The former Oppland County, now part of Inland County, launched in 2017 a business fund called Green Future. The aim of the fund is to support a shift towards a climate neutral society by 2025, and it is a supplement to the other existing business and innovation funds, to support the good green ideas in business – whether they are big or small, well established or start-ups. The county set aside 45 million NOK – about € 4,5 million – for the fund, which is now in what appears to be its last financial year.
The Green Future Business Fund is communicated as a low threshold scheme for both private individuals and business, and many of the approved applications have been idea development and small projects that would have fallen in between the ordinary funding schemes. The flexibility of the fund has meant that the scheme has hit a variety of businesses and projects. Some examples of supported projects are electrification of snowcats, farming of crickets for food, development of a sustainable clothing brand and prototype of environmental concrete.
An evaluation done in April 2019 showed that about 70% of the respondents have greatly increased their focus on development/innovation and cooperation/networking due to the project, 39% say they have increased their competitiveness, and 92% claim that the project has made them more aware of sustainability, environment and climate. In addition, it is estimated that the fund has contributed to the creation of 36 new FTEs. Thus, the conclusion is that the Green Future Business Fund has had a significant impact on innovation and raising awareness of sustainability and environment.