Vestlandsforsking is an assignment-based research institute. The institute is organised as a foundation and was established on 6 March 1985. Sogn and Fjordane county municipality was the formal founder. The institute is located in Sogndal, by the Sognefjord in the western part of Norway. The institute has 30 employees and an annual turnover of approximately 27 million NOK.
Together, Vestlandsforsking and Sogn and Fjordane University College constitute a collective specialist community, with approximately 200 academic posts. Researchers from the College also participate in projects carried out by Vestlandsforsking.
The Institute has been engaged in climate specific adaptation projects at a regional level through its involvement with NORADAPT - Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Norway. Focus has been on how projected changes in climate interact with changes in socio-economic and institutional conditions, and how these interactions shape vulnerability and adaptation at the local level in Norway. This has led to a series of climate adaptation strategies being developed by municipalities such as Fredrikstad and Flora with the support of the Institute. The Institute is currently engaged in identifying the conditions that facilitate or constrain the adaptive capacity of municipalities to climate change with particular emphasis being placed on the interaction of climate and socioeconomic changes. This expertise led to the Institute’s involvement with the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP), Clim-ATIC, where it was activity co-ordinator, providing guidance and expertise on local climate change impacts and the combining of climate and socio-economic scenarios.