Page 1

making oslo’s attractiveness visible

nok 120.00

branding Scream for the soul of Oslo culture The sound of Oslo profile A refugee moves on food The taste of Oslo design Talent springs up greentech Forest in the desert ocean Shipping, oil and gas join forces

Lars Petter Hagen wants Ultima to be one of the biggest contemporary music festivals. With the help of research and innovation. Based on patience and risk.

“I look for tension and differences.”

“Norwegians go in ten different directions.”

amela koluder-døvre

julian stubbs

“Our strength is undercommunicated.” ole petter ottersen

“I like to say I moved here for the money.” kimberly lein-mathisen

the capital paradox

“Vinyl is the best of the old world.”

It’s a paradox. Entrepreneurs in one of the world’s most wealthy capitals struggle to finance their startup companies.

harald christian sagevik


Science-2-business! Viagra, Zyrtec, Iphone. Once, just ideas in somebody’s mind. Today, they generate billions, making inventors wealthy, and creating countless jobs. In Oslo, there is a company ready to assist you if your research has business potential. By Frode Stang “Norwegian scientists are gradually becoming more aware of the commercial possibilities that their research generates. We are receiving hundreds of research-based ideas every year”, says CEO Ole Kristian Hjelstuen of Inven2. The company, which is co-owned by the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, works to transform research into useful and profitable products and services. This year, Inven2 has already submitted 53 patent applications. Future jobs Many people question what Norway´s livelihood will be when the oil and gas adventure fades out. A knowledge-based economy is the most common answer. “It takes a long time to build a viable knowledge based society, and it pays off to start early”, says Hjelstuen. Among Inven2’s ongoing commercialisation

projects is Ultimovacs, a company in the process of developing a cancer vaccine. Another example is Elliptic Labs, a company that has created a new ultrasound technology for contactless control of computer monitors. See the possibilities “Scientists should think through the commercial potential of their projects. You may be sitting on large values if the research can be turned into products that are useful for society”, says Hjelstuen. Inven2 is the largest technology transfer company in the Nordic countries, and according to Hjelstuen, it is also the most efficient. «Some scientists were skeptical because they thought that the commercialisation process was too slow. But we are speeding up. In one of our latest projects it took only nine months to turn a medical research project into a patented product», he says. The Innovation Prize 2013 During Oslo Innovation Week, Inven2 will hand out their Innovation Prize for 2013 and award the amount of 100.000 NOK for the best innovative idea. Second and third place will receive 20.000 and 10.000 NOK respectively. Inven2 has challenged both students and employees at the University of Oslo, as well as all of Helse Sør-Øst, to come up with ideas that have commercial potential, along with a draft plan.


More and more ideas Last year the number of contestants doubled from the year before - with 75 ideas to be evaluated. ÂŤWe were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm among the candidatesÂť, says Hjelstuen. The 2012 winner was Dr. Kenneth Bihlet, orthopedian at Akershus University Hospital. His idea was a new type of tool to ensure broken bones grow back correctly.



Today, Inven2 has 27 startup

Inven2 is the largest technol-

companies in their portfolio

ogy transfer company in the

and has granted 100 licenses.

Nordic countries. The company

Scientists with a good idea

applies well tested methods

that can be commercialised,

to analyze, assess and further

may request review by Inven2.

develop technology ideas. Ideas

Find out more on www.inven2.

are introduced to investors and

com and watch our video. Scan

relevant industries. Inven2 also

the qr-code below:

secures the intellectual property rights for the inventor.

4 oslo innovation magazine

oslo innovation



Published by Oslo Teknopol editor-in-chief Fredrik Winther Editorial concept and production by Oslo Business Memo AS Design concept and production

06 16

SEARCHING FOR CAPITAL Though Oslo is home base for the Norwegian Oil Fund of NOK 4 600 billion, the money doesn’t come easy to startup entrepreneurs.

22 26 30

TENSION AND INNOVATION Tension and differences are more important than comfort and agreement in Amela Koluder-Døvre’s world of innovation.

by Awchat & Olsen Design

CAMPUS2BUSINESS The University of Oslo has a record number of commercialisations and patents, says rector Ole Petter Ottersen. He shatters a myth. Stian Berger Røsland, governing mayor of Oslo, doesn’t believe in trolls as a selling point. Photo Editor Gorm K. Gaare Editorial contributors Per Gjørvad Magne Otterdal Tellef Øgrim Ingrid Schiefloe Linda Sannum Dag Yngland Ogne Øyehaug Terry Macalister Rob Young Sondre Sommerfelt Market & Sales Finn Eirik Larsen Gro Fosheim Jonathan Varcoe Printed by RK Grafisk

Oslo Innovation Week is owned by City of Oslo, Innovation Norway, Akershus County and The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. Oslo Teknopol is the project manager.

CAPITAL OF INDIVIDUALISM While the Swedes can agree on a common platform, Norwegians go in ten different directions, according to branding expert Julian Stubbs. GIVE IT TIME People need trust in order to take the chances that unique innovation requires, says Lars Petter Hagen, director of the contemporary music festival Ultima. 14 34 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 44 45 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60

A fund that stirs debate A jam session for everyone The sound of Oslo according to intercultural talents Money and art, an uneven match? The future of old grooves Corruption and crime in Oslo A night at Oslo International Club Three correspondents’ views on Oslo The new food revolution Salmon fed on spruce – food shortage reduced Bio & marine innovation Keeping it healthy Barry B White sums up before leaving Oslo Bright future for Oslo design New products and innovative solutions Bigger and stronger together in Ocean Industries The blue-green city Green innovation, from Oslo to the desert Eight pages of Oslo Innovation Week Special!



tatistically, Oslo is on top of the world in the attractiveness stakes. At the same time, more subjective measures – as well as ‘execu­tive perceptions’ – show that Oslo is less visible when it comes to international awareness. There are exceptions, of course, but much of the evidence points to the paradoxical fact that Oslo is, simultaneously, both attractive and invisible. Recently we received another piece of evidence, rating Oslo as a global leader in competitive advantage and the quality of its location. This time, the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute rated Oslo number three, behind Ottawa and Seattle­­, based on a scorecard that provides a detailed examination of how cities are performing in the creative and ‘new’ innovation-driven economy. In this study, the top GDP cities across the globe were scored according to the popular indicators devised by the urban studies theorist Richard Florida, grouped into the three Ts: Talent (education and ‘creative class share’), Technology (high-tech employment and deployment) and Tolerance (diversity and multiculturalism), along with Quality of Place (culture, recreation and infrastructure). It’s one of several influential international surveys confirming that Oslo is now among the upper echelons of a distinctive group of urban knowledge hubs with an impressively high quality of life. But not much of this message seems to be getting through. Studies have shown that Oslo is the one Nordic location that executives and global talents are least familiar with. The same analysis shows that Oslo is perceived as being among the bottom six major European cities for all-round business location potential – in direct contradiction to the factual analysis. So what can be done? Oslo needs a branding strategy and a concerted marketing effort behind it. This city of knowledge based innovators, blooming creative industries and rich cultural life is crying out to be put on the map. One of the challenges is what place marketer Julian Stubbs, elsewhere in this magazine, calls ‘too many Oslos’, an indication of the fragmented perception of the region – a perception that exists even within Norway. Initiatives are underway to help make visible and unify the understanding of Oslo, and it will require a concer­ ted effort to establish a shared identity that can be communicated to a wider audience.

At the same time, Oslo is in the news as never before. Coffee and cocktails, music and money, slow TV and speedy skiers, peace prizes and taxi-driving prime ministers: happenings in Oslo are grabbing the world’s attention, creating a window of opportunity that must be exploited carefully and imaginatively if Oslo is to grow to its full potential. Although marketing people are only partly right when they insist that ‘perception is reality’, the mismatch between the two obviously has real consequences. An improved awareness is crucial to attract and retain talent and creative people of all kinds, and to build Oslo into the cosmopolitan and innovation-driven city it needs to be. Oslo Innovation Week is one communal effort aimed at bringing this critical goal for Oslo’s future a little bit closer. We believe it’s just the beginning.

Oslo: Perception and reality

FREDRIK WINTHER Editor-in-chief CEO, Oslo Teknopol

The tortuous road to startup capital As the capital of one of the richest countries in the world, Oslo is better off than most capitals. Oslo is the home base for one of the largest investment funds, the Norwegian Oil Fund, currently valued at NOK 4600 billion and still growing, and along the city’s attractive seafront reign banks, financial institutions and wealthy investors. Nevertheless, for entrepreneurs, the road to startup capital can be long and tortuous.



8 oslo innovation magazine

Kristine R. Grude, SocialBoards founder, has moved in as one of the 60 companies at Startup Lab. Here she continues the quest for startup capital, 24/7.

Anne Kristine R. Grude lives the life of an entrepreneur, juggling between customers in Norway, developers in India, and potential investors. 24/7. Her company SocialBoards was launched in August 2011, with software solutions to organize and streamline customer feedback in social media channels for large corporations.


rude was a finalist for the Female Entrepreneur Award organized by Innovation Norway, and in January this year, SocialBoards was named as the best investment case in venture capital by Deloitte Connect Venture League. - We need more capital, she says. WHAT A STARTING POINT! Norwegian companies’ ability to adopt new technology is the main reason why Norway climbed to 11th place in the latest World Economic Forum’s annual survey on competitiveness. It is a virtue of necessity, because we also have a very high cost level. At the same time, Oslo was named one of the world’s most creative cities. The survey was conducted by The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, and is based on Professor Richard Florida’s research on the interaction between­the creative class and economic development, where talent, technology and tolerance play central roles. Oslo, number three in the rankings after the Canadian city region Ottawa-Gatineau and Seattle in the United States, scores highest on technology. According to the Institute, Oslo has “a high concentration of residents employed in science and technology, investing heavily in research and development, and levels of entrepreneurial activity that are among the highest in the world.” IKT Norge, the ICT Industry Association of Norway, talks about a “a very special energy” in Oslo


capital investor. He has worked in the venture capital­­business in the US and was involved in starting and running the successful venture capital fund Northzone Ventures. The figures show that there are very few professional investors willing to channel their capital to start-up companies. This is often called early-phase capital, or pre-seed, the first capital required to start a company or a project. It is usually followed by seed capital, and when companies begin to approach commercialization, venture capital ensures further progress. The Norwegian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (NVCA) monitors these investment flows, and the figures for the first half of this year show a distressing development. Within the venture segment, NVCA registered total investments of just under NOK 300 million, which is “clearly in the lower echelon.” This was mainly follow-on investments, while only 33 million were investments in new companies. The seed segment is characterized by very low investment activity, according to NVCA. - These figures confirm that there is virtually no early phase capital available, says Knut Thomas Traaseth, Secretary General of the NVCA. - Nevertheless, the outlook seems brighter. that allows new companies to spring up like mushrooms. There have never been more entrepreneurs, and in recent years a number of startup incubators have made their mark on the city. Oslo Science Park, close to the University of Oslo, has set up the incubator Startup Lab with around 60 startup companies, and has positioned itself as the largest incubator in the Nordic countries. Meanwhile, in downtown Oslo, the grass-roots co-working space for entrepreneurs called MESH is bustling with activity. - I really hope we can keep this entrepreneurial culture, even through the feared valley of death, says Fredrik Syversen, Director of Industry Development at IKT Norge. - Many young people think it’s cool to be an entrepreneur, but one must remember that the house needs to be built all the way to the roof. Oslo. One of the world’s most creative cities in one of the world’s richest countries, with high entrepreneurial activity and large investments in research and development. It could hardly be better. Or could it? - It is a paradox. There is plenty of capital out there, that’s not the problem. But capital is rational and flows where it gets the best return relative to risk, says Karl-Christian Agerup, CEO at Oslotech, managing both the Oslo Science Park and the incubator StartupLab. And currently, that return is not in startup companies. Agerup is a seasoned entrepreneur and venture

We need more capital. anne kristine r. grude

Two new seed funds of 500 million, each with 50/50 public-private capital are in the making. Moreover, four additional seed funds have been announced, but it remains to be seen whether the outgoing as well as the new government will follow up on this, says Traaseth. - The country’s vital oil and gas industry takes a huge part of the risk capital. Oslo has a high concentration of private wealth, but tax incentives tend to drive the capital toward real estate. There is surprisingly little risk capital available for startups in Oslo. Is appears that there is no culture for it. And we don’t have the patriotic capital, like you will find in Trondheim, Bergen and the southwestern part of Norway, says Traaseth. - And if you look outside Norway, it seems like the wealthy private individuals are a bit more inclined to feel some form of a social obligation, to contri­ bute to the country’s future and create opportunities for a new generation of businesses, he adds.

10 oslo innovation magazine

- It could hardly be better. Or could it? fredrik syversen

- There is virtually no early phase capital avilable. knut thomas traaseth

Birger Nergaard is one of the senior figures in the Norwegian venture capital industry. In the early 1980s he worked with venture capital in Silicon Valley, and when he returned to Norway, he started the venture capital fund Four Seasons Venture in 1985. With NOK 130 million, the fund was the second largest of its kind in Norway. Other funds in the same category were mostly state owned, or owned by banks. - I was probably the first to start a pure venture capital funds in Norway based on the US model, where we raised capital for the fund from private investors, says Nergaard . Quite often the investors were shipowners, who were accustomed to taking risks and were willing to put some of their capital in risky start-up projects. - We were also involved in starting businesses. We went into Agresso when the company had five employees, and the predecessor to StepStone, which had three employees, says Nergaard. The 1980s was a boom time with lots of available venture capital in Oslo. But it quickly came to an end, as the Norwegian economy went into a severe economic downturn, banks went bust, and the market for venture capital dried up. Birger Nergaard and Four Seasons Venture endured, but began to concentrate on acquiring portfolios of companies instead of making individual investments. Later in the 1990s came the .com years and once again capital began to flow in ever more copious amounts to the fledgling Internet companies. Everyone knows what happened next, as the .com boom crashed in April 2000, and since then the risk capital

for start-up companies has been barely visible. Both funds and communities working with startup companies disappeared. Today, Four Seasons Venture is Verdane Capital Advisors and Birger Nergaard and his colleagues are still buying up portfolios of companies, many in Sweden. The companies are more mature, with sales over NOK 100 million. So what does it take for Verdane Capital Advisors to invest in a startup? - Our strategy is not to invest in stand-alone companies. It would have to be a relatively mature company with over NOK 150 million in revenues, says Nergaard. WHAT HAPPENED AFTER 2000? - Over the past decade, venture capital funds have delivered poor returns relative to other types of investments. In keeping with this, the number of players has become fewer, as they were not able to raise capital, says Karl-Christian Agerup. The Government has not made major contributions, relatively speaking. The government-owned fund Argentum, which was originally formed to contribute more venture capital, now sends most of its capital to funds investing in more mature companies. - And when private investors are rewarded for putting their money into property because of tax schemes, it results in capital drought, says Agerup. - The crisis in venture capital is not a Norwegian phenomenon, it’s basically the same all over the


Without good friends and suppor­ tive family, Marte Bratlie would have had a rougher startup of her company RemovAid two years ago.

world. It is largely a market failure syndrome. But Norway is virtually alone in not doing anything about it, says Agerup. However, a few private players do. StartupLab has established an investor community consisting of former entrepreneurs with experience and passion for the founding environment. The fund, named Founders Fund, has raised in excess of NOK 26 million from prominent entrepreneurs, like Jon Tetzchner (Opera), Erik Bakkejord (Stepstone), Eilert Hanoa (Mamut) , Trond Aas (Funcom) and Svein Anders Tunheim (Chipcon). - We will invest in the early phase of a company’s life, which means high risk. But then we will exit when other and preferably better owners are ready to invest, says Tor Bækkelund, partner at StartupLab. The strategy means Founders Fund will be able to fund 20 to 30 companies over three years. Anne Kristine R. Grude launched SocialBoards with the help of NOK 100 000 and Indian developers. She presented the concept and her visions at a meeting with the giant sports outlet chain XXL, and convinced them to come on board as paying customers even before the product was developed. Since then, she has kept the company afloat by signing 10-12 new large customers and landing a grant from Innovation Norway. But now she needs more risk capital to develop the software solution and to be able to push harder into the market. - It’s not easy. The larger professional funds are excited and positive, but tell us we are too small. ‘Come back when your turnover is north of NOK 10 million,’

they say. But that is exactly why we need the capital, to be able to grow to 10 million, she says. To solve the dilemma, she will initiate dialogue with a couple of Norwegian software developer firms, to discuss the possibility of a work-for-shares deal. - Hopefully this can bring us another step forward, she says. FRIENDS AND FAMILY - It is very difficult to start a business today if you don’t have friends or family who believe in you and your idea, and who have money, says Birger Nergaard. Friends and family were the capital source for doctor and Ph.D. student Marte Bratlie when she started her company. Nearly two years ago, she got the idea to develop a device which would simplify the process of removing long acting contraception rods. The idea was based on her experiences from working part time in a clinic which is Norway’s largest center for sexual and reproductive health for young adults. She formed a company, RemovAid, and was able to raise NOK 800,000 in seed capital through close friends and their network and families at the very beginning. She was also awarded public grants. Looking forward, she expects the company will require additional risk capital. - My impression is that attracting larger, more professional investors is particularly difficult in the seed capital stage. The process may be lengthy and costly, and shift focus away from your vulnerable core business. Friends and family are more likely to

12 oslo innovation magazine idea




Business Model User Group


GET – Global


Lean Startup Norway


Entrepreneurship Training


TEA – TechCity UK


Open Coffee

Servicekontoret for

Executive Accelerator

Startup Digest



Mentortjenesten for


Digital Winners


TINC – Tech INCubator

Nordic Startup Awards

EMAX Norge


Global Service Jam

Startup Summer

Silicon Vikings

Social Innovation Camp

Global Entrepreneurship


Venture Cup



IKT Norge

Northzone Invest

Creative Mornings

Mesh Afterwork

Schibsted vekst

Connect Østlandet

Oslo Innovation Week

Firste Tuesday

Oslo Medtech



Startup Weekend



Gründerskolen Inspired by: Startup Seattle and CIEL LAB. Curated by Startup Norway, based on personal experience and recommendations. mail@startupnorway. com

Start Norge

Alliance Spring Venture

TEDx Oslo-company

BetaFactory Founders Fund

Innovation Norway

Norwegian Investment Forum





Mesh café

Evolve Gründernes hus Mesh co-working 657 Oslo StartupLab Y30

make investments based on “face value”, where the process may be less time-consuming, says Bratlie. DON’T BE PATIENT! Rune Rinnan is a seasoned veteran in the venture capital business in Norway, dating back to the early 1990s when he formed the venture capital fund Telenor Venture, managed by his company Televenture Management. Today he is the managing partner of Televenture Management, managing Norsk Innovasjonskapital (NIK). Rinnan and his partners are focusing on the leading research institutions at Kjeller outside Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen, searching for projects with commercial potential. - There is a good undercurrent of projects and companies out there, and it’s possible to obtain financing for good projects if they are put in the right context, which is a portfolio of projects, Rinnan says. That means diversification, spreading the risk. During the last two and a half years, Televenture has raised private venture capital of around NOK 350 million, and NOK 220 million as in-kind contribution for three funds, and will soon start raising capital for a fourth, basically from high net-worth private investors and family offices.

Rinnan and Televenture are not focusing on startup companies though, but more mature projects close to revenues or with revenues. What about capital for startups? - As I said, there is capital but very little of it is available for startups and is not enough to grow an optimal crop of new businesses, which we really need in this county to create future alternatives to the dominating oil and gas business, Rinnan concludes. AND THE SOLUTION? - To solve the market failure syndrome in early stage risk capital, other countries have put in place incentives, like various forms of tax incentives, to make it more attractive for private investors to invest in startup companies. And they make more public capital available, says Karl-Christian Agerup. - I’m convinced incentives will help, just because the capital is rational. The government has promised to launch a number of seed capital funds, where public capital is matched with private capital. Two such funds are expected to be launched soon, but insiders believe none of them will be based in Oslo. ICT Norway is advocating hard for a seed capital fund to be based


- Incentives will help, just because the capital is rational. KARL-CHRISTIAN AGERUP

in Oslo, with the support of Hallstein Bjercke, the City of Oslo Commissioner for Culture and Business. Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Government’s most important instrument for innovation and development, is increasing its efforts in the Oslo region, and last year businesses in Oslo and Akers­ hus received a total of NOK 356 million in loans and grants (see article on page 14). The Research Council of Norway is another option, allocation around NOK 400 million to R&D projects with businesses in the Oslo region last year. But it is obviously not enough. A NVCA committee has also launched several solutions, including almost automatic scholarships to provide students and researchers an opportunity to realize their business ideas. This is based on experience from similar mechanisms in Germany. More incentives for private investors and more public capital available for startups are other remedies. According to the committee, almost 60 percent of early-phase capital in the USA originates from some form of public funding scheme. - I believe the situation is critical, says Fredrik Syversen, direktør for næringsutvikling IKT. - If we are not able to provide the necessary seed capital, I fear we will miss out on a lot of good companies, and the entrepreneurs will turn to consultancy instead. That’s where the money is now.

Ballroom & Manna Kick-off Conferense Party Wedding Consert & Club Press Conference Catering Banquette Award Ceremony

Ballroom & Manna is a flexible event house in Oslo. We offer distinctive and tailor-made events to your needs and your guests’ expectations, whether you have 20, 100 or 1,000 guests. - tel +47 213 79 261

14 oslo innovation magazine


There are resources available With an annual pool of NOK seven billion in public money, Innovation Norway aims to enhance innovation and trigger value-added business activities throughout the country. Naturally there are some strong opinions on how that much money should be spent. TEXT PER GJØRVAD


nnovation Norway is the Norwegian govern­ ment’s most important instrument for innovation and development, with offices in all Norwegian counties and 38 offices abroad. In urban areas such as Oslo, Innovation Norway is hotly debated due to their focus on rural development, roughly NOK 1 billion of the annual budget. The distribution is determined in the assignment letter from the owner, The Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the limitations imposed by the EEA rules. - We have to relate to the mandate we have from our owners. The politicians say that the need for support is less in urban areas because the private financial market works better here, says managing director Gunn Ovesen. Innovation Norway manages a number of different financial schemes, which can be divided into national plans and funds earmarked for the regions. - The percentage of the funds that are nationwide and available for competition from everyone is a political issue. But if you look at our national schemes that target innovation, Oslo and Akershus obtain the proportion of the funds the population would suggest, says Ovesen. Of total national funding, Oslo and Akershus receive about 20 percent. The figures for 2012 show that businesses in Oslo and Akershus received a total of NOK 356 million in loans and grants, an increase of 28 percent from 2011. - And we certainly have a strong presence here, our main regional office is located in Oslo and Akers­hus, says Ovesen. - How would you characterize the availability of risk capital in the Oslo region? - The private venture capital environment in Norway is small, but it is strongest in Oslo and the

availability of private venture capital is better here than elsewhere in the country. The banks are here, it is easier to get financing here because resale values on assets are higher, and access to people is better. This means that there are resources available, says Ovesen. Toril Mølmen is the managing director of Innovation Norway’s office in Oslo and Akershus. - This is a region with great potential to bring forward good projects. Unfortunately, there are many who talk down Innovation Norway here, so many people with good projects do not believe we can contribute and neglect to contact us. It’s a pity, says Mølmen. In Oslo and Akershus, Innovation Norway focus in particular on projects and companies that are innovative and with international potential. - For this type of business we have great services to offer, says Mølmen, referring to the framework for startup grants which is increased annually. Oslo and Akershus also take their share of public-private financing, working through funding schemes that often require private capital to be raised. The tax scheme SkatteFUNN is also utilized well in the region. - Obviously it is still difficult to raise risk capital in the Oslo region, but if you have a good project and work hard and systematically, it is possible. Those who create a solid business plan, establish strong networks and get experienced people onboard, get it done. We meet many of them, she says. - We have established business incubator services and office spaces at our offices abroad. Through these services, promising companies from the Oslo region get access to venture capital funds in London and San Francisco. It is often the one particular


- We certainly have a strong presence in Oslo gunn ovesen

- We need more capital, and companies spend too much time searching. toril mølmen

contact which is essential for obtaining the right customers and the right investors,” Mølmen points out. - Our advice is to find customers first, as an investor always asks about the market`s reaction to the product. Like Ovesen, Mølmen confirms that there is limited availability of risk capital in Norway . - I have noted that other countries have interesting incentives for those who invest private venture capital in start-up businesses, and I wish we could be more dynamic here in Norway in this respect. We need more capital, and companies spend too much time searching. We are actively working to improve access to risk capital, she says. In terms of industries, the office in Oslo and Akershus supports mostly ICT projects . - The Oslo region is also dominant in health in Norway. We have helped in building two strong clusters: Oslo Cancer Cluster and Oslo Medtech. We have yet to achieve anything similar within ICT, says Mølmen. The Oslo region also benefits from substantial public research funding, as nearly half of all investment in R&D takes place in the region. Yet few companies are created on the back of R&D. - Disappointingly little commercialization comes out of the R&D community. There is a gap here that we have not yet found the answer to. But The Research Council of Norway has drawn more attention to innovation. Innovation is to create value in new ways, which in practice means to apply innovation to a market. Research and innovation must go hand in hand, says Toril Mølmen.

Protect your business – gain competitive edge We offer a wide range of courses, seminars and meetings on the topics: patent, trademark and design protection. Learn how you and your company can utilise this protection as a strategic tool to give you competitive edge. Selected courses and breakfast meetings this autumn: 15 October Gjør ideer til verdier 16 October WIPO services and initiatives 19 November IPR-strategi workshop

See the full course schedule on


Shattering myths and shunning trolls Ole Petter Ottersen, Rector of the University of Oslo, shatters the persistent myth that businesses and research institutions can’t collaborate. Governing Mayor Stian Berger Røsland believes the high knowledge base is Oslo’s key attraction – nobody relocates to Oslo because of trolls and fjords, he insists. TEXT MAGNE OTTERDAL PHOTO GORM K. GAARE


STIAN BERGER RØSLAND Governing Mayor of Oslo Party: Conservative Born: 1976 Profession: Lawyer OLE PETTER OTTERSEN Rector at the University of Oslo Born: 1955 Profession: Professor of Medicine


wo of Oslo’s most powerful men meet on the roof terrace of Oslo Science Park. The building, part-owned by the Municipality and the University, houses research institutions and startup companies, and is located just across the street from the Institute of Informatics. From the roof they can take in beautiful views of Oslo in the refreshing September morning sun, before launching into a discussion on how to increase the Norwegian capital’s attractiveness in order to tempt international students, researchers and professors to relocate. Stian Berger Røsland and Ole Petter Ottersen both hold strong opinions on how to turn Oslo into a melting pot of international expertise, innovation and investment. The pair were invited by the CEO of Oslo Teknopol, Fredrik Winther, and Oslo Innovation Magazine (OIM) to consider how the University and the Municipality can help boost the city’s international reputation.

Stian Berger Røsland (SBR): Oslo is the hub of a know­ ledge region comprising the University of Oslo, Oslo and Akershus College and the University of Environment and Life Sciences UMB. Oslo is at the forefront in the fields of knowledge, innovation and creativity, but the main challenge is to publicise this internationally, because we need impetus to further develop our knowledge economy. We need to attract more talent from all over the world, but it’s difficult when the best brains don’t recognise us. It isn’t that many people have a bad impression of Oslo; the problem is that they have no impression at all. Therefore we are engaging many Oslo players in business, tourism, arts and culture to try to establish a common strategy on how to make Oslo known abroad. Ole Petter Ottersen (OPO): It’s undercommunicated how strong we are in knowledge and innovation in Oslo. We can see now that we have entrepreneurial spirit and a number of ideas that are much, much

A House of Science established on Tullinløkka – that’s Ole Petter Ottersen’s vision. He was delighted with the Science Fair that was held there in September. ‘Children came and learned to deal with computers, robots, you name it. Innovation must start as early as kindergarten!

18 oslo innovation magazine

We are making some adap­ tations at the moment. For instance, the opening of a school with English as the first language. stian berger røsland

bigger than we ever knew – and certainly than people in general are aware of. Our tech transfer office, Inven2, has released a record 18 commercialisations and 58 patent applications so far this year. This is way beyond our own goals, and Inven2 is the Nordic innovation company producing the highest number of commercialisations of ideas and research. Our challenge is to take these ideas further to become competitive products, and that’s where we encounter a drought in the financing of startup companies. It is important that the new government makes plans for risk mitigation to trigger private investment enthusiasm. Analyses indicate that the state is more important than previously thought in contributing to private-sector innovation.

A new course, The Oslo School of Global Governance, will be offered to students from all over the world. Global governance mechanisms are central to this project. ‘We will profile ourselves not through glossy publications, but through high quality investment in research and education,’ says Ole Petter Ottersen.

OIM: Is the University attracting more international students and researchers to Oslo? OPO: We have more demand from international students than ever before. We have become more visible internationally. We don’t spend money on glamorous advertising campaigns, but we are working to highlight our qualities. We are establishing a special fund in order to go after outstanding international researchers who can contribute to our innovation. We have also decided to fund more guest professors to enhance our competence base. OIM: How does the Municipality of Oslo exercise its role as a home town for the University of Oslo? SBR: We must increase Oslo’s awareness about its own city university. It must be more visible in the

city centre, and develop an entirely new campus in addition to the one on the outskirts. After all, students are citizens of Oslo, leaving their mark on the life of the city. We are linked to each other, and the municipality is dependent on good cooperation with the University. We must be a good city for the many national and international students and scientists associated with the University, and they are also dependent on the services the municipality offers at a high level. We are making some adaptations at the moment – for instance, the opening of a school with English as the first language. There are employees at both the University and in private companies who are staying here for a period of time. We believe this is an important and appropriate change, reflecting the internationalised knowledge economy. But the main challenge is that very few people have an opinion about us. We need to decide what we should market ourselves as, and how to do that. OIM: And what specific measures are you taking to tackle this challenge? SBR: We have initiated a pilot project to survey the various sectors, search for a common platform on which to promote Oslo and the Oslo region, and then to agree on how to proceed. We have spent the last year on this research, with a separate staff to deal with it, as well as receiving input from a few international gurus. One of the problems with Norwegian profiling is that there are a lots of trolls and fjords. But people are not going to settle in Oslo and work at the University because of trolls and fjords. We need something more, something different.


Fights over intellectual property could be one reason why the myths about poor collaboration between universities and businesses persist, according to Ottersen. ‘The new laws in 2003, where the institution became the owner of ideas and research results, is just like the “Stanford model”.

20 oslo innovation magazine

The planned new building for life sciences, chemicals and pharmaceuticals in Gaustadbekkdalen is underway. A design competition forthe giant new bio-building – planned as a ‘lid’ over the passing highway – is expected to be announced early in 2014. Ole Petter Ottersen (left) and Stian Berger Røsland.

OIM: What would be a more appropriate image of Oslo, viewed from abroad? SBR: Maybe that the city has one of the highest educated populations in the world, a phenomenal standard of living, and strong purchasing power. We have some excellent knowledge institutions. We have innovative industry. There is extreme trust between the population and the government, which provides institutional security. Whenever there is a change of government here, the laws that were here yesterday will be here tomorrow, and taxes that were here yesterday are still in place tomorrow. No revolutions here. The framework in which business is set up remains constant, apart from minor adjustments and tweaks. But basically the climate for innovation and business is stable. OPO: No doubt about it, there’s every reason for optimism in Oslo. We have every opportunity to be part of a new industrial revolution – new energy sources, new technologies and new means of communication. If we play our cards right, I am convinced that we will be drawn into new initiatives which will give Norwegian industry more of a leg to stand on. The universities, who are at the forefront of these technologies, will be crucial, no matter what we should live off in the future.

OIM: Many companies find it hard to collaborate with research institutions. What can be done to increase cooperation between the University and the business community? OPO: We have a great deal of collaboration with private companies, and we want to increase that even more. For example, our Institute of Informatics, IFI, collaborates with more than 30 companies. We have major contracts with Telenor and close cooperation with Statoil. We have a great deal of collaboration with private companies, and we want to increase that even more. However, there are some structural and cultural challenges. Norwegian companies are investing less in R&D than companies in other Nordic countries. One big initiative being rolled out pretty quickly at the moment is the bioeconomy project BioVerdi. It’s a typical example of us wanting to make an even stronger commitment to the industry. The new bioeconomy is all about how to establish common technology platforms for the four sectors – manufacturing, marine, agriculture and health. Another example is our cooperation with StartupLab. We are currently establishing new educational programmes designed for much closer collaboration with industry. Our Energy Initiative is another similar collaboration with industry interests.


WHO HELPS BUSINESSES DO BUSINESS? You run a business, so do we, and so do a million Regus customers worldwide. So you could say we know a bit about business. And we’ve found that when you put one good business in the company of others something rubs off – we’ve seen it time and time again. So choosing Regus – like Google, Nokia and thousands of small and growing businesses already have – isn’t just about finding an office, it’s about finding a like-minded, worldwide network where good businesses get even better.

You can’t measure that by the square foot

(+47) 22 99 60 90

22 oslo innovation magazine


Difference is good for you In Amela Koluder-Døvre’s world of innovation, tension and differences are more important than comfort and agreement. TEXT TELLEF ØGRIM PHOTOS GORM K. GAARE


ontrary to the Norwegian tendency towards consensus and polite harmony, she has found sources for productive diversity both among immigrants and in the regional differences in the country she fled to in 1993. - We live a comfortable life in this country, and that is mostly a good thing, says Koluder-Døvre, who now works as Head of Innovation at Tine, Norway’s biggest dairy production company. - But Norwegians are a bit afraid of differences. In Bosnia we show that we care about other people by interfering. Norwegians like to challenge each other in cross-country skiing, but when it comes to interaction with people, the Norwegian reflex is first of all to be polite. MILKY INNOVATION Koluder-Døvre came to Norway as a refugee from the Heliodrom concentration camp in Mostar as a 19 year old in 1993. She studied economics, then found work experience at furniture producer HÅG, French cosmetics company L’Oréal and toothbrush manufacturer Jordan. Now, she welcomes us inside Tine’s offices in the fancy new Bjørvika district in central Oslo, and straight away tells us how much she s looking forward to the company s forthcoming move to the multi-ethnic area Grønland, a couple of kilometres away. The reason she wants to leave Oslo’s - opera district is connected to her favourite innovation tool: diversity. - I always try to find the impulses, or the energy, in a group. I look for differences, and for tension.

My experience is that a solution that comes out of a work process where there has been tension is more robust in the long run. She thinks it is important that businesses wanting to innovate understand this. But, she adds, tension and differences are not enough. THE FIRE OF THE HEART - An innovative process is based on knowledge. It is always good to know more about what we are working with. To create solutions, not only ideas, the search for knowledge must look both wide and deep. What about good old free brainstorming? Does creativity have a place in your method? - Yes, an innovator has to have engagement. What I call the fire in the heart is a driving force that cannot be underestimated. When she first arrived in Norway, her own driving force was pure survival. Her defiance was an important tool in getting ahead, however hard and tragic the experiences that lay behind it. - I had experiences behind me that I very strongly wish I had not had. And I was very angry. Luckily, this also gave her an absolute determination to succeed in the country where she had ended up. MANAGED CREATIVITY However strongly she supports the uninhibited expression of feelings and opinions, she also believes innovation has to be managed in order to take it beyond the realm of ideas. The outcome of successful innovation is, after all, not ideas but added value.


AMELA KOLUDER-DØVRE REFUGEE from the war in Bosnia in 1993 INNOVATION Manager, Growth & New Business Development in TINE EXPERIENCE from L’Oreal, Jordan and Stokke. GRADUATED from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Aministration as a master of international management in 1999. HAS HELD a patent for a line of micro fiber cloths for which she has received several prizes.

24 oslo innovation magazine

Amela KoluderDøvre’s innovative trick is to manage with values, not with rules, and then let loose the process.

- If the process is let loose completely, everyone will go off in different directions. As much as innovation is about a creative process, creativity is not the goal itself. The goal is to create added value. So the process has definitely to be managed. - The trick is to manage the process, not with rules, but instead what I call value-based principles, and then to let the process loose inside those principles. This can be hard to understand here. Nor­ wegians are good at following rules. I often hear that people like me are needed in order to break the rules. Is that the ultimate purpose of your involvement in Norway’s innovative environment – to break rules? - Maybe not to break rules, but to challenge established truths. I love traditions, including the Norwegian ones. THE RIGHT TO FÅRIKÅL Does that include fårikål? [A traditional Norwegian dish made from lamb and cabbage] - Of course, because fårikål is a Bosnian dish! (Here the conversation derails into how fårikål can be livened up with carrots and potatoes, and onward to the book of Bosnian recipes Koluder-Døvre made in cooperation with Tine, Norsk-Bosnisk Matglede). The company you work for is our biggest dairy

product manufacturer, whose roots date back to the 1880s. It is also tightly connected to the government as a controller of the agricultural market in the country. How can this be a good place to be for a dedicated innovator like yourself? - Because there is so much innovation going on here. It should be enough to mention taste, packaging, and development of new concepts or categories. As examples, she mentions Tine s line of YT exercise drinks, the Salma salmon loin, and the concept store Melkerampa. - There is a lot of innovation into new business going on here. Much of it springs from the fact that we are the biggest small-scale producer with a lot of small dairy businesses under our umbrella. Not many associate Tine with small scale, but that is how it is. Right now, for instance, there is an interesting process going on around goat butter. I am tempted to say that everyone that works in Tine does innovation, really. Before milk, it was micro-fibre. Back in the early 2000s, working for Jordan, she took out a patent for a line of micro-fibre cloths specially designed for a variety of household purposes. Today she frequently encounters the same concept in stores, produced by others. This does not bother her. Instead it makes


My experience is that a solution that comes out of a work process where there has been tension is more robust in the long run. amela koluder døvre

her proud to see that she has contributed to growing a category that others now produce for. TOP 10 Naturally it also made Koluder-Døvre proud to be named one of 10 in the consultancy Leadership Foundation’s annual Role Model award in 2012. Unsurprisingly, she immediately made a new project out of it all, with an ambition to convince young immigrants to pursue education, and to teach businesses about the value of diversity. - The fact that 50 per cent of young people with international background in Norway drop out of high school is threatening to become a big problem for our society. I strongly want to reverse that trend, she says. The network is called Top 10 Springbrett (Top 10 Springboard), and it started working closely with the Red Cross in autumn 2013. - I prefer to look ahead and to contribute. I know my story is dramatic, but I do not talk about it publicly any more. I would rather give a face to the fact that a refugee from war can have a normal, rich life. A refugee loses a part of his heart, and will probably all his life be looking for a way to repair it. There will always be a form of nostalgia there somewhere. - I look forward to the day we move from here to

Grønland, even if it is just a couple of kilo­metres away. Grønland has more chaos, and with that comes more energy. When asked to give advice to potential newcomers to Norway, she gives an obvious answer. - Learn Norwegian! Less obvious, perhaps, is her encouragement to take up cross-country skiing. - It is a great benefit to know how to ski in Norway. At least you will always have something to talk about. She even says she envies the Norwegians their ability to love snow. Is she a skier herself? - Yes, I ski, but I have worked hard to understand that skiing alone can be a fine thing.

26 oslo innovation magazine

Searching for the soul of Oslo The two most famous icons of Oslo express hysteria and anger: Edward Munch’s «The Scream» and Gustav Vigeland’s sculpture «Sinnataggen». TEXT MAGNE OTTERDAL AND TELLEF ØGRIM PHOTOS GORM K. GAARE

One could certainly argue that these two strong images­symbolize a need to burst out with something or anything to the rest of the world, now that Oslo is preparing to spend time and money in search of its own soul. - Compared to the Swedes, Norwegians are much more individualistic. Where Swedes can agree on something and go for it, Norwegians go in ten different directions, says Julian Stubbs, a branding expert that helped Stockholm find a common platform, the slogan Stockholm - The Capital of Scandinavia. Starting in October 2012, Julian Stubbs has come to Oslo to take part in several workshops preparing for the processes of finding out how to express Oslo’s to the world. - The issues are different from Stockholm. Firstly I think there are too many Oslo’s. It’s diffuse. We must be much more coordinated in order to build Oslo as a brand, says Stubbs. In the search for Oslo’s soul, there are strong camps representing different perspectives. The green capital. The winter capital. The knowledge capital. The infrastructure capital. The cultural capital. The capital of the Scream. The maritime capital. The wealthy capital. - The high cost of living is one aspect, but it doesn’t have to be a problem. Switzerland is in a similar situation, says Stubbs. THEY DON’T SEE OSLO The city’s ambition to bid for the Winter Olympics in 2022 is critical, according to Stubbs. - It’s a fantastic concept, The Games in The City, says Stubbs. He believes Oslo 2022 would help to put the capital of Norway on the world map. - Americans or people from the Far East don’t see Oslo, they see Scandinavia, Stubbs says. Another specialist that has visited the town several times lately is Greg Clark. He has being invited in order to contribute his experience from the London Olympic process in discussions around a possible 2022 application from Oslo. He is an ardent supporter of the view that big events like the Olympic


- Where the Swedes can agree on something and go for it, Norwegians go in ten different directions, says Julian Stubbs.

28 oslo innovation magazine

- Oslo doesn’t have to be the second or third city in Scandinavia, says Greg Clark (right). According to city planner Brent Toderian from Vancouver, costs is the wrong topic when talking about Olympics. Discuss value creation and city building instead!

Games can be a catalyst for urban change and for the self-confidence and outward image of big cities. He underlines that the relationship between global­isation and cities has changed. - Every big city can now become an international city. They are no longer locked in a hierarchy with other cities. Oslo does not have to be the second or third city in Scandinavia, says Clark. He sees big international events as a catalyst for cities to position themselves relative to others and as a tool for channelling national investments to the city. And even if the Olympic Games constitute a sporting event, they also concentrate and boosts other fields like digital media, branding and science. Clark sees potential for a big boost of confidence in an event like the Olympic Games or similar large sporting events. But in order to contribute to changing a city’s image, the city must first find out more about its existing image. - There are a number of reasons to worry about the future of Oslo. Oil is going to run out, other technologies will take over, and the fast growth Oslo is experiencing itself raises questions like where new town centres should be, and how fast the city should grow, says Clark. Former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian brings experience from the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. After having followed the discussion here in Oslo, he believes the citizens are focusing on the wrong issues. - You are discussing the cost, but you should be discussing value creation and city building instead. Personally, I don’t care about the Olympics. I care about cities, he says.

FASTER CHANGE According to Toderian, Vancouver did not have to host the games. - We were not desperate, but we knew that the Olympics make everything more intense, faster and bigger. His main message is that an event like the Olympics contributed to changing the city faster and more thoroughly than normally would have been possible, especially in the field of traffic control, public transportation and the development of the city’s public spaces. Economist Hans Mathias Thjømøe is on the other side of the argument, strongly opposed to the idea that Oslo should apply for the 2022 Olympics. - If you use all this money, and the games are estimated to cost Norway about NOK 30 billion, you will of course get something. But that does not mean that this is the best way to use the money, says Thjømøe. The Oslo branding project will be launched at the same time that the application for government funding for the Olympics will be debated and decided in Parliament. In a recent referendum, majority of Oslo’s citizens, by a vote of 172 837 to 140 982, favoured hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. It’s far too early to tell whether Oslo’s branding process will end in a loud “Scream” .

Want to explore global Markets? We can offer: - Local market knowledge - Expertise on how to do business abroad - Advisory services - market research and visit - Market entry services - Norwegian and international networks - Promotion of Norway and Norwegian business You can easily get in touch with us. We are present in more than 30 countries worldwide and in all Norwegian counties. Innovation Norway can assist you and your business succeed in the global market. For more information visit

Photo: Mike Liu /


30 oslo innovation magazine The sound of Oslo

Give it time! Patience and risk are the innovation mantras of Lars Petter Hagen, director of the boldest musical initiative in Oslo’s rich festival life. People need trust in order to take the chances that unique innovation requires, says Hagen.


The music festival season in Norway’s capital lasts almost all year round. One festival bites the tail of the next from January until late autumn, ranging from church music, to metal, folk, world, rock, jazz and classical music. The collective result is so dense that viewing it as one continuous festival, curated by alternating experts on different fields, is as natural as viewing them as separate events. It’s only logical,

Distances here are shorter. ...This quality can itself create a dynamic cooperation across boundaries between styles and genres.

then, that Oslo’s music organizers join together in Musikkbyen Oslo (Oslo Music City), an institution founded in order to emphasize the impact the city’s live music scene has on culture, business and image of the country’s by far largest city. Lars Petter Hagen, who has for several years presided over the most innovative, surprising and varied festival program of all the events, Ultima - Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, is currently heading up Musikkbyen Oslo. According to a report by Perduco Kultur, the annual turnover of Oslo’s live music scene amounts to nearly half a billion kroner. Just as he was about to kick off this year’s Ultima festival, Oslo Innovation Magazine sat down with Hagen in order to discuss his ambitions for Ultima and Oslo’s potential.

new content

His bold ambition is to take back the term contemporary music and fill it with new content. And he wants Ultima to be among the biggest contemporary music festivals in Europe within the next five years. When asked how he is going to make that happen, Hagen claims that it can only be achieved from a platform of research and innovation coupled with a sharp focus on what he calls alternative musical strategies. In other words, when searching for music for Ultima, Hagen tends to look for the new and innovative. Additionally, Hagen adds that he is getting increasingly interested in art that is media-, place- and time-specific. He mentions the Benedict Mason concert in 2010, composed for and performed in Oslo City Hall, utilizing all possible spaces and rooms in the building, with musicians being conducted via wireless, in-ear communication. - This is music that is at the same time uneconomical, impractical and artistically unique, he adds. democracy

It’s no secret that the style of Music that Ultima has featured through the years has been criticized for leaning hard towards the new and provocative. But not all Ultima music makes your brain boil and your ears bleed. It must be said that the music Hagen composes himself is often surprisingly friendly, though still fresh. - I see my work for Ultima as a democratic project where I want to promote pluralism in music. The commercial aspect of music has a narrowing effect, and we want to counter this by focusing on innovation, says Hagen.


Lars Petter Hagen wants Ultima to be among the biggest contemporary music festivals in Europe within the next five years.

32 oslo innovation magazine The sound of Oslo

- Finding solutions that are truly new an unique requires time. Dare to take chances, says Lars Petter Hagen.

LARS PETTER HAGEN (b. 1975) COMPOSER and curator DIRECTOR of Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival PRODUCER for stage-art through Produsentbyrået AWARDED The Arne Nordheims Composers Prize 2003 AWARDED the Edvard Prize, contemporary category 2004

Looking closer at Hagen’s vision of innovation, democracy and pluralism, one question springs to mind: Isn’t this what every successful music festival must achieve in order to succeed? Or: Where is the real need for building genre walls between music events in a world where borders between genres increasingly are being dismantled? festival flower

As much as he applauds Oslo’s multitude of musical festivals, Hagen still thinks that Ultima is unique. He illustrates it by grabbing my note pad and starting to sketch. Obviously he has left the high ideals of democracy, innovation or pluralism behind. From his drawing I am convinced that the interview is turning into a lecture on gardening. Hagen quickly explains how he sees Ultima as a flower, or rather that it sits in centre of the flower, overlapping the flower’s petals. - Every musical genre has an experimental side. Ultima overlaps this side of all these musical styles and thus captures the multitude of musical innovation across genres. Any visitor to Hagens’s festival will recognize the great variation. A youth orchestra from Paraguay called “The recycled instruments orchestra of Cateura,” playing instruments made from garbage;


any average tourist will still mention nature and the beer prices and maybe throw in the Vigeland sculpture park. How come this town also has the biggest contemporary music festival in Scandinavia?

a black metal band with a classical choir; a play about Judas; modern renderings of Frank Zappa; a dance/music performance about evolution based on Charles Darwin - to mention just a few. The influx of international performers is of course a great part of the attraction of Ultima. But Oslo itself is the generator that makes everything happen. Hagen sees great potential for artistic innovation in Oslo, partly because of its size and geography. Distances here are shorter. This simple physical quality of this town where the inhabitants live between the hills and the fjord makes it easier for people to meet. This quality can itself create a dynamic cooperation across boundaries between styles and genres, he says. give it time

- Ultima is a part of a certain form of research that takes place in contemporary art. It is a form of fundamental research and the outcome is not always the next piece of music. Not least it is about a specialized concentration that needs time. Finding solutions that are truly new and unique requires time. Dare to take chances. Give people trust and time. Maybe that’s our most important contribution,” says Lars Petter Hagen sums up. Being a key operator of the musical life of Oslo, not least as a member of the cooperative body “Musikkbyen Oslo” (Oslo Music City) he sees a potential for a wider cooperation, for instance between an institution like Oslo Innovation Week and Ultima. - From a certain perspective we could have worked together even if the perspectives are different. We should not forget that the development of music has gone hand in hand with the development

of technology since the Stone Age. Not surprisingly the Ultima festival celebrates this fact in displays of both high- and low-tech instrument development. One of the performances of the 2013 festival consisted of a reproduction of the complete instrument park of the innovative American composer and instrument maker Harry Partch. Hope for Oslo?

If asked to describe Oslo any average tourist will still mention nature and the beer prices and maybe throw in the Vigeland sculpture park. How come this town also has the biggest contemporary music festival in Scandinavia? Actually Oslo is increasingly becoming a year around festival covering practically all the musical styles you can imagine. And in five years Ultima will be one of largest festivals for contemporary music in Europe, if Hagen’s ambitions kick in. - Oslo’s image is improving. We are developing a certain self-confidence as a town. I think we are still perceived as New-Rich, but the good results we produce, not least at the cultural field, are pushing us in the right direction. - Where can Oslo be better at telling its own story? - We could emphasize more that we are not afraid of risk. This is a strength we have that can be nurtured more. At the same time we Norwegians sometimes can sometimes get a bit to sketchy and bit too quick. We need to combine our risk-taking and our money while giving headroom for developing concepts and solutions over time. Over all I think our point of departure is a good one, not least the fact that we are increasingly valuing knowledge as a necessary quality.

34 oslo innovation magazine The sound of Oslo

A jam session for everyone An idea that popped up during a student project has resulted in a new and easy way of playing in a band: the consumer app RattleJam. TEXT INGRID SCHIEFLOE PHOTOS TRANSISTO

The app will be available for free, with a small selection of songs included.

RattleJam is a mobile application for iPhone that lets you easily remix your favourite track. By choosing from a selection of popular tunes, you can control the different instruments in the track and record your own remix. You can also connect with some of your friends, and then you can all record one remix together. While working on their masters degrees at the University of Oslo, Kjartan Vestvik teamed up with Stian Hauge, among others. - We wanted to create a mobile application that made it easy for anyone to create music and have a “jam session”,’ says Vestvik, ‘and one of the key features was to control the instruments by gestures instead of touching the screen. As we finished our masters degrees, some of us wanted to continue developing the idea. We also partnered up with a couple of students from the innovation and entrepreneurship masters programme at the University of Oslo, and in August 2012 we formed Transisto AS. the business idea

RattleJam presents a new concept of interacting with music, as well representing a new marketing tool for the music industry. For record labels and artists, RattleJam will be a new way of promoting new and existing songs, and a conduit to reach new fans. For users, RattleJam provides a means of playing with the sounds from their favourite tune and recombining them to create their own remix. The

app will be available free, with a small selection of songs included, and new songs will be available for in-app purchase. customers and market

Usually it takes a lot of practice to be able to play a musical instrument. Nowadays, apps and other software use modern technology to lower the barrier. But still, many musical apps require the user to have a certain understanding of musical terms and theory. - RattleJam requires no prior knowledge, making it really easy and fun to create music,’ expains Vestvik, ‘so this is not an app only for musicians. We believe that anyone who wants to have fun with music can enjoy RattleJam. turning point

Early in the process, they explored several ways of emulating real instruments in the app and tested methods of controlling these instruments through motion. -A major breakthrough happened when we simplified the way an instrument could be controlled, and made each instrument play “automatically”. This led to the idea of using existing musical material as a basis for the instruments, and thus the concept of remixing known songs emerged. This was a turning point for the development of the app, he says.


kjartan vestvik has an MA in informatics: programming and networks. He also has a background as a producer and musician, playing keyboards in several bands.

Sound of Oslo How does sound reveal the innovative multicultural potential of Oslo? Oslo Innovation Magazine appealed to Alarga for answers. Alarga is a grant programme for outstanding students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Alarga’s goal is to help the Norwegian business community reap the rewards of the international language and cultural expertise that multicultural students offer. (Photos: Sunniva A. Halvorsen)

stian hauge has an MA in innovation and entrepreneurship, and a background as an army officer, spending five years in the service.

the way ahead

- We are working towards a release in the App Store in the third or fourth quarter of 2013. Also we are in a dialogue with the biggest record labels in Norway to get access to new tunes for the app. Currently, we have tunes from several well known Norwegian artists, but we aim to get some major international artists on board, beams Vestvik. Currently, rights are a hot and difficult issue facing all music innovation. The musical material RattleJam uses in the app has been provided by the record labels or the artists themselves. So far, all the Norwegian artists and labels they have been in contact with have been very positive about letting RattleJam access their music. Since the app has the twin function of using an artist’s musical material, and letting users publish their own remix, there are still a few points that need to be clarified when it comes to handling the music rights. - We are in dialogue with Norway’s Performing Rights Society TONO about licensing, and currently we are awaiting their reply,’ says Stian Hauge. ‘We are a small startup company, and we are planning on releasing a free app. If the licensing costs turn out to be a major expense, it will certainly be a challenge for us. But this could also just cause us to reconsider our business model.

ken xin li The sound of Oslo is the sound of urban development. When you walk down the streets of Oslo, you may hear the noise of construction work. This tells us that Oslo is going through many great changes at the moment. The construction of the Opera House and Barcode gave us some fascinating and inspiring architectural structures. The development of areas such as Tjuvholmen, Bjørvika and Økern are reshaping the urban landscape and transforming Oslo into a new and more modern city.

in Akerselva one of the most primary sounds of Oslo. The streaming wonder enriches the capital with a large number of beautiful nature trails, and serves as stress relief, providing relaxation to the residents who listen to the drifting water bestowing a breath of nature. The river flows as a memory – as a plea from nature not to forget it among the tall buildings, the noisy trams and the ongoing development of Oslo. Aslanbek Sjamsutdinov has an MA in industrial economics and technology management from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He is currently working as a Subsea Manager at Miras Consulting.

Ken Xin Li studies for an MA in financial economics at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). Ken is a scholar with Telenor.

aslanbek sjamsutdinov The sound of Oslo is the sound of water in Akerselva. Nature is an important part of Norwegian wealth and identity, which makes the flowing water

aida kazagic To me, the sound of Oslo is a collection of various background noises: the tram passing by, construction work, people with different nationalities speaking all at the same time. I have lived in the Grunerløkka district for six years, and these are the sounds that have surrounded me every day. Aida Kazagic is studying for an MA in materials, energy and nanotechnology at the University of Oslo »

36 oslo innovation magazine Sound of Oslo

money and art, an uneven match?


There are more ceramic artists, architects, clarinetists, cooks, dancers, impresarios and cultural bureaucrats in Oslo than anywhere else in Norway. Now this loosely organized cultural cluster is getting more attention also as business. A new fund is established to promote cooperation between culture and business and next year the city will have its own strategy for culture and business. According to governmental figures, the capital delivers about 50 percent of the value of all Norwegian culture businesses defined as everything from the one-man company of the solo saxophonist to the well-established architectural businesses. For some years, the mantra of the country’s cultural sector TELLEF ØGRIM playing with his band Mugetuft at Oset, Maridal Lake. Øgrim is an impro musician on fretless guitar, he is part of the band Ung Pike Forsvunnet, he as been editor in Ballade as well as journalist in Dagens Næringsliv and writer in Oslo Business Memo. (Photo: Atelier Nord)

Politicians of almost all colours think that partnerships between art and private money have the potential of creating much more art. has been culture-business. Politicians of almost all colours think that partnerships between art and private money have the potential of creating much more art. Some see it as a pretext to future cuts in the government’s culture spending although the do not say that too loud. Too seldom it is the artists themselves that speak about the potential for a release of limitless funds to art and culture that lies in cooperation between business and art. Apart from politicians it is mostly consultants that feed us with reports and invitation to conferences where the mantra is creative entrepreneurs and money. One often repeated requirement for this vision


to come through is that cultural businesses get access to the governmental upstart funds that business-businesses get. As salmon, so jazz, if you will. There are problems with this demand. One is that existing business funds have as their foremost criteria that your business model is likely to produce profit and jobs. The other is that state financial support for upstarts traditionally leans towards initiatives outside the big cities (as a means to prevent people from moving into the cities) and towards nature (in the belief that Norway has two things to sell to the world: fjords and mountains). Therefore, most marriages between culture businesses and business businesses will be up to the couples themselves, unless some new initiatives will prove successful. Lately the municipal government in Oslo decided to move 5,5 million from the city’s fund for cultural initiatives and put them into a new arrangement aimed at experimental cooperation between businesses where at least one should be of the creative kind. The aim does not seem to be to support the traditional art-business interaction where a big orchestra are sponsored by a big bank, but to create enthusiasm for completely new forms of cooperation. So far this is not too concrete, with more space left to imagination. In 2014 the plan is that the city will have its own strategy for growth in cultural businesses written and stamped. The environment for creative businesses in Oslo is regarded as being a means to increase the city’s attractivity as a place to establish new business, live and work. As these words are written a similar coalition as the one governing Oslo is negotiating a political platform for a government lead by Høyre’s (the Conservative Party) Erna Solberg. It is reason to believe that such a coalition will fight for a closer relationship between private money and art in Norway. From the outside it may look like the successful Norwegian artist is a person with 1) unique artistic expression 2) convincing mastering of his tools 3) sufficient knowledge of how to write a good application government support. The truth is that he also must be an over-eager beaver, a tough negotiator and a businessman. The respected few that will survive without a day-job in the future need to learn the trade of proposing business plans and negotiating with CEOs that may never have seen a recording studio or an atelier from the inside.

»linh phuong catherine do Two sounds describe Oslo well: people and politics. Oslo is a nice place to meet people with different backgrounds and culture. Diversity and cultural differences make us more knowledgeable, and help us handle challenges in a better way. Oslo is also a place where politics is central in most people’s daily life. There are many different organisations to choose between, and most of the time you will find a spot that fits you. Linh Phuong Catherine Do is pursuing her MA in industrial economics and techology management at the Norwegian University of Science and Techology (NTNU). Linh is a scholar with Statkraft.

sheikh gohar ali The sound of Oslo is splashing from a fountain, with urban noises in the background. The sound reflects both the energy and the relaxed atmos­ phere that you will find in Oslo. Compared to other cities in Norway, Oslo would be characterised as the country’s noisiest, busiest – but comparing it to other cities in the world, you will find a peaceful atmosphere here. The fountain in the middle of a city also reflects the diversity

that exists here, as well as the importance it places on recreational access for its inhabitants. The urbanised noises in the background tell us something about the drive that you will find in cities, but these will only be a shadow of the creativity and happiness that exists. Sheikh Gohar Ali is currently pursuing an MA in International Business at Hult International Business School in London.

sissi chen The sound of Oslo makes me feel at home. It’s a mixture of wonderful sounds that gives the feeling of belonging and comfort. It’s the sound of skies sliding through snow while you hear only your own breath in a forest landscape. It’s the sound of buses, trams and subways calling out the stops of your favourite parts of Oslo. It’s the sound of laughter and children’s talk, adults and old people with all Norwegian dialects in combination with close to 200 foreign languages. It’s the sound of a modern city in development which still keeps its own character. Sissi Chen has her MA in construction and environmental technology from NTNU in Trondheim. She served her Alarga internship with Multiconsult, where she is currently working.

38 oslo innovation magazine The sound of Oslo

If you want to know who I am, have a look at my records.

The future of old grooves Oslo will get its first vinyl record pressing plant when Oslo Vinylfabrikk opens its doors (and website) shortly. Sweet music from groovy plastic will be rolled out to fans, connoisseurs and collectors via net auctions and crowdfunding. TEXT TELLEF ØGRIM PHOTOS GORM K. GAARE

Half of the factory is in the country. The rest will not be delivered until founder Harald Christian Sagevik has found a home for the factory that best suits his wishes – and his budget. - The idea was born way back in 2008,’ explains Sagevik, ‘and came out of a discussion around the difference between adapting to the market and fighting the world outside, which I feel the music business was doing for a long time. Sagevik describes vinyl records as ‘the best of the old world’, not least because it offers focused list­ ening to complete albums instead of the constant switching between songs and artists that music streaming encourages. - I am also attracted to the physical aspect of it,’ he continues. ‘A home is empty without a bookshelf, and a bookshelf should have vinyl records. If you want to know who I am, have a look at my records. So what is your first personal vinyl memory? - That is almost too embarrassing to say. As a seven year old boy living in Germany, I scraped together all the money I had to buy a Modern Talking album. I have not been listening to it a lot. When Sagevik starts producing vinyl in Oslo, it will be strongly supported by innovative web solutions. Artists will have access to a calculator that will assist the budgeting process. A crowdfunding engine will make it possible to finance a record be-


Oil, corruption and trafficking

fore pressing, in order to reduce the financial risk of a record release. Other plans include the use of auctions. - We plan to print numbered series and to auction them off over the internet. The idea is that the lowest numbers achieve the highest bids.’ - Sagevik is the first to admit that a vinyl factory will probably not be the most profitable of investments. - Our main ambition is to create alternative revenue streams for artists by mechanisms that are fair and honest.’ Alongside forecasts about the death of the CD, many hope that vinyl will rescue the market for recorded music. The prognosis varies, but analysts seem to agree that vinyl will not amount to much more than a small percentage of the future market. - The physical format used to be the way music was consumed. Now music consumption has become digital. Nevertheless, the need for a format like the vinyl record is fuelled by people with an above average interest in music – the collectors – and the demand for merchandise.’ One of Sagevik’s visions is to offer artists performing in Norway a recording of their Oslo appearance pressed on vinyl that they can take away to sell during the rest of the tour. Discussions with concert venues are already underway, among them Mono, where Sagevik actually works.

Oslo is awash with intriguing stories and subjects for novels. Knut Hamsun’s Hunger (1890) is set in the streets of Oslo. Jo Nesbø transforms Oslo to a kind of Gotham City with his Harry Hole series. Among the new wave of Oslo based authors is Sidsel Dalen (picture below), who has just released her second novel in autumn 2013, the thriller 21 Days in which oil, corruption and human trafficking form the core of the story.

OIM: Oil, corruption and prostitution: you’re not worried this will give Oslo and Norway a bad reputation abroad? SD: On the contrary. Norway – as a brand – is associated with peace, environmental issues and high living standards. My impression is that many visitors regard Oslo as nice, but boring. A thriller that adds some sleaze to the polished surface is like spice to a dish. It makes the whole thing very hot.

Oslo Innovation Magazine: What makes Oslo a preferred scene for your thriller? Sidsel Dalen: Oslo is small and compact: people from high and low levels of society brush shoulders on a daily basis. In the city centre, drugs and prostitution are visible to everybody that wants to see, but most people choose to turn away. They don’t want to know about that part of society where there are no rules – in real life. But crime is cool between hard covers: it is exciting when the lines between ‘us’ and ‘them’ are blurry, morality becomes flexible, and fixed answers for good and bad are obliterated. It makes dull evenings an exciting adventure!

OIM: What do you like best about Oslo? SD: It is a dense town. You can easily walk from one area to another, and experience the demographic changes. Almost like New York. The atmosphere is relaxed. Luckily we still have that naivety that makes strangers remain open for each other. You can party any day that you want, there is always something going on. And space for inner peace and meditation is easily accessible: just take a ferry to one of the islands, or hike into the forest. Text: Magne Otterdal Photo: Mickael Moine

40 oslo innovation magazine

Time for tertulia! Some came here for the money. Some did it out of love. Some live to work. Others love to study. At Oslo International Club, you’re welcome whatever you do, wherever you’re from. TEXT DAG YNGLAND PHOTOS MAGNE OTTERDAL

The invitation is a little vague. Hot ideas. Cosmo feel. Secret location. Historic mansion. The crowd that’s trailing behind us as seems like a happy mix of people from all over the world. A big white wooden building appears. Is this the place where the expats of Oslo have their secret meetings? Who are they, anyway? Do we have something in common? FINDING A WAY HOME The club’s founder, Jørn Lein-Mathisen, started it up when he returned home after living in the US, UK, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. He found it harder to come home than to move to any other foreign city. - I expected to know my way here, which I didn’t, he explains. - So that was the reason we started this club: to bring expats into the city’s life and give ‘repats’ the chance to know Oslo better.

Expats in Oslo mingle at a tertulia at Abbediengen Hovedgård. The model for the meetings is the Latin Tertulia – a social gathering that includes cultural or professional elements to make the experience more interesting for the participants.


#whyoslo Oslo Innovation Magazine asked three international writers to forward some thoughts on their relation to Oslo. Terry Macalister is a British journalist living in Cambridge and working in London. Rob Young is a British journalist living in Oslo. Dag Yngland is a Norwegian journalist living in Berlin.

The club currently boasts about 1000 members. Most of them are connected through work, studies, marriage or curiosity, but they all share the same interest in getting to know the city through meeting the people who live here. - It can be a local politician who can explain social issues, or a commercial company that wants to present itself to people who could be interesting as workforce or customers. We want to make life here easier and more interesting for the members, he explains. MELT THE ICE To keep the invitation hot, the venue is often kept secret until the day of the event. This evening’s venue is Abbediengen Hovedgård. The main house is now the seat of the Nordic Association, an organisation which promotes civil cooperation between the Nordic countries. Sometimes, even Nordics can have trouble understanding each other. - Nordic people can be a bit reserved in their social attitudes, but in this club you will find them much more cosmopolitan,’ says Kimberly LeinMathisen, Jørn’s American wife. -Actually I moved here for my job. I didn’t know anybody here. So I like to say I moved here for the money. Then I came back later for the love. NORWEGIANS ARE DIFFERENT - The style of Norwegians is not to jump out and smile with a lot of enthusiasm. As an American, that is different, but you have to accept it and find your way to them, says Kimberly. She has been member of several expat clubs around the world, but this one is different. Oslo International Club is not only social, but also intellectually stimulating and multicultural. It is more of a club for professionals than a social gathering for people living abroad. But if she had the chance to change Norwegians, what would she want to improve? - Norwegians tend to live in a bubble when it comes to business. There is sometimes a lack of competitiveness, dynamism and aggressiveness in doing business compared to other countries.’

terry macalister The first thing that struck me on flying into Oslo for the first time over two decades ago was how small in scale was the city – and the waistlines of the citizens. To be struck by the relatively diminutive scale of the metropolis might not be surprising given that I was coming from London. The new buildings in Oslo still tend to spread largely outwards, like the gorgeous Opera House. It’s exciting to see some buildings point a little bit upwards, though, like the Barcode Quarters on the other side of the street in Bjørvika. Terry Macalister is the Energy Editor of The Guardian. Read the whole text on:

dag yngland Something has happened in Oslo. I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but there’s a new buzz in the city. Since I left here 20 years ago it was always nice to be back – for a while. Then I got restless. I found the city grey, drab and uninspiring. You met the same people everywhere. Talking about the same

old stuff. But now there is a change. So much is going on here. I’m afraid to leave. I might lose out on something. There are meetings, invitations, foreign visitors, seminars, innovations, ideas. All the things I’ve gone abroad to discover and enjoy. It’s here. Now! So should I return? Dag Yngland is obviuosly longing back to Oslo from Berlin were he lives and works as a European journalist. Read more about his Oslo reflections on:

rob young - People still ask me in disbelief why I would leave London to come to Oslo. Culturally, megacities like London or LA might feel like the centre of the world. In Oslo, it’s much easier to find the right people, make significant connections, make cool things happen and still spend a few hours of quality time with the family every evening. Oslo is definitely experiencing a renaissance in all fields right now, and much of that is due to the open networks and communication, the spirit of sharing that’s such a big part of Norwegian identity. And if I need a dose of London occasionally, it’s only two hours away! Rob Young is a British music author, journalist living in Oslo. Read more on:

42 oslo innovation magazine


something’s cooking in oslo


Maaemo represents the new food revolution in Oslo. Photo: Jimmy Linus

When trying to locate the taste of Oslo, it is well known that the city’s cafés are brewing probably the best coffee in the world, and mix the most ingenious cocktails. Barista culture has flourished and so has the science of mixology – concocting incredible drinks. This scene revolves around a small group of enthusiasts/geeks who take their passion for brewing dead seriously. But what about the foodie scene? Admittedly, Oslo has not yet become as much a centre of food innovation as its neighbour, Copenhagen. The Danish capital has stimulated a modern

Maaemo became the first Nordic restaurant to be awarded two Michelin stars on its first rating – only a year after opening. food revolution with the concept of ‘New Nordic Cuisine’, based on purity, simplicity and freshness, using seasonal foods developed from traditional dishes and ingredients benefitting from the local region’s climate, water and soil. However, there are signs that things are changing in Oslo. the culinary year of 2012

The ‘year zero’ for a culinary break in the Norwegian capital was 2012. A new, impressive food court, Mathallen, opened at Vulkan, a former industrial complex by the Akerselva river; and the trailblazer in Norwegian cookery, Maaemo, became the first Nordic restaurant to be awarded two Michelin stars on its first rating – only a year after opening. In the culinary world, this counted as a sensation. But why did the food revolution take so long? And who are the innovators behind these changes? traditional french gastronomy versus new nordic cuisine

For decades now, the art of Norwegian masterchef has made for some impeccable gastronomy. No country in the world boasts more Bocuse d’Ors (World Champion Chefs) per capita. However, Norwegian chefs have possibly been guilty of being too traditional, too focused on French food, thus making local cuisine too conventional and locked into familiar patterns. Meanwhile, innovation has been happening elsewhere in Scandinavia. What’s great about Oslo at the moment is that people from different schools are working side by side. And as usual regarding innovation in Norway, it is an effective collaboration between dedicated foreigners and unorthodox (read ‘crazy’) Norwegians: Esben Holmboe Bang and Ponuts Dhalström at Maaemo, Bjørn Svensson and Jo Bøe Klakegg at the newly opened Fauna (where the methodologies of Ferran Adrián’s El Bulli team up with New Nordic),


Karin Innerå at the modern Norwegian restaurant Fru K at the extravagantly arty Thief hotel, and, not forgetting the hard-working Even Ramsvik at the incredible restaurant Ylajali, which certainly deserves a Michelin star or two.

Gourmet to the people

Food enthusiasts that makes a difference

Other innovators are Øyvind Lofthus and his chief baker Emanuel Rang at Åpent Bakeri, who have changed the face of bakery in Oslo. For the past ten years or so, it has been possible to obtain great handmade yeast in the city – the quality better than anywhere else in Northern Europe. Another is Cecilie Dawes at Foodstudio, a dedicated promoter of food who runs spectacular culinary events throughout the year, focusing on local and seasonal ingredients. Her events are usually so localised that they are set in the spot where the ingredients are picked: in a field, deep in the woods or alongside a fjord. Her wildest stunt so far has been connecting Maaemo’s chefs with the world renowned Norwegian techno musician Hans-Peter Lindstrøm – godfather of the ‘space disco’ genre – setting up a collaborative avant garde brunch at the Øya music festival last summer. But in the end, when it comes to taste, what makes good food? Is it innovation or tradition? The answer is both, and Oslo has made its mark, in culinary matters, by combining these two. The road ahead is more interesting than ever, as food entrepreneurs gain more self-confidence and customers get more daring – or develop better taste.

Not all have the means to frequent the upscale eateries of Oslo. The prices are sky-high and tables are scarce. A good alternative is the rustic resaurant Kolonihagen at Frogner, to the west. It recently opened a second restaurant in the east at Grünerløkka. Both are co-owned by Maaemo co-founder Jon-Frede Engdahl, and utilise organic local ingredients from the same producers that supply Maaemo. Another interesting newcomer is the bar Pjoltergeist. The bar has a food menu fusing Korean and Nordic elements, and has become a hangout for the city’s chefs, baristas and bartenders. When it comes to the more traditional cuisine, worth mentioning are the refurbished Oslo café Tranen, run by baking entrepreneur Øyvind Lofthus; and Lokk (Lid), a soup kitchen in the centre of town that has expanded into a restaurant ideally suited to wallet-conscious gourmets.

Why serve expensive goose liver from France when we have delicious mackerel taken from the ocean right outside Oslo? When Eikefjord ‘the Chef’ is cooking, guests roll their eyes and sigh with pleasure. When Eikefjord ‘the Owner’ opens restaurants, they are an immediate success. The three Oslo restaurants ‘Eik’, ‘Annen Etage’ and ‘Fjord’ share the same concept that has worked for more than ten years: a new innovative menu every week. Based on fresh products in season, 95 percent Norwegian, at an affordable price.

eat fish! Fish is recommended when visitors want a taste of Oslo. Shellfish as well. Eikefjord enjoys taking advantage of the seasonal variations. Grilled mackerel, hake, lange, whale, arctic char, shellfish like king crab and

crayfish. The fruits and berries are also tasty, and beats imported products.

the world’s best food basket Oslo’s restaurants may not dominate in the Guide Michelin, but the level is still high. Local chefs have also done well in the international cooking competition Bocuse d’Or in France. The competition motivates Norwegian chefs to try more innovative cooking. Oslo’s chefs have the best basis in the world from which to serve gastronomic innovation. Eikefjord thinks that serving French delicacies at Nordic restaurants is pretentious, when the access to tasty and affordable local food is so good. Text and photo: Linda Sannum

44 oslo innovation magazine


Salmon fed on spruce food shortage reduced from tree to fillet Can salmon feed on wood chips from spruce trees? Can Norway’s abundance of spruces reduce some of the world food shortage? These questions arise when researchers look at sustainable salmon feeding for the future. TEXT LINDA SANNUM PHOTOS UMB

R -It turns out that salmon thrive equally well on feed based on bacteria, yeast or microalgae. These feed resources are considered to be sustainable says Margareth Øverland, Professor in Fish Nutrition at UMB.

esearch on alternative fish feed has aroused great interest in American farming communities, who recently visited the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) at Ås to observe new types of fish food being tested by researchers. The findings show that the fish’s nutritional needs are covered by these new foods, which have been proved to produce a healthy fish that grows well. The research is now being taken a step further by looking at the recovery of nutrients from the spruce. Testing takes place in cooperation with Borregaard, the world’s most advanced biorefinery.

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION Wild salmon eat other fish in the sea. Farmed fish were therefore initially fed with fishmeal and fish oil. Eventually, the trend shifted towards feed derived from plants. However, due to increased fish consumption in the market and the strong growth in the salmon industry, more feed from sources not suitable as human food is needed. ‘It turns out that salmon thrive equally well on feed based on bacteria, yeast or

microalgae,’ says Margareth Øverland, Professor in Fish Nutrition at UMB. ‘These feed resources are considered to be sustainable. They require little land for cultivation, use little water and are produced from natural gas, low-fledged biomass from forestry, agriculture and sunlight.’ WORLD FOOD SHORTAGES In 2050, the world’s population will exceed nine billion. To meet the need for food, the world must produce twice as much as it does today. But already a billion people are malnourished. Aquaculture is one of the main answers to this challenge. About 70 per cent of the planet is covered by water, but less than five per cent of the world’s food production takes place in the ocean. This paradox indicates that the ocean has a great potential, and salmon is an important part of it. ‘To solve the world food shortage, we must stop feeding the salmon with fish and plants. The salmon farming industry exists to produce food for humans. If we can use other resources for feed, the result is more sustainable, because the production does not compete with human food,’ says Øverland.


A young salmon in the researchers pool in UMB at ÅS.

The new food resources also ensure lower costs, a significant factor given that 70 percent of the costs associated with salmon farming are spent on the feed. AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE OIL? Salmon farming is a major industry that is still growing rapidly. From a long-term environ­mental perspective, Norway may look for other industries that may eventually replace the oil industry, such as bioeconomy. Therefore the cooperation with Borregaard, their forestry and the possibility of extraction from spruce trees is very exciting. Research continues in collaboration with stakeholders in the fishing industry. In addition, the researchers have seen the production of fodder from natural gas in cooperation with Statoil. Research on new feed resources for the aquaculture industry is starting to attract interest from politicians and the Ministry of Fisheries. There is also a fierce technology development going on now, Øverland points out. The most positive aspect of all? In the end, a huge benefit to the environment.

Bio & Marine innovation A brand new business centre, a major report on the bioeconomy and the founding of an international biomarine clusters­­association. The marine network MarLife, headquartered in Oslo Science Park, is part of big moves in the autumn 2013. MarLife Business Centre (MBC) is Oslo’s first hub space for marine business and innovation, and is Norway’s main interface between academia and industry. It will host marine companies and provide access to research facilities in addition to being headquarter of MarLife. It is anticipated that the hub will be supplied with more relevant infrastructure for marine innovation in the years to come like lab customized experimental facilities, lab hotels, incubator etc.

Internationally MarLife has joined forces with other biomarine networks in a new Biomarine International Clusters Association (BICA). It is registered in Monaco with Prince Albert as honorary chair and the tasks of the new body was discussed and outlined during Biomarine Business Convention in Halifax in September 2013. MarLife has also worked closely with Oslotech AS on developing a report from the BioVerdi project, pointing at critical measures needed to enhance innovation in all four bio economies of Norway: marine, health, agriculture and industry. The concrete recommendations is to shape an innovation “ecosystem” connecting innovation centers, financial and human capital and market innovation.

46 oslo innovation magazine


Keeping it healthy The Norwegian food-durability indicator ’Keep-it’ is on the market and ready to help minimize large amounts of food waste. TEXT LINDA SANNUM PHOTOS UMB, KEEPIT.NO

The display shows a more accurate life span for food products than the stamped date alone. ’Keep-it’ captures temperature fluctuations along the value chain, from manufacturer to customer. The durability is continuously updated to show a more accurate expiry date. It suggests both earlier and later dates than the stamped date. This ensures quality and may in the end lead to less disposal of edible food by consumers - when the durability is longer than expected. AWARDED INNOVATION Ten years of research and one year of testing in Rema 1000’s grocery stores is finally leading somewhere. The developers have created a product they want to introduce to the entire value chain in Norway, and ultimately to the rest of the world. - So far we have sold nearly two million Keep-it indicators on ground beef products from Nordfjord, through Rema 1000. This has proven that ‘Keep it’ works, and the quality of the display is good. The indicator has been noticed by the buyers and affects the handling of perishables in a positive way, says sales and marketing manager for Keep-it Technologies AS, Terje Christoffersen. The developers are working to introduce the

Left: Christian Salbu in Keep-It receives the UMB Innovation Prize from Kristin Halvorsen, Minister of education and research. (Photo: Gisle Bjørneby, UMB) Right: Indicator tested on ground beef from Nordfjord, in Rema 1000’s stores. (Photo:

product across the whole spectrum of the market, which means HORECA, logistics, fast food, grocery and suppliers. Keep-it won the Innovation Award 2013 from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Ås, near Oslo. They also came second in the DNB’s national innovation competition ten years ago, under the name TimeTemp. THROWING AWAY HUGE AMOUNTS OF EDIBLE FOOD Food waste and disposal of edible food are major global problems. In Norway, annual wastage of food is nearly 380,000 kg. This represents a value of 18 -20 billion NOK. A large portion of discarded packaged food is never even opened. Over 70 percent comes from private households. On estimate, each person in Norway throws away more than 50 kg of edible food a year. Keep-it thus has the potential to contribute to savings both for consumers and for the environment. - We are planning on introducing Keep-it on other fresh products such as fresh salmon. Keep-it contributes to ensuring quality in our stores. But the most important advantage is for the consumers, says Trond Storrud, Category Manager for Fish and Seafood in Rema 1000, one of Norway’s largest grocery chains.


Your needs. Our focus. As your legal adviser and business partner, law firm Steenstrup Stordrange aims to create value for your business. We can influence your opportunities of action through legal advice based on commercial insight and industry knowledge. We have a team dedicated to advise entrepreneurs and innovators. We are a StartupLab business partner. Meet us at Forskningsparken every Friday. Read about our focus

value creation

48 oslo innovation magazine


Norway’s Innovation Spirit is restrained Barry B White’s tenure as the US Ambassador to Norway has come to an end. He sums up his views on innovation, entrepreneurship and culture and the differences between Norway and America. TEXT PER GJØRVAD PHOTO GORM K. GAARE


arry B White, the longest serving US ambassador to Norway in history, will continue to nurture his close ties to Norway when he is back in Boston.

OIM: Looking back at your service as Ambassador, how would you rate the Norwegian business, financial and academic community’s ability to bring forward innovations in products and businesses? BBW: There’s a great deal of interesting research and development being produced at the universities and in the businesses. Norwegians tend to be a bit hesitant when it comes to innovation and creating new products, and to the process of bringing them to the markets and selling them. Looking at the financial side of it, there is a certain culture where one seems to be a bit more dependent on public support, while in the USA you will find more risk willingness and risk taking. I think, back in the USA, more people are born with the idea to create a business. OIM: The Boston area, including MIT, has a tremendous track record in producing new and innovative businesses. What do you reckon are the most important features the Oslo region can learn from MIT-Boston in this regard?


history of medical records which makes it very interesting to study and research certain diseases here. Green energy provides great potential here, and of course the strong industries like the oil and gas, maritime and marine sectors, including fish farming, minerals, and medical technology.

BARRY B WHITE Ambassador Extrordinare and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Norway since 2009. Mr. White has served for over 13 years as Chairman and Managing Partner (CEO) of Foley Hoag LLP in Boston. He practiced law at Foley Hoag for 40 years, and served as Chair of Lex Mundi. Mr. White holds an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

BBW: Basically, I believe it has a lot to do with culture. Here in Norway, you still have the Janteloven – the idea that no one should stick out. In the USA, we are more competitive, and people strive to stick out. To a certain extent, the academic institutions here are more concerned about the academic pursuit of science, and not as much about creating businesses out of R&D. But in your colleges I hear more young people talking about creating innovations and becoming entrepreneurs, which is a very good sign. And I know you are working on these issues. I would also mention your tax system, which seems not to encourage risk-taking, and makes it more difficult to incentivise people to take an active part in the companies through ownership. And another important feature of the culture in USA is that you are allowed to fail. Many of our great entrepreneurs have failed three or four times before they finally got success. OIM: What are the most attractive features of the Oslo region, from a business standpoint? BBW: You have a pool of talent and a well educated workforce, and quite good academic institutions. People work hard, although very concentrated during normal working hours compared to the USA. And you have a wealth of natural resources, and a

OIM: How would you evaluate the Oslo region’s attractiveness, in terms of innovative ability and available risk capital? What are the strengths and weaknesses? BBW: The innovation spirit seems to be a bit restrained, and there is not so much risk capital available. Typically, high net-worth individuals seem less inclined to diversify their investments; if you have made your money in shipping, you invest in shipping and stay within your expertise. The willingness to diversify and seek risk outside one’s immediate field of expertise is higher in the USA. The weaknesses? The cost of doing business here is high – it’s expensive! There is some bureaucracy which is really hard to work through. And the size of the market – it’s only five million. You have to think Nordic, which increases the market to 25 million. Strengths? The people, and the integrity of the people. There are few scandals here, and less corruption. People are straightforward and honest, they will tell you their opinion. And you have some great industries, as I have already mentioned. OIM: What would be your most critical advice to a US company planning to establish a business in the Oslo region? BBW: Find partners you can trust, managers who know how to operate in Norway – don’t do it on your own. It’s a huge cultural difference from the USA, so you’d better get the best local advisors. OIM: What are your most fond memories from your stay in Norway? BBW: President Obama’s visit to be awarded The Nobel Peace Prize, just three weeks after I arrived in Oslo! I had never met a king and a queen before, and they are really wonderful people. Also, the opportunity to meet with your military forces. I guess I have tried almost all the various military vehicles you have, including a backseat flight with the F-16. And I also had the opportunity to join the Chief of Defence on his visit to the Norwegian forces in Afghanistan. I have lots of wonderful memories from travelling the whole of Norway, which has given me great experiences and interesting meetings. And finally, I recently made a parachute tandem jump at Rena, with the Norwegian special forces. That was great!

50 oslo innovation magazine


Bright future for Oslo Design It tends to be a cliché, but light and nature have always been the imminent themes of inspiration for Scandinavian designers, and it still are among young designer talents. TEXT LINDA SANNUM AND SONDRE SOMMERFELT PHOTO ERIK FIVE GUNNERUD

No region on earth has taken ownership to modern design stronger than Scandinavia, and the Scandinavian principles of functionality, simplicity, lightness, environmental focus and democracy has become ‘comme il faut’ for innovative design Worldwide. And ‘democracy’ is the main factor behind all this, as Scandinavian design has its base in the human values of the Nordic countries – that good design should be available to everyone. Scandinavian design is usually associated with highbrow figures like Finland’s Alvar Aalto and Denmark’s Arne Jacobsen. However, the last years, Norwegian design is standing on its own, and the attention from producers and manufacturers abroad are higher than ever. At the moment - being slightly bold, that is - when it comes to product design, Scandinavian design is equal to Norwegian design. DESIGNERS IN THE (SPOT) LIGHT Oslo-based Kristine Five Melvær is one of the foremost young designers in Norway. She has managed to get many of her products into production, and was nominated for the Nova Design Award – Nordic Designer of the year 2013. -My generation of designers work from contemporary terms. The concern for the environment ensures a stronger focus on quality and manufacturing processes. The time squeeze also inspires to sensual products that dwell on everyday rituals, says Melvær. One of her items, the Spring lamps stretch towards the ceiling like living flowers. The size of

the lamps, with the tallest measuring two metres, gives the impression of a glowing forest. Melvær was showing the lamp at this years 100% Norway, the Norwegian exhibition during London Design Festival 2013. NORWEGIAN DESIGN IS STANDING ON ITS OWN The Norwegian exhibition was the tenth in a row and the anniversary was marked with ten young designer talents – Melvær being one of them - and ten of the leading contemporary designers. The work of the designers and producers was exhibited side by side. The 2013 exbition themes referred to the nature and Nordic light, reflected by a focus on lighting. Curator Benedicte Sunde selected this year’s representatives together with Wallpaper editor Henrietta Thompson. -We show the icons in Norwegian furniture and interior design, while also pointing towards an exciting future. The themes ‘light and nature’ are two factors that make Norway exotic abroad. We receive recognition for high quality and good esthetics. During the London exhibition, the desesigners received support from an enthusiastic Queen Sonja. Also, the famous British lamp designer Tom Dixon held an academic talk with the designer of the lamp “Cloche”, Lars B. Fjetland. The other lamps “Spring,” “Oo”, “Butterfly” and “Acorn” was in focus as well. - In a way, I am a designer of the world, not only in Norway, says Kristine Five Melvær.


Kristine Five MelvĂŚr with the lamp Spring.

52 oslo innovation magazine

DEFA smart Charge – the battery charger With this new and handy product even the most technologically challenged can charge batteries… The product charges batteries in motorized machines such as cars, motorcycles, boats, lawn mowers and snow blowers – any machine with 12-volt batteries. The design is simple, with intuitive symbols and an on/off button instead of a complicated manual. The software recognizes the battery type and its temperature, and makes all necessary settings automatically. This makes charging safer and easier for the consumer.


Flow An electric socket designed as a spiral makes it easier for everyone to use, but especially those with reduced vision, grip strength or motor skills. A difficult socket is an annoyance for some, but a big problem for others. The shape of Flow ensures that the plugs find their way in, no matter the approach. Without much effort, the plug is led towards the socket holes in correct position, by a spiral guide. Flow is a simple and ingenious idea, and should set a new standard for sockets.


New products and innovative solutions TEXT LINDA SANNUM

Douchebags – the travel system

Fjellpulken – the skisled They say that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. Fortunately they developed a sled for the smallest kids to give them a gentle start in the tracks. The sled – Fjellpulken - is a primeval Norwegian product. After 50 years of production, the latest model now also has skis. The new sled is optimized for use in the Nordic ski tracks, lifting the sled off the ground. This assures better ergonomics and increased mobility, combined with an appealing design. Last but not least: comfort and safety for the child is assured. Now sporty parents can blend in with other cross country speed demons.

Fjellpulken AS. Design: MOSA Designlab AS by Morten Sagstuen,

Travel bags with a provocative name, revolutionary design and a cool attitude. That’s what it takes to attract professional skiers and extreme sport athletes, struggling to carry hard and heavy equipment to remote destinations. The bags allow for easier and healthier support during transport of skis, snowboard, boots, clothes and other equipment. The multifunctional travel system consists of different products named the Douchebag, the Hugger and the Big Bastard, and can be used separately or together. The superlight material makes the skeleton easy to fold, and can also be used as a backpack. And skiers can save their energy for the slopes.

Db Equipment AS,



Financing innovation Funding is required to keep all innovation going, and crowdfunding is a popular way of raising money for new designs. Indiegogo is a crowdfunding website that helps entrepreneurs spread the word about their campaign with a unique algorithm they call the “gogofactor”. Startup companies can launch their own funding campaign and use social media tools for sharing, tweeting and encouraging people to ‘like’ their campaign, in order to boost the gogofactor. On you can contribute – or be inspired. The following two cases are in the gogo:



This versatile product with a unique design works as an excellent reading lamp, ceiling lamp, flashlight and mobile phone charger - all major needs for people in countries with limited access to electricity. The combined lamp and charger makes it possible to read and work after sunset. The battery needs 3-4 hours of good sunlight to be fully charged. There are three levels of LED light intensity and operating time. A nine-foot cable makes it possible to place the panel outside, while the lamp is safe inside a house, hut or tent.

–the portable hanger The lack of places to hang a jacket, purse or scarf in restrooms is a common problem. A credit card-sized plastic product is the solution. The universal, portable hanger with a reinforced hook function can be used again and again, and can be kept in your wallet. All you need is a door in a normal frame. The product is useable on both sides of the door. As the designer puts it: “It’s simple, it’s functional. It won’t save the world, but it might save your day.” He raised money through, and the Hook is now being produced in Norway and readied for sale.

BRIGHT Products AS,

Bjørn Bye, projects/hook

54 oslo innovation magazine

Maritime might be multiplied by three By broadening their perspective and reaching out to a younger audience, maritime competitors cooperate in order to secure recruitment for the future. TEXT OGNE ØYEHAUG PHOTO FINN EIRIK LARSEN


n May 2014, Norway’s shipping and oil and gas industries will join forces with aqua­culture and fishery at Ocean Industries Week in Oslo, the first of its kind. By bringing together industries that traditionally compete with each other, trust and cooperation replace suspicion and competition. Instead of regarding each other as competitors, fighting for both recruits and resources for innovation and research, the mindset today is that cooperation strengthens both the recruitment pool and the innovation and research resources. According to professor Torger Reve at BI Norwegian Business School, the Ocean Industries concept encompasses the three strongest cluster industries in Norway, as defined in his latest book Et kunnskapsbasertsert Norge (A Knowledge-Based Norway). - Ocean Industries are what Norway is known for internationally, and Norwegian companies sell Ocean Industries technologies and services worldwide, Reve says. SHARING TECHNOLOGY According to Reve, common technologies and competencies bring the aquaculture, fishing, offshore shipping, traditional shipping, and oil and gas industries together. On the surface, these sectors may seem very different, but because their vessels, gear and equipment operate at sea, they have a great deal to learn from each other. - It all started when traditional shipping and

offshore shipping companies began to merge. The gradual relocation of the Norwegian shipping companies’ headquarters in western Norway was also a catalyst. Initially, offshore shipping companies sprang out of the fishing industry. Owners of fishing vessels expanded their knowledge into the offshore vessel industry. For instance, Stig Remoy, the majority owner of Olympic Shipping, is active in both fishing and offshore vessel interests, Reve relates. MORE SECURE JOBS The Ocean Industries cooperation also seeks to improve job security, as well as knowledge and experience sharing. Activity cycles in the different Ocean Industries are most often not in synch, according to Reve. When activity is low in one industry, it may be high in another. If managers are aware of cycles outside their own industry, they can channel resources to busy industries as needed. In addition, the increased flow of ideas and experience between the two industries benefits all. HOT TOPIC Cross-industrial cooperation was already popular and a hot topic at Nor-Shipping 2012, and Nor-Shipping is one of the initiators for next year’s Ocean Industries Week. - We want to create a professional, high-value meeting place in the Oslo Fjord region, with companies from the various ocean industries, says Nor-Shipping director Vidar Pederstad.


Ocean Industries are what Norway is known for internationally, and Norwegian companies sell Ocean Industries technologies and services world- wide.

Ocean talents testing their vessels at Ocean Talent Camp 2013 in front of Oslo City Hall.

professor torger reve

Ocean Industries Week will be a biannual event, filling the gap between the established Nor-Shipping event, which attracts the international maritime industry to Oslo, but takes place only every other year. The outreach of Ocean Industries Week is simultaneously local, national and global. Globally, Ocean Industries Week seeks to strengthen and enhance Norway’s reputation as home to Ocean Industry Experts, and as an attractive place for international companies to do business. By cooperating, the global aim is to broaden Norway’s international reputation as a leading provider of goods and services, not only regarding shipping or oil and gas, but also in all types of industries based in and on the sea, ranging from ocean wind power to offshore aquaculture installations. HIDDEN SECRET IN OSLO Locally, the aim is to make Ocean Industries more visible in the Oslo Fjord region. Even here, far away from the oil fields off the western and northern coasts of Norway, oil and gas industries are major job creators. In fact, the Oslo Fjord region is among the largest regions for the oil and gas industry in Norway, attracting international engineering and production companies. - Few are aware that the maritime and oil service industry in the Oslo Fjord region has an aggregated gross product exceeding 100 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK), and creates value for more than 30 billion, says Knut Arnesen, head of Maritime Forum

Oslofjord, which organizes and coordinates shipping and maritime industries. Directly and indirectly, the oil and gas industry alone employs almost 20,000 people in the Oslo and Akershus counties, according to a report by the research foundation IRIS. The Oslo and Akershus areas are the third most important regions for the oil and gas industry in Norway, measured by number of employees. And even though the growth of aquaculture industry and the rise of the offshore vessel holding companies have moved the center of the ocean industries westwards, Oslo is still the center of the financial, legal and administrative services. SPREADING THE OCEAN INDUSTRY GOSPEL The aim nationally is to spread the idea of cooperation and mutual interest, for example by exporting one of the most successful events at Nor Shipping conference last summer, Ocean Talent Camp – successor to 2011’s Nor-Shipping Campus. While the shipping managers met and mingled at the Nor-Shipping conference and exhibition in Oslo last summer, more than 10,000 8th, 9th and 10th graders made the trip to the first Ocean Talent Camp, to learn about the many career opportunities available in the Ocean Industries. According to Pederstad, the aim is to establish Ocean Talent Camp in five or six other Norwegian cities within the next five years, starting in Aalesund in November 2013.

56 oslo innovation magazine

The blue-green city Encircled by forests and divided by water – no wonder Oslo’s citizens have an affinity for the environment. This year Oslo was added to the C40 network of the world’s greenest cities. More than 700 companies in the region are in the cleantech business. TEXT DAG YNGLAND PHOTOS GORM K. GAARE


n your way from Oslo Airport to the city centre? Keep an eye on the landscape when approaching the suburban village of Lillestrøm. A huge solar park is out there in the fields. Solar energy? Norway? Yes, you are in the right place. The park is one of the biggest in Scandinavia, covering 12,000 square metres, owned by Akershus Energi Varme. In the greater Oslo region, there is a growing market in cleantech. More than 12,000 people are employed in this sector, which consist of companies in the business of renewables, CO2 trading and energy saving. Their revenue is 46 billion NOK per annum, and they contribute twice that to the local community by trading with local businesses in the region. - Oslo is not the biggest, but surely one of the most interesting cities for enviromental business, says Eva Næss Karlsen, leader of OREEC (OREEC: Oslo Renewable Energy and Environment Cluster). There is an awareness of green issues. Green forests or blue lakes and fjords can be seen from most parts of the city. The people of Oslo are enormously interested in green ideas. CARS TO GO Oslo has one of the highest densities of electric cars per head in the world, and the small vehicles zooming through the streets enjoy tax breaks as well as the right to use bus lanes during rush hour. Not so well known is the the fact that automobile companies like Mercedes and Hyundai

are testing hydrogen cars in the area. The sharp bends, lofty hills and broad temperature range makes the city a versatile place to test new engines and fuels. Meanwhile, Oslo’s buses run on natural gas extracted from the city’s rubbish. Ruter, the public transport provider, is also testing five hydrogen fuel cell buses, through an ongoing EU-project (CHIC). The same goes for building technology, as the new development areas in the harbour are changing into the - Fjordbyen (Fjord City). - This region has a broad variety of energy sources and climate. Warm summers and freezing winters make it an interesting place to test new car or housing technology. However, I think our bigggest advantage is in making the systems that keep everything working together, says Næss Karlsen. MEMBER OF THE CLUB Earlier this year Oslo was accepted as a member in the C40 family of environmental big cities. More than 60 global metropolitan areas are now members of the network, which was founded in 2005 by a conglomeration of the world’s biggest megacities. With its 600,000 inhabitants (1.4 million in the bigger metro area), Oslo is not among the biggest of these. - We see this cooperation as an opportunity to meet officials, companies and investors who might find what we do interesting and invest in our area and businesses, Næss Karlsen concludes.


Buddy is a Norwegian city electric car, produced by Buddy Electric at Ă˜kern in Oslo. A new pickup model is soon ready for the streets.

Meet Bobo the polar bear. -He doesn’t like wasting energy and turns red if YOU do it, says Ukrainian-born developer Andriy Shmyhelskyy, one of the young entrepreneurs in Oslo. Bobo comes with a Storybook and a Web App. You can also bring him home in the form of a physical device of 15 cm size. Bobo has a secret. He can measure your electricity consumption and show it through the colors when he is connected to the Web App through the WiFi in your home. Hopefully Bobo will teach your children how to reduce their electricity use. If not he will tell them the sad story about helping polar bears losing their home in the Arctic because of climate change. This is the Bobo code: White. You consume less-than-average. Bobo is happy and turns white. Blue. You consume on average and he gets the blues. Red. Your consumption is so red-hot you might be a threat to life in the cool North. Bobo is designed by Oslo-based company Caretosave

58 oslo innovation magazine

Green innovation, from Oslo to the desert Thanks to truly innovative cooperation between businesses, academia and civil society, the Osloheadquartered Sahara Forest Project operates a pilot plant in Qatar. TEXT INGRID SCHIEFLOE PHOTOS SAHARA FOREST PROJECT


eing part of the team of green innovators at Vulkan, it’s a privilege to work with a concept that sets such an ambitious target. We want to enable a restorative growth defined as “Revegetation and creation of green jobs through profitable production of food, fresh water, biofuels and electricity.” In other words: A business case that is good for the environment, good for people, and with long term economic

People thought it was too good to be true. Making fresh water and growing food in the desert.

viability. We are aiming for a triple bottom-line. The outstanding thing with this desert innovation is that it uses what we have enough of, to create what we need more of. Using CO2, salt water, sunlight and arid areas, to produce energy, fresh water, vegetation and food. With nature as its inspiration, the Sahara Forest Project has designed a technological system where the waste product from one technology is used as resource for another. GAINING ATTENTION However, the technologies are only part of the equation. The facilities will only be truly successful if well-integrated with local communities, providing opportunities for jobs, food, and knowledge transfer. The combination of Sahara Forest Project’s triple bottom-line and the project’s technical concept has gained considerable attention. More than 60 scientists and experts from 12 different countries were involved in the first feasibility studies. Partners such

as Yara International and Qatar Fertilizer Company have shown impressive commitment. The recently ordained Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, opened the one hectare pilot facility outside Doha in December 2012. A cornerstone of the pilot plant is greenhouses utilizing seawater to provide cool and humid growing conditions for vegetables. The greenhouses also produce fresh water themselves. The greenhouses are coupled with Qatar’s first Concentrated Solar Power plant, with a thermal desalination unit. An important part of the pilot is to demonstrate the potential for cultivating desert land and making it green. POWERFUL BUSINESS CASE Most of the technologies in The Sahara Forest Project are in commercial operation around the world in stand-alone facilities. Although this alone is not a guarantee for a sound economy, it is a very good starting point. Since the early days of concept development, the Sahara Forest Project has been a fantastic journey. It has been inspiring to see how this idea has been transformed into reality. We are gearing up to play our part in addressing some of the world’s toughest challenges. We have a strong belief that the project, managed from the green city of Oslo, can help realizing a restorative growth.

ingrid schiefloe is the communication manager at Sahara Forest Project. She is a writer and communicator at Oslo Business Memo. She has experience as journalist and editor at Dagens Næringsliv, as well as communication manager at Telenor and Entra.


Sahara Forest Project opened a one hectare pilot facility outside Doha in December 2012.

足 find a new business partner? 足 increase your competitiveness?

60 oslo innovation magazine

thur, 10th October, 08.00–09.30

Europe – lost in regulations?

The 2013 Program

Photos: Oslo Innovation Week, Anders Gjengedal, Terje Borud, Nancy Bundt, Norwegian Fashion institute/Rut Helen Gjævert



Oslo Innovation Week is the biggest innovation convention in Europe, making the Norwegian capital a central meeting place to discuss opportunities and practices for growth and innovation every year in October. On the following pages we present the different events during Oslo Innovation Week. In 2013 the record number of events is close to 50. Oslo Innovation Week is owned by Oslo Teknopol, Innovation Norway, City of Oslo, Akershus County, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise.

organizers: Civita, Frekk Forlag and Skaperkraft price: Free entrance location: Cafe Christiania

fri, 11th october, 11.00

Startup Weekend Oslo VII

organizer: Startup Weekend Oslo price: NOK 550 / 750 location: Øvre Slottsgate 3

mon, 14th october 11.30–15.30

mon, 14th october, 16.00–22.00

Opening symposium

Mesh – Maker Revolution

The city as an engine for green innovation is the key theme when the Opening Symposium in Oslo City Hall marks the official start of Oslo Innovation Week 2013. The event will be opened by Mr Hallstein Bjercke, Councillor for Culture Affairs and Business at Oslo City Council. Other confirmed speakers are Michael Pawlyn from Exploration Architecture/Green City Innovation, and Peter Mullan, Vice President for Planning & Design at the High Line in New York City. To address the importance of design and architecture in green city innovation, director of Helsinki World Design Capital 2012, Pekka Timonen, and founding partner Kjetil Trædal Thorsen from Oslo-based architects Snøhetta, will present some of their experiences and ideas. New at the Opening Symposium this year is the introduction of a Pecha Kucha special event, tailor-made for Oslo Innovation Week. Six speakers will present 20 slides at 20 seconds each about different topics relevant to the green innovation theme of the opening symposium this year. organiszer: Oslo Innovation Week price: Free entrance location: Oslo City Hall

organizer: MESH Norway price: Free entrance location: Tordenskiolds gate 3


mon, 14th october, 18.00

The High Line New York and Sørenga Bridge The High Line, Manhattan’s public park atop an elevated freight structure, is among the most innovative urban reclamation projects in memory.

mon, 14th October, 18.00–22.00

mon 14th october, 12.00–16.00 (2 days)

Tue, 15th October 09.00–15.00


SIX Nordic: The Millennials Changing the Nordics

Oslo Renewable Energy Day

organizer: Oslo International Club price: NOK 100 location: Oslo

organizer: World Wide Narrative AS price: NOK 950 / 450 location: Øvre Slottsgate 3

mon, 14th october, 09.00–10.45

tue, 15th october 17.30–20.00

Nordic startup superstars – Norwegian startup standstill?

LIFT – The Elevator Pitch, Made Real!

organizer: IKT Norge price: Free entrance location: MESH, Tordenskiolds gate 3

organizer: We Are Human and Lingo Labs price: Free entrance location: Engineers House, Kronprinsens gate 17

tue, 15th october, 08.45–10.30

tue, october 15th, 17.30-20.00

Turn ideas into values!

Innovative Managers

organizer: Patentstyret price: Free entrance location: Sandakerveien 64

organizer: Young Retailers price: Members free / non-members NOK 200 location: Oslo Handelsstands Forening, Karl Johans Gate 37 A

The day focuses on climate challenge and renewable energy solutions. Experiences, challenges and obstacles in bringing ideas forward to commercialization and energy wealth paradoxes, are some of the issues on the agenda. After the lectures partici­ pants are invited to visit the companies and research institutions at Kjeller. organizer: OREEC, Institute for Energy Technology IFE, Norwegian Institute for Air Research NILU, Akershus Energy price: Free Entrance address: Gunnar Randers Vei 24, Kjeller


organizers: Norsk Form and Oslo Innovation Week price: Free entrance location: DogA, Hausmanns gate 16

62 oslo innovation magazine

tue, 15th october, 12.00–17.00

Fashion FORWARD Fashion and creative professionals gather at DogA for Fashion FORWARD 2013. This year’s seminar focuses on innovation, bringing talent to the international market, new and digital showcase arenas and «the Skandi wave». Key-notes include Stefan Siegel and David Baker. This is the third Fashion FORWARD seminar hosted by Norwegian Fashion Institute. organizer: Norwegian Fashion Institute and Abelia price: NOK 375 location: DogA, Hausmannsgate 16

tue, 15th october, 08.00-16.30

tue, 15th october, 11.00–15.30

tue, 15th october, 19.00–21.00

Norwegian Investment Forum

Regional Innovation strategy Workshop

Open innovation

organizers: Oslo Kommune and Akershus Fylkeskommune price: By invitation only location: KS Agenda Møtesenter AS

organizer: Polyteknisk Forening price: Free entrance location: Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsveien 29

tue, 15th october, 17.00

tue, 15th october, 13.00–15.30

Education abroad, startup at home?

Cloud for the Crowd!

organizer: ANSA Alumni price: Free entrance location: MESH, Tordenskiolds gate 3

organizer: Visma price: Free entrance location: MESH, Tordenskiolds gate 3

Norwegian Investment Forum is the largest venture conference in Norway and attended by more than 200 participants. This is an exclusive opportunity to meet the leading Norwegian and Nordic investors and to share information and know-how about prospects, trends and key issues, and to make new business contacts. The key issues are: “An outlook on the Venture Capital Market”, “Successfully navigating in Challenging Market Conditions”, “Future, trends and investment opportunities” and “Networking”. organizers: Venturelab & OsloTech price: NOK 3999 location: Gaustadalleen 21

tue, 15th october, 18.00

Café Scientifique

organizer: Oslo International Club price: Free entrance location: TBA, Oslo

wed, 16th october, 08.30–11.00

What promotes and inhibits health innovation? organizer: BI Alumni and Institutt for innovasjon og økonomisk organisering at Handelshøyskolen BI location: BI Norwegian Business School, Nydalsveien 37

wed, 16th october, 09.00–16.30

World Intellectual Property Organization – Services and Initiatives organizer: Patentstyret and WIPO price: Free entrance location: Patentstyret, Sandakerveien 64

wed, 16th october, 16.30–19.30

Big Data @ UiO The university of Oslo (UiO) is participating in a major 10-year EU Flagship project, “the Human Brain Project (HBP)”, where UiO is responsible for developing ICT brain-maps, the “Google maps of the brain”. UiO also manages one of the biggest ICT research projects in Europe “Optique”, to develop new efficient data queries in Big Data, creating a paradigm shift in how data can be used in industrial development.

Presentations on Big Data Outlook and the two projects at UiO will be the foundation of dialogue on Big Data Impact on the projects and on Norwegian Research, innovation and the public sector. organizers: University of Oslo, the Norwegian Polytechnic Society, ICT, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regioal Authorities (KS) price: Free entrance location: Small Talk auditorium, Institutt for Informatikk, UiO, Ole-Johan Dahls house, Gaustadalléen 23

wed, 16th october, 09.00–14.00

wed, 16th october, 17.00–19.00

Social Business Labs for Companies (express)


Many companies struggle with putting social responsibility and sustainability into the core of their business strategy and organisation – and therefore miss out on obvious business opportunities. At an intensive workshop the participants will get: The four essential cornerstones for putting words of responsibility and sustainability into tangible business actions, some practical tools for enhancing your company´s strategic efforts, advice on adding value, and live cases for your inspiration. Participants will also receive a copy of Tania Ellis’ book “The New Pioneers”. The workshop will be held in Norwegian. organizer: The Social Business Company price: 2499 NOK location: Sparebankstiftelsen DNB, Øvre Slottsgate 3



organizers: Mobile Innovation Network/ New Media Network/Microsoft price: Free entrance location: MESH, Tordenskiolds gate 3

wed, 16th october, 08.30–17.00

Creative Oslo

organizer: Kreative Oslo and others Price: NOK 600/350 location: Maridalsveien 13

wed, 16th october, 08.30–11.30

ICT public procurement - with or without small companies as suppliers? organizers: Oslo ICT network and Grundernes Hus price: Free entrance location: Oscars gate 27

64 oslo innovation magazine wed, 16th october 10.00–16.00 wed, 16th october, 10.00–16.00

Damefeber heart for business In Norway every third individual enterprise is established by women. Wednesday is an important day for all business women. Female entrepreneurs, managers and those dreaming of a start-up can look forward to inspiration and meetings with outstanding role models. Unique stories will be told and lessons will be learnt. The event is a meeting place offering important contacts and useful networks. There will also be an exhibition presenting a number of female businesses and organizations. wed, 16th october, 17.00 organizer:, Bedriftsforbundet, Kvinner i business, Kvinnerom and Follonettverk price: NOK 400 location: Håndverkeren Konferanse­ senter, Rosenkrantz’ gate 7

Interactive and digital theatre SceneKvelder has created a whole new dimension on stage, bringing gaming technology and classic theatre production together. For the production of Pippi Longstocking, Creative Play Unity uses a gaming engine to combine animated characters with handmade drawings in a digital scenography. With this setup, the characters are controlled by an actor behind the scenes and scene

transitions synchronized with sound and light. The result is combined with the physical stage using six projectors. Much of the stage design can be changed quickly and effectively, while the digital characters move from one projected surface to another. Enjoy a “behind the scenes” presentation of the work of Pippi Longstocking at the Christiania Theatre.

organizer: Scenekvelder AS price: Free entrance address: Stortingsgata 16

wed, 16th october, 08.30–16.00

wed, 16th october, 15.00 –20.00

Oppdrift 2013 – value-added workspace

Speed dating with investors

organizer: Totalreform As price: NOK 3450 location: Tordenskiolds gate 3

organizer: Oslo Handelskammer price: NOK 250 location: Henrik Ibsens gate 100


wed, 16th october, 18.00–22.00

Benefit Dinner

Forest industry of the future possibilities and challenges organizer: Næringslivskontoret UMB price: Free entrance location: Fredrik A. Dahls Vei 8

organizers: Musikkbyen Oslo and Oslo Innovation Week price: By invitation location: Ylajali og Fuglen

wed, 16th october 09.00–06.00

wed, 16th october 10.00–13.00

Manager for a day

Workshop: The new KreaNord investor plattform for creative businesses

organizer: Ungt Entreprenørskap Akershus price: 2990 NOK location: Oslo, Norway

organizers: Innovasjon Norge, Kreative Oslo and KreaNord price: Free entrance location: Maridalsveien 13

thu, 17th october 08.00–10.00

thu, 17th october, 08.30–14.00

Public procurement

The Board Committee Day 2013: From entrepreneur to liquidator

organizer: NHO Oslo og Akershus price: Free entrance location: Middelthuns gate 27

organizers: StyreAkademiet and Polyteknisk Forening price: 3500 NOK location: Rosenkrantz’ gate 7


wed, 16th october, 09.30–16.00

Another new concept to be launched at Oslo Innovation Week 2013 is a benefit dinner on Wednesday evening. In cooperation with the acclaimed restaurant Ylajali, Fuglen lounge bar and Oslo Music city, Oslo Innovation Week will host an exclusive dinner. A chosen social innovation project will benefit from the money raised.

66 oslo innovation magazine

thu, 17th october, 17.00–20.00 thu, 17th october 17.00 - 21.00

Oslo Innovation Evening Oslo is a Green city innovation leader, and wants to stay that way. This is evident in the program for this year´s Innovation Evening at Oslo City Hall on Thursday 17 October. There will be a strong focus on green and sustainable city innovation, with speakers such as Ana Marques from Curitiba in Brazil, long the most sustainable city in the world, Christiana Fragola, the Europe Regional Director of C40, and CEO Sein-Way Tan from Green World City taking part in a discussion with Oslo’s own Governing Mayor, Stian Berger Røsland, himself a keen advocate of green city innovation. As the cultural contribution, American filmmaker, photographer and artist Rocky Schenck will give an engaging talk on attachment to cities and places, and entertainment

will be provided by Camille Norment, an American installation and mulitimedia artist based in Oslo. Another key theme at Oslo Innovation Evening will be future trends in innovation, again from a sustainability perspective. In this session trend expert Adjiedj Bakas will outline some future innovation trends. The evening will also see some outstanding achievements in entrepreneurship and innovation be awarded, including Oslo Innovation Award. ORGANIZERS: Oslo Innovation Week, Agency for Business Development Services, Innovation Forum and First Tuesday PRICE: Free entrance LOCATION: Oslo City Hall

Equality and Diversity – what’s the status organizer: Enhet for Mangfold og integrering (EMI), Oslo kommune and Kvinner i Fokus (KIF) price: Free entrance address: Markveien 57

thu, 17th October, 13.00-16.00

How to connect Norway with Europe? organizer: 8 Million City price: Free entrance location: Oslo City Hall

thu, 17th October, 15.30–17.00

Oslotech Innovation pre-party 2013 organizer: Oslotech price: Free entrance location: Gaustadalléen 21


thu, 17th october, 09.00–17.00

fri, 18th october, 12.00–15.00


Sales & Service Growth Through Innovation organizer: Salesforce and Deloitte Price: Free entrance location: Karenslyst Allé 20

fri, 18th October, 10.00–15.00

Entrepreneur Idol

organizer: Oslotech, Universitetet i Oslo and Inven2 price: Free entrance location: Forskningsparken AS

organizer: Ungt Entreprenørskap Oslo price: Free entrance location: Middelthuns gate 27

thu, 17th October, 09.00–10.00

fri, 18th october, 16.30–03.00

Borderless innovation and entrepreneurship

MESH Afterwork OIW–Special Closing party

organizer: Global Forums: Organizer of Oslo Global Mobility Forum location: TBA, Oslo

organizer: MESH price: Free entrance location: MESH, Tordenskiolds gate 3

fri, 18th October 08.00–12.00

Europe – Market of Possibilities Innovation Norway and Enterprise Europe (EEN) Network gives you information about market trends, funding and how to find competent and trustworthy partners. Organizer: Innovation Norway Price: Free entrance Address: Akersgata 13

Please find the updated version on

fri, 18th October, 09.00–15.00

Maritime Innovation Day

organizer: Maritimt Forum Oslofjorden, Maritim21, CONNECT Østlandet price: Free entrance location: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Strandveien 20, Lysaker


The innovation-based environment around Blindern, the University district, houses world-leading research in addition to startups that now make international commercialization. CUTTING EDGE shows you the future trends for research, the best research cases and startups with success. In addition, the organizers will make a separate program for the maker movement!

This program was printed on October 1st and is subject to change.


Hvor du vil. Når du vil. Hvordan du vil. Visma eAccounting er Norges fremste faktura- og økonomiprogram som gir deg et tydelig overblikk over bedriften, uansett om du jobber på pc’n, på nettbrettet eller på din smarttelefon. Dessuten skjer store deler av bokføringen automatisk. Du behøver bare å registrere penger som kommer inn og penger som skal ut.

Visma eAccounting også for smarttelefon og nettbrett. Ring 800 40 440 eller les mer på

Oslo Innovation Magazine 2013  

A closer look at the attractiveness of the Oslo Business Region in a global perspective. Published in 20,000 copies distributed to Oslo Inno...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you