Scan Magazine, Issue 136, November 2021

Page 118

Scan Magazine  |  Restaurant of the Month  |  Norway

Innovative high-quality face masks When the first waves of Covid-19 washed over Norway and the country closed down, protective gear was high in demand and short in supply. When the Norwegian government sent out a message asking for help, innovative minds in Sykkylven heeded the call, created the company InnoVern, and immediately started producing high-quality face masks.

weeks hired staff, assembled suppliers and production equipment and started the production of surgery-grade face masks.”

By Alyssa Nilsen  |  Photos: Tommy Rasmussen

InnoVern, becoming Norway’s first specialised factory producing surgical face masks, was officially opened in November 2020. The factory was opened by then Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who stated: “InnoVern is doing a very important job, and deserves heartfelt thanks and a big applause.”

The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise as it spread across continents through the end of 2019 and early 2020. Unprepared, with very little stock in terms of protective gear, Norwegian hospitals and health institutions were struggling to provide their staff with the security needed in an unprecedented situation. Import of equipment from other countries was restricted and took too long, and the necessary quality couldn’t be ensured. When the Norwegian government asked for help from domestic companies who might produce equipment locally, Sykkylvenbased company InnoVern was founded. “There is a large innovative and creative 118  |  Issue 136  |  November 2021

industry community in Sykkylven,” says CEO Grethe Loe. “So when the country locked down and the borders closed, founder Lars Einar Riksheim gathered the necessary people and in a matter of

Facemask production factory.

20 million face masks for Norwegian hospitals

The company’s first order was for 20 million face masks for use in Norwegian hospitals – but InnoVern’s work won’t stop once the pandemic ends. A national health preparedness plan aims to make sure that Norway will never be as unprepared again, and InnoVern, which today has 14 employees, is looking towards the future, in terms of both production and the actual product. Its goal: developing