WP6 - Networks, branding and regional development


Professor Flemming Just, Professor, Head of Department, Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark, was responsible until he left his position in mid-2011. In March 2012, Professor Anne-Mette Hjalager, Danish Centre for Rural Research (CLF), University of Southern Denmark, became responsible for WP6.


To contribute to the development of organization, brands and innovation system for multifunctional off shore mussel production in Denmark, WP6 will in cooperation with business partners and research (MarBioShell WPs) use the suggested research- and demonstration mussel farm at Kerteminde to investigate and organize a multifunctional mussel production that is indented to be integrated with tourism and experience-economy in the area (tours, gastronomy, etc.). There is a need for organizing cooperation with the municipality, authorities, business partners and researchers, organization of a local company (cooperative or similar), development of business plans, cooperation with retail and consumers, and the tourism industry etc. The specific project enables the development of models for establishment of multifunctional off-shore mussel production on a national scale by collection of experiences from line-mussel production in Limfjorden, Denmark and development strategies to be applied specifically in the Watten Sea, Denmark.

Research questions: How to create an economically sustainable off-shore mussel production? How to create demand for mussels and associated experience economy? How to organize businesses along the value chain and across sectors?

Scientific personnel

  • Flemming Just, Professor, IME, University of Southern Denmark. WP responsible and engaged in network and innovation studies and regional policy. From 2008 to mid-2011.
  • Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt, Associate Professor, TIC, University of Southern Denmark University. Engaged in branding analysis and marketing strategy. From 2008 to February 2011.
  • Klaus Lindegaard, Associate Professor, CLF, University of Southern Denmark. Engaged in organization and innovation analysis and regional policy. From 2008 to February 2011.
  • Anne-Mette Hjalager, Professor, CLF, University of Southern Denmark. New responsible for WP6 from March 2012 to present.

Past activities (Jan 2008 - Mar 2012)

WP6 has studied the existent and possible marketing strategies related to place branding.

Ongoing activities (Mar - Dec 2012)

Because all participants had left the project by mid-2011, the remaining part of WP6 was allocated to Professor Anne-Mette Hjalager in March 2012. The aim of the slightly revised WP6 will provide prospective knowledge contributions in terms of networks, branding and regional economic development.

MarBioShell is embedded in a local, regional and national aquaculture community and in the experience economy set-up, and the project enjoys relations with a number of actors in these fields. As the category of mussels produced and their attributes deviate significantly from existing species and types on the market, there is essential to establish supportive narratives and to disseminate information to relevant stakeholders. This part of the work package rethinks and works with a suggested new Information Platform: Thus, the MarBioShell project will establish an information platform in order to disseminate relevant knowledge to mainly potential investors. The role of the platform is to communicate research results in an inspiring and professional way. A working group will be organized with participants from research and business, and an activity plan for the platform is in process. The activity plan will be launched in the spring of 2012. The main target group is businesses and others with an interest in joining a modern and research-based mussel farm business, for example as investors. Further, the information platform will include citizens, tourist and tourism businesses as target groups for information and communication activities. The role of the platform is to communicate research results in an inspiring and professional way. The work on an information platform will be coordinated and synergized with popular interpretation in ‘Fjord&Bælt’ funded by Fiskeri LAG Kerteminde. The scientific element of WP6 consists of experiential inquiries performed by use of anthological research methods and 2-3 scientific articles will be submitted for peer review to Journal of Rural Studies, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Sociological Ruralis, or Environmment & Planning. It is planned to carry out a study with following activities:

  • Analysis of mussels production in a territorial context
  • Identification of lead-user of mussels supplies in the food systems and inquiries into their capability to enhance and brand the business idea.
  • Mediating information flows across scientific, business and entertainment boundaries.


Non-peer reviewed

Stilling-Blichfeldt, B. “Town of Mussels”. A Danish case study on place branding, food festivals and community identity. CLF Working Paper No. 08/2010.

Scientific articles (peer reviewed)

(to come)

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