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Department of Geography

Grete Rusten as supervisor

Professor Grete Rusten is a supervisor for master project in economic geography and regional development.

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Information about research profile and suggested masterproject topics

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Grete Rusten is a professor in Economic Geography at Department of geography, University of Bergen.  My research portfolio with own publications, teaching and supervision includes corporate geography, location strategies, production systems and internationalization, industrial and regional development, service economies, industrial design entrepreneurship and innovation, green Economy, sustainable development and circular economy. My field of expertise mainly covers Norway/Western Economies.

Topic 1: Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development

Entrepreneurship and innovation play a key role in the development and restructuring of economies and welfare. Research questions may include: 1) the biographies and motivations of entrepreneurship, 2) structures and strategies, conditions and constraints related to business start-ups as well as 3) the industrial dynamics and regional effects linked to these establishments.  Master projects may also include topics linked to the collective entrepreneurship with local government and industry in partnership. The topic may also cover green innovations and entrepreneurship.

Topic 2: Industry and sustainability

Master projects in this field can for example include 1) questions about the way manufacturing industries and services may provide knowledge, technology or products that leads to a sustainable improvement of the society or 2) or the development of more sustainable industrial processes, or 3) public and private sustainable consumption.  Master studies are relevant to ongoing research and networks in regional development and economic geography. For further details https://greeneconomies.w.uib.no

Topic 3: Geographies of industrial design

This topic may include 1) questions around the ways buyers and sellers of design find each other, and how relations are organized and regulated and incorporated into the value chain. The topic may also 2) address the role of linkages and geographical clusters for the creation of design knowledge, or green industrial design development related to material content, longer lasting products, and the way these and services are more environmentally friendly to use.

Topic 4: Service Economies

This field of research includes a variety of topics about the knowledge economy, geography and services. This includes sourcing and management strategies, development of competence, entrepreneurship and innovations as well as how different production systems have organized and localized their service activities for internal purposes or the market. The research may cover SMEs (small and medium enterprises), large companies as well the public sector. The activities are based on a long-term collaboration with colleagues at RESER European Association for Research on Services. Earlier and ongoing research by Grete Rusten and her team with master and Phd-projects include:

  • Cross-sector partnerships and social innovations linked to vocational education
  • Green economies and services
  • Cruiseship-tourism and place identity
  • Company reports on sustainable development

Topic 5: The Internet of things and the green economy -structures and product developments in Norway

Smart technologies are emerging as a new way of presenting products and services.  Is this merely a more sophisticated way of creating customer ties, or are these products a response to reduce environmental burden and resource use in our society?  This topic covers three fields of research interest, manufacturing industries, services and the green economy together. Also, welfare-technology related to social service arrangements is relevant for a master thesis project.

Topic 6: Hydro energy sites representing new era for regional development –rural locations providing server facilities for global data companies.

The hydropower industry, with a focus on technology, regulations and regional effects has been a research focus over the years. We are recently seeing some industrial newcomers’ entering this stage in places with affluent hydro resources. Examples are rural sites across the country establishing facilities for server operators of global data companies, battery production or other new forms of production demanding large amount of electricity. What are the structural characteristics, processes and regional effects of these kind of initiatives? The topic represents an interesting area of study about how our sustainable energy sector becomes part of the global green economy, as well as what municipalities do to become attractive locations for these investments.

Topic 7: The history and geography of district heating in Norway

This form of energy source represents an interesting opportunity linked to bio wood pellets, waste or industrial facilities and how these resources may represent important sustainable energy sources for the future.  This topic can map the status of this form of infrastructure and give some deeper insight to projects in different part of the country and how this has developed within the private and public sector. Important questions concerns the interest, challenges and effects of these projects in both rural and urban settings. It may also be about how these initiatives are supported financially and through regulations.

Topic 8:  Coworking facilities and regional development

Many employees have the office as their main occupation, and this can take place at the conventional workplace, home office, anywhere with their laptop when they are travelling, or at coworking facilities which offers services and social activities for those who seek this flexibility or something different. We do for example find facilities of this kind in different parts of the country in for example Lofoten, Tolga, Gloppen and Valdres used as tool to attract new inhabitants or tourists that wish to combine work and recreation (workation). We could also mention Sweden that have examples of project initiatives where regional public administrations across the country have joined forces by offering extra office space to public sector staff that would like to move around.  Master thesis project could analyze these form of regional development tools.  Alternatively, studies could be about the experiences of working in this form of environments, from the employee perspective.

Topic 9:  Circular economy

Countries in Europe and elsewhere have launched action plans for a circular economy to ensure that resources are used and kept in production systems for as long as possible. This topic may address companies’ life cycle thinking throughout the entire value chain from sourcing to disposal on different geographical contexts and scales. It also calls for a change of culture regarding saving resources, using repair services and buying second hand by commercial and private consumers. A master thesis project could also analyze circular economy as local municipality initiatives.

Topic 10: Green Public Procurement- A Municipality Perspetive

Public authorities and institutions play an important role in their policies and practice forming a greener economy. One important instrument due to a high spending power is green public procurement (GPP) in which public authorities may actively procure goods, services and work to reduce the negative environmental impact.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you might be interested discuss your master project plans related to the mentioned topics  or other related issues with me.  Master projects may be in Norwegian or English.

Contact details:  Grete.Rusten@uib.no