowered ferries in the county for several
One example of the many major bridge
and tunnel projects in the county is
KRIFAST, which was opened in 1992. It
links the municipality of Kristiansund to
the mainland through a long sub-sea
tunnel and one of Northern Europe's
longest suspension bridges. The Eiksund
tunnel, another sub-sea tunnel that ties
Hareidlandet to the mainland, was
opened in 2008. It is the world's deepest
sub-sea tunnel (287 metres below sea
level at its deepest) and 7,765 metres in
length, which makes it Norway's secondlongest sub-sea tunnel.
Møre and Romsdal is also a major bus
county, with an hourly bus service
between the south and north of the
county. The bus service between the
south and north of the county is provided
by the county project TIMEkspressen,
with departures every hour. There are
also good bus services out of the county.
Møre and Romsdal has four airports:
Årø (Molde), Vigra (Ålesund) and
Kvernberget (Kristiansund) are linked to
the trunk network. Hovden (Ørsta/Volda)
is linked to the short field network.
The county also has a railroad –
Raumabanen – with a final stop in
Hurtigruta from Bergen to Kirkenes has
daily stops in Torvik , Ålesund, Molde,
Kristiansund, and Geiranger during the
summer season, with passengers and
cargo. A major future project is the work
on linking the north and south of the
county by a trunk road without ferries.
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Bird island
at Runde
Tourism is a developing industry. The
total turnover for this industry in Møre og
Romsdal is approx. NOK 1.7 billion a
year (including restaurants). In recent
years there has been an increase in
commercial overnight stays of 22 percent
(2008 figures).
Møre and Romsdal county authority and
Innovation Norway are responsible for
the 2006-2010 Travel and Tourism
Programme, whit an aim to make Møre
and Romsdal the number one activity
and experience county. The travel and
tourism industry was given a boost
earlier this year when Fjord Norge AS –
which is the travel and tourism
organization for the four Western
Norwegian counties – was named a
Norwegian Centre of Expertise Tourism
Great diversity characterizes Møre and
Romsdal, both in terms of nature, culture
and industry. The span from the
innermost Geirangerfjord in Sunnmøre to
the fascinating island community of Grip
furthest out to sea on the Nordmøre
coast, is huge and incomparable and
inspires both quiet contemplation and
great visual experiences and physical
Mardalsfossen waterfall and the bird
island of Runde demonstrates a county
with great diversity. Far out towards the
ocean there is a multitude of islands,
islets, reefs, rocks, bogs and mountains.
The island municipality of Smøla for
example, looks like nowhere else, with a
prairie-like landscape and fantastic
skerries consisting of more than 5,800
islands, islets and rocks. Moreover
Norway’s biggest windmill parc is on
The mainland makes for a completely
different natural experience. The fjord
cut deep into the country creating a
dramatic landscape, where sheer cliffs
rise 1000 metres above the fjord.
Farthest inland the valleys take over and
stretch all the way to Jotunheimen,
Dovrefjell and Trollheimen.
Møre and Romsdal contains two of
Norway's three greatest natural
Geirangerfjord, which is on Unesco's
world heritage list, with the Seven
Sisters waterfall and the farms of
Blomberg, Skageflå and Knivflå. A
spectacular experience, and occasionally
cruise liners from all over the world
queue up to enter the fjord.
The other major attraction is
Trollstigen, which is in the heart of
Romsdalen and is a stretch of zigzagging road surrounded by majestic
The road is closed during the winter, but
is usually open from the beginning of
May and until the snow arrives.
Atlanterhavsvegen, which stretches
between Eide municipality and Averøya,
winds between islands and rocks and
provides motorists with the experience of
a lifetime, particularly in poor weather.
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The culture county
Jazz festival
Literature festival
Food festival
Photo festival
New Norwegian
-stage/open air
Mountain festival
Møre and Romsdal is a culture county
where theatre, music and festivals make
their mark. Molde International Jazz
Festival is the most famous of the
festivals. It was established in 1960, and
is one of Europe's oldest jazz festivals.
The festival is held every year in July.
Almost 100,000 visitors invade the town
during the festival. A number of the
greatest jazz musicians in history have
visited the festival. In recent years there
have also been concerts with some of the
world's greatest blues, rock and pop
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Mountain festival
Jazz festival etc.
However, the jazz festival is not the only
popular festival in the county. The food
festival in Ålesund, the opera festival in
Kristiansund and the Bjørnson festival in
Molde also attract huge crowds. A more
recent festival is the Nordic Light
photography festival in Kristiansund,
which in the matter of only a few years
has built an impressive reputation. There
are also more locally-oriented festivals
that attract large crowds and popular
artists. Examples are the Tahiti Festival
in Kristiansund and Rauma Rock Festival
in Åndalsnes.
Åndalsnes has an active festival
community in several areas. The place is
a centre for mountain climbing, and
organizes an annual mountain festival in
addition to several music festivals and
Møre and Romsdal have their own
regional theatre, Teatret Vårt, which
tours the entire county out of Molde.
A professional musician arrangement
organized by the county authority has
also been established, Møremusikarane,
who work to ensure good music services
for cultural life in Møre og Romsdal.
There are three district museums and
several village museums.
The New Norwegian Festival is an
annual gathering of New Norwegian
culture that is held in Volda and Ørsta
during the last week of June. The
programme comprises concerts,
exhibitions, readings and language
debates. The New Norwegian User of the
Year Award is also presented during the
Sport and outdoor recreation is
important in Møre and Romsdal. There
are sports halls, swimming pools and
artificial grass pitches in nearly all
municipalities. The county is also the
only one outside of Oslo and Akershus
that has more than one top-level football
team, Molde and Ålesund.
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Trade and industry
Møre and Romsdal is one of the most
important export counties in the
country. The biggest industries in the
county are fisheries, mechanical
industry, building and construction
and furniture.
Europe's largest aluminium plant is in
Sunndalsøra, where also the electrochemical industry is of great importance.
The main bulk of the mechanical industry
is related to the maritime and petroleum
The maritime industries in Møre and
Romsdal are amongst the world's most
developed and innovative industrial
clusters and are experiencing great
demand and have full order books for the
years ahead.
The increased activity in oil and gas
exploitation in the Norwegian Sea as
well as two onshore gas processing
facilities in Møre and Romsdal provide
substantial ripple effects for trade and
industry in the entire county.
Large portions of trade and industry in
Møre and Romsdal compete on the
international stage and are very exportoriented and exposed to competition.
This makes the labour market and
businesses very vulnerable to
international economic conditions.
Creating diversity in the labour market
and making it attractive to skilled and
desirable workers will be a focus area in
the years ahead.
In 2009 there were approximately 8,500
foreign workers in the county. Almost
half were from Poland. Work migration to
Møre and Romsdal is higher than the
national average.
In the shipbuilding industry
approximately 50 percent of the
workforce is currently foreign, hired
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The maritime
Supply industry
Maritime cluster
Møre and Romsdal is a significant maritime
county in both national and international
terms. The total maritime industry cluster in
Møre and Romsdal comprises close to 200
businesses in shipping, shipping consultants,
shipyards, equipment suppliers and other
suppliers. The total turnover of this cluster in
2008 was estimated to be NOK 50 billion.
Employment has increased in recent years,
and currently comprises 20,000 man years.
The maritime cluster is closely linked to the
petroleum industry, and the price of oil is the
most important factor for the development of
this industry.
The shipbuilding industry had a turnover of
approximately NOK 19.5 billion in 2008.
Capacity issues are an important constraint
with respect to profitability. Almost 50 percent
of the workforce in the shipbuilding industry is
of foreign origin, much of it related to
Shipowners in the county comprise more than
40% of Norwegian shipowners measured by
turnover. In recent years growth for shipowners
has been very strong, and results have
improved immensely. Shipowners had a
turnover close to NOK 8.4 billion in 2008.
The mechanical industry has largely
developed as a result of requirements in
fisheries and subsequently the oil industry.
Turnover in 2008 was close to NOK 22 billion.
Important businesses in the maritime cluster
are the Ulstein Group, Kleven Maritime, Rolls
Royce Marine AS, STX-Europe AS (former
Aker Yards), Brunvoll AS, I.P. Huse, ODIM,
Farstad shipping, Olympic Shipping, etc.
Norwegian Centres of Expertise is a national
push for the best industrial clusters in Norway.
The maritime cluster in Møre has been given
the status of Norwegian Centre of Expertise
Maritime (NCE Maritime) because the cluster is
complete and a world leader in the field of
advanced maritime operations.
The recruitment is a challenge for large
portions of the maritime cluster, both in terms
of engineers, skilled workers and seamen.
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The petroleum
The petroleum industry is ever more
important for employment in the county,
particularly in Nordmøre.
Tjeldbergodden, in the far north of the
county, is the landing site for gas from
the Heidrun field and Nyhamn in Aukra
municipality is the landing site for the Ormen
Lange field. Both are important for employment
in their respective areas.
Approximately 140 kilometres west of
Kristiansund lies the Ormen Lange gas
field, which was discovered in 1997 and
which is the second largest gas field on
the Norwegian continental shelf after
Troll. Nyhamn in Aukra is the landing site
for the gas from Ormen Lange. Møre and
Romsdal county authority had an active
role in the process that led to the choice
of pipelining the gas to shore rather than
traditional transport by ship.
Kristiansund has a very central position
in the petroleum industry because the
supply functions for the exploration
activities on the central Norwegian
continental shelf are located here.
There are approximately 22,000 man
years in petroleum-related activities in
Møre and Romsdal. Ensuring good
recruitment to this very important
industry is an important task. Møre and
Romsdal will through promotion and
reputation building aim to be a winner in
the competition for expertise, both
domestically and internationally. For the
county of Møre and Romsdal it is a clear
goal that the petroleum industry in Møre
and Romsdal shall develop and that
value increases.
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Trade and industry
Marine industry
The traditional livelihoods in the county
are also strongly linked to the sea. It is
here the county has its greatest natural
Møre and Romsdal is the country's
foremost fisheries county, both in
terms of production and export. The
fishing fleet in Møre and Romsdal
comprises purse seine vessels, factory
trawlers, bank vessels with autoline and
smaller coastal vessels. Every third fish
that is landed in Norway is caught by the
fishing fleet from Møre and Romsdal and
Møre and Romsdal alone is responsible
for approximately a third of the total
national export of food. The marine
farming industry in Møre and Romsdal
works closely with researchers and public
administration on improvements in fish
health, fish conditions, better area use
and production strategies, better feed
exploitation and better sustainability. The
goal is to process a steadily increasing
proportion of the fish that is produced.
Almost all Norwegian production of
clipfish is in the county, and Kristiansund
is famous as the genuine clipfish town.
With respect to processing salmon and
trout, Møre and Romsdal is big, and
demand particularly from the USA has
increased strongly.
The county also has an exciting
biomarine industry. Omegaland is the
nickname of an industry cluster to the
north-west that produces Omega-3 fatty
acids from marine sources. Omegaland
has an approximate 35% share of the
global omega-3 market, and is world
leading in production and technology
development in marine oils. The cluster
is knowledge-intensive and innovative.
Omegaland has a status as a national
ARENA project, where common
challenges are solved.
Agriculture has always been important
for livelihood and settlement in Møre and
Romsdal. It is currently the production of
milk that dominates, 10 percent of the
country's milk is produced here. It forms
the basis of a modern processing
industry, with strong brands such as the
Jarlsberg, Snøfrisk and Ridderost
Following active tree planting, forests in
the county are growing strongly. Logging
and production of lumber will increase in
the years ahead. Outlying land is also
important grazing areas for sheep and
cattle. In this way agriculture combines
the production of meat with management
of the cultural landscape.
A favourable local climate allows high
quality specialist production, such as fruit
and berries in Inner Sunnmøre, potatoes
in Nordmøre and vegetables on Smøla.
50 percent of all strawberries for
industrial use in Norway are produced
Agriculture is undergoing constant
technological development, where
production is carried out by fewer farms
than previously. At the same time, more
have taken steps to use their own raw
materials for the production and sale of
local food specialties. A broader range of
products is a boon to tourists and locals
Lysbilde 17
Trade and industry
Møre and Romsdal currently the secondlargest export county in the country in
terms of traditional export goods.
In 2008 it comprised 8% of the country's
total exports at a value of approximately
NOK 29 billion.
Biggest in fish exports
Møre and Romsdal county was by far the
largest in the country in terms of fish
exports in 2008, as in many years
before. Of the country's total fish
exports, exports from the county
constituted 32% at a value of NOK 9.1
billion (approx 500,000 tons). Nordland,
which is in second place, exports fish at a
value of NOK 5.4 billion.
Møre and Romsdal is responsible for
approx. 25% of all fish exports from
Lysbilde 18
Møre and Romsdal is also home to
industries that appear to be out of place
with respect to natural conditions.
The furniture industry is an important
example. Along with the clothing
industry, the furniture industry has
grown from small basement businesses.
The clothing industry is all but gone, but
the furniture industry has grown into a
dominant branch of industry in its areas.
The furniture factories in Sunnmøre are
an example of the inherent
entrepreneurship of the people, and are
famous for good and functional design.
In 2008 the furniture industry in Møre
and Romsdal had a turnover of NOK 5
Ekornes, one of the country's largest
and perhaps the most innovative and
successful furniture business in the
country, is located in the municipality of
Sykkylven in Sunnmøre. Other wellknown companies are LK Hjelle,
Brunstad and Stordal. The major
financial changes are a great challenge
to the businesses.
Lysbilde 19
Møre and Romsdal has 24 upper
secondary schools and one vocational
school. All of the county's 16 year-olds
are guaranteed a place in upper
secondary school. Upper secondary
education is divided into 12 educational
programmes, three of them preparatory
and nine vocational.
There are three university colleges in
Møre and Romsdal: Volda, Ålesund and
Molde. There is also a university
college centre in Kristiansund.
Molde University College currently has
approx. 1500 students 160 staff. The
school is perhaps best known for its
courses in transport economics and
logistics, but also provides courses in
sports administration, health and many
other subjects.
Ålesund University College has approx
2000 students and 180 staff. The
majority of subjects are aimed at one of
the following three areas: health care,
marine industrial clusters and maritime
industrial clusters.
Volda University College has well
over 3000 students and
approximately 300 employees and is
the largest educational institution
between Bergen and Trondheim.
The university college provides
educations in teaching, humanist
subjects, media subjects and social
studies. The university college is perhaps
best known for its media education.
In Møre and Romsdal there are three
research institutions – two national
(Nofima and Bioforsk økologisk), and one
regional (Møreforsking AS).
NOFIMA (formerly Akvaforsk)
Sunndalsøra division – has approximately
40 employees.
The group works to increase
competitiveness for the aquaculture
industry, fisheries industry and food
Bioforsk Økologisk division Tingvoll is
one of 7 centres established by the
Bioforsk research institution. Bioforsk
contribute towards more innovation, a
better environment, sustainable resource
and food production for the benefit of
trade and industry, consumers and
Møreforsking AS divisions in Molde,
Ålesund and Volda has approx. 50
employees. Møreforsking researches
social planning, welfare, logistics,
industrial and transport economics and
research/development work aimed at
marine and maritime industries. The
institute is also involved in applied
research and development work directed
at marine and maritime industries.
Møreforsking takes on assignments for
clients in trade and industry and the
public sector both regionally, nationally
and internationally. The owner is Møre
and Romsdal county authority, the
university colleges in Molde, Volda and
Ålesund and the Møreforsking
Foundation. Møreforsking cooperates
closely on research with the three
university colleges in the county.
The county is also home to prestigious
centres such as the national effort NCE
Maritime in Ålesund (Norwegian
Centre of Expertise Maritime). The
maritime cluster in Møre has been
awarded this status because the cluster
comprises a complete value chain and
consists of parties in ship operation, ship
design, shipbuilding, equipment
suppliers, education and finance. The
cluster businesses operate globally and
are leading in international terms. The
Fjord Norge region was in 2009 awarded
the status as NCE Tourism
(Norwegian Centre of Expertise
Fjord Tourism).
Runde Miljøsenter AS was established
in 2004 and works towards facilitating
research on Runde by research
institutions, universities and others.
The company additionally collects basic
environmental data from both sea and
Lysbilde 20
Møre and Romsdal
Political management
County authority tasks are:
Operation of higher education (24 upper
secondary schools and one vocational
school), approx. 1300 learning
institutions, approx. 10,000 students)
The public dental service in Møre and
Romsdal (40 dental clinics, approx
85,000 users)
Culture/cultural monument management
Public health
Regional and local transport
Strategic use of industrial and political
Operative responsibility to facilitate
instruments for industrial development
County planning
Regional development
The county authority maintain basic
functions in the political system:
Strengthen the public's influence on
social issues that are solved at a regional
level (issues with consequences for
several municipalities)
Provides broader and more direct
participation - contributed to recruit
more women and youths to politics, and
more parties represented (after 1975).
Channel for political mobilization –
recruitment arena for national politicians.
Provided more holistic thinking at the
regional level
The county council has 47 political
members, and elections are every four
years – new elections in 2011. The
council assembles four times a year.
County mayor is Olav Bratland from
The county executive committee is the
county council's working committee, and
members here are selected from the
county council representatives. The
county executive committee has 13
members. They hold approx. 10
meetings a year.
In addition to the control committee,
there are four main committees: the
culture committee, industry and
environment committee, transport
committee and education committee.
The county authority also has several
advisory committees: The youth county
council/youth panel, gender equality
committee, elders council, the council for
equal rights for the disabled, traffic
safety committee and environmental
Lysbilde 21
Lysbilde 22
How does Møre
and Romsdal
county spend its
Møre and Romsdal county authority has
approximately 2400 employees, and in
2008 the operating budget was more
than NOK 2 billion. The largest sector by
far is education, which represents
more than half of the total activities of
the county authority. Income to Møre
and Romsdal primarily derives from
taxes and Government funding.
development party
Møre and Romsdal county authority plays
an important role in regional
development. Amongst other things, the
county has ownership shares in more
than 50 businesses and has several large
development projects in society and
trade and industry, amongst them, which is a push for
entrepreneurship in the municipalities.
Energiregion Møre is another major effort
that aims to make Møre and Romsdal a
leading county in terms of renewable
Move-to-More is an important effort to
attract qualified manpower to the region
and to get youths to move back to the
God helse is a public health programme
in cooperation with the municipalities in
the county, a programme that has
achieved good results and much
UNGweb is an example of a completely
different type of project. It is directed at
youths between the ages of 15-25 and is
intended to increase participation in
everything that concerns youths.
UNGweb has been granted substantial
Government funds in order to increase
voter participation amongst youths.
Rev 10. mars 2010

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