Scan Magazine | Issue 64 | May 2014

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MAY 2014

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Enabling real

achievement Mannaz is an international frontrunner in customised executive and project leadership development. Adopting innovative and efficient learning methods, we empower people development and business success. With offices in Copenhagen, London and Hong Kong and an international network of over 375 associated facilitators we have global reach.

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Scan Magazine | Contents


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Agnes Obel: the lone wolf artist Critically acclaimed all over Europe, Agnes Obel is the Danish singer whose blend of classical and folk has led critics to call her a classic composer of modern times. The musician talks to Scan Magazine about choosing space, working with her partner, and being a child star.

ular interactive tiles that contribute to mental health and physical rehabilitation, and the bodyweight relief system that makes exercise possible. 53

Celebrating Norwegian welfare technology It is not only in Denmark that the health care challenges are mounting. In Norway, the heroes behind future solutions include a hearing aid manufacturer who puts people first and a smarthome system that allows you to control just about everything in your home using one elegant keypad.


Celebrating Finnish welfare technology In the country of a long-standing health technology tradition and strong ICT knowhow, the health technology sector represents an impressive 40 per cent of the high-tech industry, with exports having sky-rocketed by 23 per cent in 2012. What better place to solve our welfare challenges?


Sweden’s top 3 summer experiences Get back to basics with the eco-environment at Urnatur, study modern taxonomy in Uppsala, or kick back and enjoy a pub night under a clearblue night-time sky at Sätra Brunn. What more could you want of a summer break in Sweden?


Norwegian landscape architecture As eco-consciousness and biodiversity take another step up the list of society’s priorities, how can architecture contribute, and when is the human touch really needed? We spoke to some of Norway’s leading landscape architects.


Specs and growing bodysuits Glasses blending Nordic cool with Israeli fire and bodysuits that grow with your baby are some of the secrets behind this month’s design success stories, while our fashion diary prepares for spring.


Sweden’s first woman Archbishop A doctor of Theology and mother-of-two, Antje Jackelén has sparked debate with statements such as one of the virgin birth of Jesus being symbolic. We caught up with Sweden’s first woman Archbishop.


Fire and fun It is an action-packed features section we present you with this month, offering fire and full flavours courtesy of Argentinian restaurant Fuego in Copenhagen and plenty of fun and adventures à la Norway’s INSPIRIA Science Centre and Jyllands Park Zoo.


A summer in Finland Few places offer the vast forests, peaceful lakes and natural experiences of Finland, but a summer in Finland is about more than peace and quiet. Ever been on an enduro safari? Heard of flowparking 20 metres above ground? This way, please.


Celebrating Danish welfare technology Denmark is well-known for its generous, efficient health care system, but an ageing population and more chronic diseases mean that the pressure is on. Welfare technology offers the solution through innovations such as the mod-

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BUSINESS 105 Location, location, location This month’s business section is property heavy to say the least: the keynote looks at the prospects for three property markets, while columnist Helena Whitmore provides advice on changes to residential property taxation in the UK.

CULTURE 114 Thank you for the music We go all in for music in this issue, with a Q&A with Swedish rockers Mando Diao, an interview with Icelandic Samaris, and a review of West End musical Let the Right One In.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 12 We Love This | 13 Fashion Diary | 93 Hotels of the Month | 97 Attractions of the Month 102 Restaurant of the Month | 106 Conferences of the Month | 113 Humour

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Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, Spring has sprung, and we are in a celebratory mood. Naturally, we are gearing up for huge celebrations on 17 May of the 200-year-old Norwegian constitution, hoping to make it on the very same evening to Cadogan Hall, where Swedish classical music talent is lauded through a concert with star trombonist and conductor Christian Lindberg, alongside Västerås Sinfonietta and up-and-coming clarinetist Emil Jonason. But Midsummer is only around the corner, too, and this year, we opt to celebrate it Swedish style: with silly dancing, live music and a proper pub night under a clearblue night-time sky, just the way they do it at Sätra Brunn, one of our topthree Swedish summer picks. The mounting pressure on Scandinavia’s otherwise much-praised welfare systems should unquestionably be taken more seriously than with a pint in hand, but we look on the bright side of life with this month’s biggest special theme, talking to some of the most pioneering, passionate welfare technology entrepreneurs and specialists. From super high-tech home care systems and hand-made hearing aids to exercise enablers and advanced safety devices, these companies demonstrate that there is hope despite an ageing population, an inflation in diseases, and growing expectations on the part of those in need of society’s care. If it sounds all doom and gloom, rejoice in the fact that these unsung heroes most certainly deserve to be celebrated.

Scan Magazine Issue 64 | May 2014 Published 08.05.2014 ISSN 1757-9589 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Linnea Dunne Graphic Designer Svetlana Slizova Copy-editor Mark Rogers Contributors Emmie Collinge

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Stephanie Lovell Stian Sangvig Johannes Laitila Nicolai Lisberg Julie Guldbrandsen Ulrika Kouppa Hannah Gillow Kloster Tuomo Paananen Mia Halonen Sanne Wass Signe Hansen Thomas Bech Hansen Stine Gjevnoe Marjorie de los Angeles Mendieta Else Kvist Anja Elen Eikenes Kjersti Westeng Didrik Ottesen Astrid Eriksson Andrea Bærland Ellinor Thunberg Taina Värri Malin Norman Maya Acharya Oda Marie Eidissen Helena Whitmore Mette Lisby Maria Smedstad Emelie Krugly Hill

But there is no shortage of heroes in our May issue. How inspiring is Antje Jackelén, a doctor of Theology, mother of two, and Sweden’s first woman Archbishop? Not to mention Agnes Obel, seen on the cover, who swapped fame in Copenhagen for an alternative lifestyle and some peace and privacy in Berlin. This issue also sees the first two instalments of our Swedish general election series, which will continue throughout the summer, presenting the thoughts of political scientist Svend Dahl as well as top-blogger and author Clara Lidström, better known as Underbara Clara, who insists that small, isolated issues should not be allowed to determine the outcome of the election. “People should think bigger than that. What kind of society do we want to build and live in?” Words to live by, we think.

Linnea Dunne Editor

Karl Batterbee Sara Schedin Þórhildur Einarsdóttir Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Mette Tonnessen Johan Enelycke Jonna Klebom Advertising To receive our newsletter To Subscribe

SCAN M A G A Z I N E Scan Magazine Ltd 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 © All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd. Scan Magazine® is a registered trademark of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles

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Scan Magazine | Contributors

This month’s featured contributors Johannes Laitila, 29, is a Finnish journalist who decided to make a big change last year. Having resided in Helsinki and worked for the sports section of Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat upon finishing his university studies in 2010, he quit his job in August in order to move to east London and start a freelance career. In London, Johannes has been working as a football columnist for his previous employer while continuing to pursue his other career as a singer/songwriter. He has self-released three albums of Scandinavian-style folky indie pop in his native Finland, and you might catch him playing around with his guitar in the English capital too. For the May issue of Scan Magazine, Johannes had his first encounter with the world of enduro safaris. Stian Sangvig is a Norwegian part-time freelance journalist and translator, and also a full-time head hunter with a boutique specialist search firm in London. He is studying towards an MA in journalism at Birkbeck, University of London, and also holds a BA (Hons) in marketing from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and Universidad de Deusto in San Sebastian, Spain. Speaking English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Dutch in addition to his native Norwegian, Stian is a passionate linguist. Having lived in London and Hertfordshire for 15 years he also loves to travel, and has done so extensively throughout his home country, as well as Europe, the Americas, South Africa, Morocco and UAE. Additional interests include worldwide current affairs, literature, film, music, sports and cooking. Stian has written for Scan Magazine for three years about all that Norway has to offer, and this month he finds out about an expanding chain of hotels, a wheelchair seat manufacturer, and a cost-saving lighting solutions producer.

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Nicolai Lisberg is a bit of a traveller, having lived in Denmark, Germany and England, and currently residing in Spain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Danish School of Journalism and works as a freelance journalist for English and Danish publications. When he is not trying to learn a new language, he spends most of his time writing about, watching or practising sport himself – football in particular. He quickly realised that he was not good enough to become a professional, so thought he might as well write about it instead. Nicolai likes a challenge and once learned how to memorise 250 numbers in a row, the order of the American presidents, and all the world’s capitals. He still, however, often misplaces his keys and other personal belongings. As the true sports man he is, Nicolai contributes to this issue of Scan Magazine with reports from fun- and action-packed destinations Jyllands Park Zoo and Urban Ranger Camp. London-born British-Icelander Stephanie Lovell has a flair for languages and a love of writing. She has been studying Russian for almost 12 years, and after graduating with an MA in translation she spent six months in Moscow working as an Englishlanguage copy-editor for a global professional services firm. This summer, she will be heading to Vienna to translate from Russian and French for the United Nations. With her addiction to Norwegian brown cheese, her Moomin obsession, and more Nordic jumpers in her wardrobe than Sarah Lund, it is safe to describe Stephanie as a bit of a Scandimaniac. Fiercely proud of her Icelandic roots, she hopes to one day make Reykjavik her permanent home. In her free time, you will most likely find Stephanie running around her local park, sweating it out at the gym, or sipping on a black filter coffee at one of her favourite cafes. For this issue of Scan Magazine, Stephanie discovered a blend of Nordic cool and Israeli hot when speaking to the man behind design brand Mokki, and learnt a thing or two about welfare technology.

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FROM SWEDEN PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS Christian Lindberg, ÌÀ L iÉV `ÕVÌ À U Emil Jonason] V >À iÌ U Västerås Sinfonietta



marvel is in town, he next time this “T , nd ha s hi in zoo don´t stay away” ou could stick a ka “Y t” lly ou ll ica tr ha t is thea concer - The Times ”One moment he and he´d sell the ere is th n Lindberg xt tia ris ne Ch e t th ou d ab an es extroverted - The New York Tim y of an Oscar ty ... a range of rformance worth pe a ”… e th a poetic sensitivi ts.” urg ietta is one of among clarinettis got the Gothenb “Västerås Sinfon s in ra st expressions that he et rc lad O t.” r gb ou Da be d am - Svenska ely knocke most exciting Ch audience complet moment” e miere th pre at a rld vi wo na n´s di so an Sc Nyheter, Jona - Dagens Grönstedt performance of Mr

- Christian Lindberg

TICKETS: £35, £28, £22 and £15. Encore members 10%. ADDRESS: 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ BOX OFFICE: 020 7730 4500 or

The concert is promoted by From Sweden Productions in close collaboration with AngloSwedish partners and sponsors. FOR MORE DETAILS:

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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel The lone wolf artist 32-year-old Agnes Obel broke through the charts in 2010 with her first album, Philharmonics. Critically acclaimed all over Europe, selling over 25,000 records in the Netherlands, achieving platinum status in Belgium and France, as well as multi-platinum in Denmark, the amiable Dane’s dreams of a burgeoning music career have morphed into reality, throwing her quiet life into disarray. Scan Magazine finds out about her inspirations, working with her partner, and being a child star. By Emmie Collinge | Photos: Swell Publicity

“Hi, I’m Agnes.” The Berlin-based Dane’s voice is instantly recognisable – the same dulcet tones that soar through her music: a blend of classical and folk. Often referred to as a classic composer of modern times by music critics, Agnes Obel lets her music see a violin and a cello merging with her powerful yet touching and somewhat fragile lyrics, which won her five awards in 2011 at the Danish Music Awards – a feat matched as yet by no one – including the accolades of Best Songwriter and Best Album. Obel admits that she now finds the fame a little strange compared to her life of relative obscurity in Berlin. “I keep making the mistake of only going back to Denmark when I’m playing there, so of course it’s more intense than I’d like it. It’s so strange though – now I play in venues which I grew up around the corner from,

places like Vega and Jazzhouse where I played my very first solo show.” Choosing space and the quiet life Obel hails from ‘a little bit north’ of Copenhagen, Gentofte to be exact, but home for her now takes the form of her apartment in the lively, multi-cultural district of Neukölln in Berlin. Despite being a capital city, Obel says it is the “open space” in Berlin that has made her fall in love with her new home. “It is like there is no ceiling here. I came here on holiday for the first time in 2005 to attend the Transmediale festival (a digital arts and music festival). I had entry to all the venues dotted all over the city – it was an eyeopener.” She pauses for a moment. “I saw all of these interesting places, collectives and alternative ways of living.” She sighs wistfully. Little over a year later, she and her boyfriend packed up their Copen-

hagen lives and headed south. They now live together with their dog, Woody, spending their time walking in the nearby woods. Obel laughs as she says it must sound very boring. So how does it feel to converse in a foreign language every day? “In Denmark I learned German to a high level at school, but this was almost a hindrance when I first came as I was aware every time I made a grammatical mistake and this really held me back. Now I try not to think about it – I get by,” she laughs again. Despite the language struggles, Obel insists that the move to Berlin helped her to develop her music, if only to keep from being lonely as she adapted to working on her own, after a youth spent in bands forever trying to record an album. “I didn’t know anyone when I got here, so that was

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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Agnes Obel

three of the country’s most prestigious venues in Bristol, Manchester and London. “A single day feels like a whole week; two days pass and I feel like I’ve been gone forever. There is just constant stimulus,” says Obel but is quick to add: “Of course, I love it – especially playing with three such talented artists. Every note is so thought-out – it’s fun to improvise with them; it adds an element of surprise.” As her slim fingers glide over the piano keys, it will come as no surprise to hear that Obel was introduced to music and the arts at an early age, hearing her mother play Chopin until the early hours. As children, she and her brother dreamed of acting and in 1994 performed in an early short film by the renowned Danish director Thomas Vinterberg. Obel is modest as she explains how this on-screen stint came about: “It was mainly my brother. Vinterberg wanted us because we looked so different to each other.” Obel’s pale complexion and blonde locks stand in stark contrast to her brother’s brooding dark tones. “I think he liked the idea of casting siblings – although he quickly realised what a mistake that was! My brother found it so humiliating to act in front of me, we must have shot the same scene a million times over.” Suspending the outside world

when I really started to work on my own – I didn’t have a choice!” Since working on her own, she has avoided the common band issues of too many side projects and too little agreement that plagued her early days. Writing solo, performing in three November 2013 heralded the release of Obel’s second album, Aventine, a distinctly darker affair than Philharmonics, prompting comparisons with Kate Bush, Tori Amos and PJ Harvey. Writing and recording everything herself, with her boyfriend directing the videos and designing the artwork, Obel’s set-up seems ideally suited to her chosen quiet life. “It can be too much sometimes, but I’m so lucky. Music

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is so private to me. It can get really intense, but my boyfriend immediately has a vision for the artwork – I never need to explain anything.” Obel is also joined by three musical accomplices: Frederique Labbow on the violin, Anne Müller on the cello, and Mika Posen of Timber Timbre on violin and viola. She is really happy, but bemoans the lack of free time to actually play. Having spent a disproportionate amount of time over the past three years touring, 2014 looks to be similarly manic. Obel sighs and explains how tiring touring can be. March saw her headlining for the first time in Canada and North America, and this month she arrives in the UK to play at

Obel is remarkably calm, answering each question thoughtfully, and her manner on stage is similar. “I’m rubbish at interval chat,” she smiles. But any plans the singer might have for a quiet life may have to wait a few years. “January and February were supposed to be quiet, but I’ve not had as much time as I’d have liked. When I’m making music I lock myself away – I can’t have any distractions. For me it’s really about suspending any knowledge of the outside world.” One can only hope that this year proves to be at least a little less hectic than the last, so that Obel can continue to make new music for a long while yet. For live dates and more information, please visit:

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Mark your calendar


25–28 AUGUST 2014




1250 exhibitors and more than 60,000 visitors. Experience innovative technological solutions and meet new partners and clients.

For everyone working in the oil and gas industry. Listen to, discuss with and be inspired by visionary state leaders, ministers, CEOs and innovators from around the world.

A vibrant city centre. Culinary adventures. Great artists. Cultural fireworks. At night you can pick and choose from our rich festival menu.

ONS celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2014, and has grown to become the leading meeting place for the global energy industry. This year’s theme is changes; the changes that affect technology, innovation, renewable energy and the global resource situation. Welcome to four days and three nights of business-boosting events.

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Scan Magazine | Design | We Love This

We love this... Summer has officially arrived, or at least we are adamant to think so, and we are ready to delve into some garden work and get our outdoor space set for lunches in the sun and lingering dinner parties. Here is a selection of design items that will make our open-air life even more cosy and stylish this summer. By Julie Guldbrandsen

Light up the garden with these chic oil lamps designed by Norm for Menu. The oil container is removable, so they can also be used as plant pots or quirky portable storage units. From £41.

The City Boy barbeque by Selki-asema is the perfect picnic companion – petite, light and portable. Designed by Klaus Aalto, it is made of white powder-coated steel with an oak handle. Also available in a twin-size. £131.

We are still in love with all things copper, and these flower baskets for the balcony fit that bill perfectly. And they are really practical, too – a very cool update for a little terrace, we think. £22.

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These gorgeous water glasses by Stelton are the epitome of that sophisticated dinner table we all dream of setting in the summer garden. They come in a range of stunning pastel colours. £27.50 for four.

The Nordic Pine garden chair by Trip Trap is a revival of the classic Swedish garden chair. Made from Nordic pine, it is a tribute to historic and local resources as well as deep-rooted Scandinavian craftsmanship. £187.

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Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary... At the top of our spring wish list has to be the collaborative limited edition collection from iconic Finnish design brand Marimekko and Banana Republic, which comes out later this month. Think cute summer dresses, playsuits and maxi dresses in Marimekko’s bold signature prints. But, of course, there is more to an outfit than just a print… By Emmie Collinge

Jacquemus cap by wood wood This cap, subtly emblasoned with ‘J’aime la vie’ is an adorable, grown-up luxe take on everyone’s favourite headwear. £80 approx.

Summer knit sweater by Ganni This stripy knit will carry you through the seasons with its pastel perfection. Thrown on over jeans, it’s high in the cute stakes but has a boxy shape that appeals to our trendy side. £145 Fringe cuff by & Other Stories Every well-dressed wrist is crying out to be seen in this cuff. We would just throw on a casual t-shirt, some denim cutoffs, and let the wrist do the talking. £55

Sunglasses by CrossEyes CrossEyes hand-pick their favourite frames based on ‘edginess, history and quality’ – and it shows. We could spend hours at the newly-opened London store of this intimate Danish chain. These wooden sunglasses piqued our interest immediately, with a gentle murmur of hip, carefree summer ease. £95

Stray silk shorts by Marlene Birger These pastel striped shorts are every ounce the short we have been dreaming of, and with everyone predicting a culottes-comeback, these look set to be bang on trend. £175

Satin sandals by & Other Stories Typically understated, take your pick from orange, beige or black and step into summer in serious style. £39

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Scan Magazine | Design Profile | LUNDMYR of Sweden

A message with heart “My parents were entrepreneurs, and my dad always says that nothing’s impossible, nothing’s a problem – and I’ve very much inherited that attitude,” says Mia Lundmyr when asked about finding the confidence to start her own business upon losing her job as a marketing manager. In addition, Lundmyr had just had her second baby and become a single parent at the time, and though she insists that she simply had to get on with it, it is impressive when you look at the results. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: LUNDMYR of Sweden

With years of experience of wholesale and a determination to sell to retailers as opposed to directly to the customer, to allow for big-volume sales, Lundmyr had an epiphany when looking for a gift for a pregnant friend. “She didn’t know if she

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was having a boy or a girl, and I realised that there were hardly any unisex collections out there. I found dull yellow and brown bodysuits, but everything else was either fluffy and cutesy pink or baby blue,” Lundmyr recalls. “I knew that not every-

one wants to dress their children like that, and the idea stuck with me.” As for the friend’s present, Lundmyr ended up buying a plain, white bodysuit and some DIY printing tools and making

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Scan Magazine | Design Profile | LUNDMYR of Sweden

herited stubbornness and positivity have been crucial and awkward in equal measure. “I always thought of everything that ‘it can’t be so difficult’,” she says. “Then throughout the journey I often found that in fact it was difficult, but at that point I just had to go with it and make it work. It would have been a lot easier if I’d known the industry inside out from the get-go, but figuring it out as I went meant that I got an understanding of the entire process, and at the end of the day, we’ve ended up with the same process as bigger brands – it just took a bit of time to get there.” Along with this experience came another quality that is synonymous with LUNDMYR of Sweden: humility. “I was a single mother and knew how tough it can be, so it was important for me to aim for long-lasting garments with humble pricing and an honest approach to branding. Experienced industry professionals will say that you have to create a collection for every season. I said why create seasonal collections that will eventually end up in the sales? If you can top up on basic garments when you need them, like bread and butter, they’ll run year in, year out and never go out of fashion,” explains the entrepreneur.

her own design with the word ‘Älskling’, meaning darling or sweetie, on it. The simple creation was immensely popular with Lundmyr’s friends, but little did they know that it would become the prototype for a LUNDMYR of Sweden product that would, years later, be available from more than 350 retailers across Sweden and a growing number abroad. Stubborn but humble Having grown up throwing jumble sales in her street, Lundmyr insists that her in-

Following that same logic, LUNDMYR of Sweden recently created a new bodysuit called I will grow with you™. With long, foldable cuffs and extra buttons in the crotch, the bodysuit lasts many months more than a regular piece of baby clothing, literally growing with the baby. “The retailers worried that they would sell less, but I was adamant that if parents liked it, it would pay off in the long-term. We’re a business, yes, but I think the humility that allows you to put the end customers’ benefits first is a real win-win.”

proudly show off their babies in LUNDMYR of Sweden designs, and the timeless, practical Scandinavian style has struck a chord with customers in Japan and America alike – partly, suggests the designer, because it is hard to find comfortable quality babywear in other parts of the world, but also because the Swedish letters add an exotic quality. Ten years have passed since LUNDMYR of Sweden was founded and that first bodysuit was made into a product on sale at NK, Stockholm’s most sophisticated department store, and Mia Lundmyr admits that though life as a mother-of-two business woman will always be hectic, things are easier now. “In the early days, not a Christmas Eve went by when I wasn’t working with the kids on my lap. That’s what counts when you start out: the hours you put in.” But no matter the number of hours she works, that humility will not go away. “It always was and always will be important for me not to get snobby. If we’ve got a message with a heart, that must permeate the business soul, too.”

Founder Mia Lundmyr

Hugely popular – but never snobby Today, the distinctive red, white and black designs with embroidery of little hearts and words like ‘Älskling’, ‘Sötnos’ and ‘Gullunge’ (all synonymous with sweetie and cutie pie) represent the biggest brand in its category in the Nordics, and sales have increased with 500 per cent in the last four years alone. Hollywood stars like Heidi Klum and Kourtney Kardashian

I will grow with you™

The hallmark Älskling hat

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Design Feature | Mokki

When Israeli-born Moshe Ohana, founder of Mokki AS, came to Norway with absolutely no knowledge of the Norwegian language, he was forced to find other ways to communicate with people and make his mark on society. He had always loved creating things, because he found it brought him into contact with people and opened up communication with them. “If you have something to sell,” says Ohana, “it doesn’t matter what language you speak – suddenly, you’re on the same level.” After working for a short time at a large eyewear company, he quickly realised that what he really wanted to do was make, design and sell something with his own name on it. High-quality design at affordable prices When he decided to found his own eyewear company in Norway, Ohana set himself a clear goal – to make high-quality design affordable to all. He was fed up with seeing expensive products on the market, dressed up in fancy packaging and branding, but lacking any real quality. “I wanted to bring balance and show that people can expect high quality at a fair price,” he says. “I always strive to give my customers the very best product.”

Let your eyes do the talking

The Mokki collection started out with polarised glasses for babies and children, featuring double injection frames and Japanese lenses. Not only are the glasses comfortable and secure enough for the most active of kids, but they also provide high-level UV protection – an important factor in Norway where the sun’s rays are particularly strong. The collection has since expanded to include sunglasses for adults and reading glasses, which people love for their beauty as well as their comfort. You can choose from eight different designs, three different colours and six

Eyewear by Mokki is made from the best available materials, yet is fairly priced, so that everyone can afford quality. This year’s black and white summer collection sees the earth and the sky come together, with frames made from bamboo and lenses that protect your eyes from the sun’s rays. Designed by an Israeli with his heart in Scandinavia, Mokki glasses ooze effortless Nordic cool with a little heat from the Middle East. By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: Mokki AS

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The sky meets the earth in the Summer Collection 2014. This is Mokki’s most eco-friendly range, with frames made from renewable materials like bamboo and wood.

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Scan Magazine | Design Feature | Mokki

strengths of lens. For those who are short-sighted, the lenses can simply be changed by an optician. Nordic minimalism meets Middle Eastern exoticism Heavily influenced by the classic minimalist style inherent to Scandinavian de-

sign, Mokki eyewear is clean and simple. Inspired by the snow and the darkness of the Norwegian winter, the ‘kk’ of the logo resembles a small snowflake drifting down through the sky. “Through my branding, I was able to show that I am a part of Norwegian society,” explains Ohana. The occasional splashes of colour

show that he has not entirely forgotten his exotic Israeli roots. This summer sees the launch of the Mokki black and white collection. Although this may seem a risky choice of colour scheme for the warmer months, it is one that is already proving extremely

Give your child the best! Mokki sunglasses for kids are made using the highest quality materials. The scratch-resistant polarised Japanese lens provides 100 per cent protection against UVA, UVB and UVC rays. The frame is lightweight, flexible and strong.

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popular among customers. Ohana attributes this to the Scandinavians’ love of sleek style and functionality. He has learned from experience that, while colour may lure people in, it is the classic, simple designs that people actually want to buy. Enduring style with a reduced carbon footprint This range is Mokki’s most eco-friendly to date, featuring elements of both the earth and sky. The best quality materials have been sourced: durable stainless steel from Japan; a damage-resistant plastic polymer known as TR90, which is light, yet strong, from Switzerland; acetate from Italy; and wood and lightweight bamboo from China. The glasses are fitted with revo lenses that give you crystal clear vision in the brightest of sunlight, whether you are by the sea or out on snowy slopes. “I am very conscious of the ecological impact of my work, so I have thought hard about how I can best use renewable materials,” says Ohana. “The bamboo frames have been very successful. People love the style and design.” Simplify your shopping If you go into a shop that stocks Mokki glasses, you will find them displayed on an easy-to-navigate stand, organised by model, colour and lens strength. You can immediately pick out the pair of glasses that you want, packed in a beautiful case, knowing that they have never been worn before. “Shopping has become a very interactive experience,” says Ohana. “It can be very distracting, as you are presented with so many different possibilities. The Mokki display concept simplifies this experience, allowing you to see the products clearly and quickly find what you are looking for.”

These pilot frames, made with a Japanese revo lens available in four different colours, are this year’s best-sellers. All the family – from mother to daughter, father to son – can have a pair.

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This innovative display method has already caught the eye of global eyewear companies, but for the time being, Ohana’s instincts are telling him to remain focused on Scandinavia. “I always listen to my gut whenever I am doing things,” explains Ohana. “For now, I want

Above: Mokki’s reading glasses are loved not only for their sleek beauty, but also for their comfort.

to be able to live my life, enjoy myself – I don’t want to jump too far too soon.” Already a well-established brand in Norway, where Mokki eyewear flies off the shelves, from next year, the products will also be available in fashion shops and pharmacies across Sweden and Denmark. When the time is right, however, Mokki could well look to extend its vision even further.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Design | Béni Design

Award-winning functional design solutions with a twist By Ulrika Kuoppa | Photos: Béni Design

To create your dream home, an inspiring guide is a tremendous help. Someone with a feeling for quality, full of new ideas, and who sees the project through. Award-winning Norwegian company Béni Design ticks all the boxes. “It has been a pleasure working with Benedicte. She has assisted in a wonderful way throughout, both in terms of close monitoring, knowledge and service.” The words from a happy customer speak for themselves, but then again Norwegian interior and industrial designer Benedicte Klaussen knew what she wanted early on. After design education in New York, she taught industrial design in Ireland. Inspiration is everywhere, but Japan with its pure design and architecture has a special place in her heart. Her company, Béni Design, offers functional solutions and illumination design: “Starting my own design business is a dream I always had. My grandfather designed and built boats. The challenges of running and maintaining a career as a designer run in the family,” says Klaussen.

Klaussen’s efforts have won her the prestigious Oslo City Culture Grant and a scholarship to go to Japan. The secret of her success is a combination of knowledge, quality thinking and competence. Béni Design collaborates with a network of craftsmen and is big on ecofriendliness, redesign and safety – all true Scandinavian traits. “I am a fairly good judge of character,” says Klaussen. “I create a good client relationship based on respect and integrity and deliver good service.” The company offers help for individual customers and companies alike, throughout the whole process. The project management involves inspecting the site and its needs, delivering an original concept design, all followed by surveying and layout plans, planning colours, materials and textiles, sourcing products and budget advice. “Designing an embassy, hotel or restaurant is my next goal,” says Klaussen. “If you have faith in yourself and visions, you will reach your dreams!”

Benedicte Klaussen. Photo: Viktoria Steinnes

Photo: Frode larsen

For more information, please visit:

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Antje Jackelén, currently Bishop of Lund, was elected the next Archbishop of the Church of Sweden by popular vote, with 71 votes more than her nearest rival.

Doctor, mother, and head of the Church 56 years since the Swedish General Synod voted for the ordination of women to priestly service, Sweden gets its first ever woman Archbishop. But the next primus inter pares, Antje Jackelén, simply sees the event as a natural consequence of the 1958 decision – albeit a gratifying one. “It’s been pointed out on more than one occasion that perhaps the Church is ahead of the State, considering Sweden has yet to elect a woman Prime Minister,” she says. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Jan Nordén

The originally German doctor of Theology may be taking the news in her stride, but the media have shown a far more divided reception of the second-ever Archbishop appointed by popular vote, a system implemented after the separation of the Church of Sweden from the state in 2000. Her bishop motto, ‘God is greater’, has been questioned and scrutinised, as have previous comments referring to the Virgin birth of Jesus as symbolic and the theory of evolution as unquestionably compatible with the Christian faith. “I am certainly aware that people can sometimes be pro-

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voked, and I’m not afraid of challenging perceptions or sparking debate when I feel that I know what I’m talking about,” says Jackelén calmly. “But I’m not interested in provocation and confrontation for the sake of it. I don’t belong with those energised by conflict and confrontation; I believe more in responsive, receptive dialogue as a method for change.” Heated debate – but resounding win Having worked at Lund University after receiving her doctorate, held an assistant professorship at the Lutheran School of

Theology in Chicago, and subsequently been associate professor and director of the city’s Zygon Center for Religion and Science, Jackelén certainly does know what she is talking about, and she has occasionally hinted at a frustration around ill-informed debate serving to polarise rather than promote insight and understanding. “In today’s media landscape, it is sometimes hard to tell apart that which is merely a loud but marginal perception from that which is widely supported.” She elaborates on the much-debated evolution statement: “Evolution is no more a

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Scan Magazine | Special Portrait | Antje Jackelén

matter of faith than gravity is, so it does not make sense to ask: Do you believe in evolution or in God? Evolution is a part of God’s creation.” In spite of a heated debate in the aftermath of the election of Jackelén – one which, it should be noted, gave her 55.9 per cent of the vote, and a heart-warming 71 votes more than the nearest rival – there is no denying that the media’s interest in the news has been overwhelming, with “plenty of positive signs from Catholics and Orthodox, who don’t have ordained women at all.” A natural consequence of the Church of Sweden’s decision in 1958 to ordain women, it is still “big and pleasing,” says Jackelén, adding that “equality is somewhat of a perishable product, and to some extent it has to be reclaimed anew by every generation.” Modern – not secular When talking of Sweden, the country she has called home since 1977, the bishop of

Lund (as she is currently, until her instalment as Archbishop) describes a small country with a strong dedication to and interest in international and climate issues. This progressive nation is, on the other hand, increasingly referred to as secular, with the majority of Swedes still members of the Church of Sweden but only two-or-so per cent regularly attending services. Jackelén dubs this part-misconception, part-challenge. “The old notion of secularisation was based on the idea that the more modern we become, the smaller the role of religion in our lives. But this simply isn’t true. Faith, religion and existential matters are crucially important in society, and there are no signs that this is changing – quite the opposite,” she insists. “However, the knowledge base around the Christian faith that existed only a generation or so ago is gone, and we risk getting a generation of religious illiterates. It is a challenge for us to be a church when the

need for education and mission is so great; at the same time, perhaps because of this lack of knowledge, there is a curiosity around what the Christian faith really is. You’ve got to see the possibilities in the challenges!” A receptive, empathetic leader In all her unfazed matter-of-factness, Antje Jackelén is not just an historical first woman Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, but also a breath of fresh air. While her much-loved predecessor, Anders Wejryd, steered clear of big debates and controversial statements, Jackelén has already, months before her formal instalment service in Uppsala Cathedral on 15 June, been seen on primetime TV debating the doctrine of the Trinity and written op-eds about a society obsessed with growth in all areas of life other than the spiritual. “The challenges of the Church are in many ways the same as those of society: to instil in people the courage to live, create the conditions for young people’s confidence in the future, work for an open and equal society, speak for a fairer, more sustainable distribution of the world’s resources, and contribute to peace and reconciliation between people and nation states,” says the soon-to-be-Archbishop, ending: “I want to be a receptive, empathetic and clear leader.”

Antje Jackelén will be the first woman Archbishop of Sweden, joining countries like Norway, Germany and the US, where women have already been granted the privilege.

Antje Jackelén was born in 1955 in Herdecke, Germany, but grew up a fan of Astrid Lindgren. She moved to Sweden in 1977 and became a member of the clergy in 1980. She became a doctor of Theology at Lund University in 1999. She has been Bishop of Lund since 2007 and will be installed as Archbishop on 15 June this year. Jackelén is married to a priest, with whom she has two children.

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Fuego is the unlikely success story of a restaurant set up by an industrial designer, a production engineer and an industrial engineer, fuelled by nostalgia for the Argentinian culinary culture of gathering around the fire.

Fire in the belly Forget bland flavours, greasy sauces and apologetically strict service. Fuego is the Argentinian meat and wine restaurant that will transport you to a more vibrant world where top-quality meat is king, unusually warm service is a given, and a big fire is the heart. And sure enough, with seductive flavours and an admirable amount of dedication, the people behind the winning concept are – that’s right – on fire. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Fuego

It is an unlikely success story, that of an industrial designer, a production engineer and an industrial engineer setting up a restaurant. But nostalgia, it seems, is a force to be reckoned with. “In Argentina, it’s all about the fire,” says founder and now-head chef Juan Alvarez. “You get together around the fire, have barbeque parties, eat and drink – there was nothing like that in Copenhagen. Scandinavia is quite cold.” The Argentinian friends had no network, no Danish background, no short-cuts – but that did not stop them. Little over ten years later, Fuego has made a name for itself using passion, dedication and word of mouth alone, and the Argentinian meat and wine restaurant with its big, welcoming fireplace is now a popular destination

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for business groups and lovers of Latin cocktails and a quality piece of meat. No cover-up Other than fire, which is of course what the word ‘fuego’ means, meat is in fact what the concept is all about. “Danish people are big into their sauces, but in Argentina simplicity comes first,” Alvarez explains. “We don’t want to cover up our ingredients – we want guests to really taste what they are. The quality of the meat is

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Scan Magazine | Culinary Feature | Restaurant Fuego

key, and we have put a lot of effort into finding cuts of the very finest quality, so often it is just great meat with salt and pepper, and a salad with a light dressing. Tomatoes taste like tomatoes; the meat is tasty. It’s that simple.” While the chef admits that the Argentinians and their guests have had to meet somewhere in the middle, with Fuego offering special sauces for guests who so wish, he is quick to assert that doing things differently is part of the venture’s aim. “We don’t like to follow what everybody else is doing,” he says. “I’m not fond of plain flavours, so I’ve taken some Latin specialities and adapted them to suit Denmark: think Bearnaise with chilli and open sandwiches ceviche-style.” Completely self-taught, Alvarez has had to learn everything from scratch – an element that perhaps takes the idea of thinking outside the box to a whole new level. “I’m a hands-on chef,” he says. “I’ve got a big passion for food: I like the taste, and I love mixing the fire flavours.” That said, the restaurant decided early on to move away from the most traditional way of cooking Argentinian food, as it ended up a tad too rustic to suit a top Copenhagen haunt. “The food had to be a little bit more minimalistic, more geometrical, and look

nice on the plate. Instead, we take the Argentinian principles, fuse them with current trends, and let the fire sort out the atmosphere.” The future is on fire Fuego was the first Argentinian restaurant in Copenhagen, and attempts to copy the concept have been made but failed miserably. The guys behind Fuego realised that they were onto something, and six years ago they opened a second place, Asador, meaning ‘grill master’. The combination of warm service, a buzzy, vibrant atmosphere and food bursting with flavours is mouth-watering to say the least, and Alvarez admits that the sky is the limit as far as the future is concerned.

noisier than other places, more alive and vibrant, a bit like a tapas environment in southern Europe,” Alvarez explains. “Some like it, and more traditional diners perhaps won’t – but that’s our promise: we will always give our guests a different experience.”

“We want to grow and go back to basics,” he says. “Hopefully we can open something later this year, something that’s all about meat on the fire, a real charcoal grill in a buzzy place in Copenhagen. The thing about basics is that if you get it right, you can expand quite easily.” Moreover, Fuego will itself grow after the summer, with a new room opening up in September, adding 15 more seats and a perfect spot for private parties. “Our secret is that we make people feel like they are not in Denmark. Fuego is

For more information, please visit:

Fuego’s concept revolves around a passion for great-quality food and a refusal to cover up flavours of quality ingredients with heavy sauces. Top-quality cuts of meat, chilli Bearnaise, and cevichestyle open sandwiches are all on the menu.

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Scan Magazine | Feature | INSPIRIA Science Center

Amusement park + science = personal best

Science shows with explosions and smoke? Check. No matter your age, or interests, there will be something that fascinates at the science centre. Record-breakng summer

Record holders are athletes, superstars and astronauts... right? Not at INSPIRIA science center in Sarpsborg, Norway. All summer, the interactive science and technology centre offers visitors a chance to partake in breaking records of all kinds – and learn about science while doing it. By Hannah Gillow Kloster | Photos: INSPIRIA science center

Since 2011, INSPIRIA science center has, as one of nine regional science centres, offered adults and children an interactive and fun environment to learn about science, technology and maths. Not just a part of a broader education and great tool for teachers and schools in the region, marketing director Stine Ferguson explains that “INSPIRIA is particularly wellsuited to families,” and promises that there will be “numerous events happening every weekend and school holiday.” An educational amusement park INSPIRIA has chosen to focus on three main categories: health, energy and environment, and outer space. With a breath-

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taking planetarium and more than 70 interactive exhibitions, as well as a strong focus on learning by doing, the science centre likens itself to an amusement park with an educational aspect. And the mindboggling virtual trips through outer space to learn about black holes, and dizzying turns on the in-house Gyro, definitely sound more like amusement park activities than learning! The yearly ‘activity wheel’ available on INSPIRIA’s website clearly shows that no matter when you go, there will be something special happening. An exhibition with rotting food? Check. An electricity generator run by muscle power? Check.

This summer, Ferguson explains, will be “a record-breaking summer at INSPIRIA, where efforts to set new world records will be ongoing all season.” The initiative encourages visitors to work together as real research teams, and Ferguson promises “speed, fun and exciting statistics all summer.” And the centre will stay open throughout the holidays, come rain or shine. INSPIRIA science center is a 15-minute drive from Moss Airport Rygge, and 30 minutes from the Swedish border. It is also within walking distance from Quality Hotel Sarpsborg, which has its very own water park. The centre is open 9 am to 3.30 pm on weekdays, and 10 am to 5 pm on weekends and school holidays.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Culture Feature | Jyllands Park Zoo

Friendly zoo for children and childish adults Every year, more than 250,000 people pay a visit to Jyllands Park Zoo. They come to witness around 700 animals and enjoy a day in beautiful green surroundings. In Jyllands Park Zoo, the aim is to give visitors an experience to remember. Whether it is the spectacular show with the juggling sea lions or the many places where children can walk amongst the animals, it is all about exceeding expectations. “We want this to be a cosy place, where entire families, even with dogs, can come and have a great day. We know for a fact that especially children love our zoo, because many of our attractions are aimed at children. They get the opportunity to feed some of the animals, and we also have a small amusement park along with Denmark’s biggest jumping pillow,” says owner Ove Nordestgaard.

A zoo, yes – but also a park It is true that you can walk amongst the goats, touch a snake and take a pony ride, but Jyllands Park Zoo also has lots of animals which you should keep your distance from. Among the more than 100 different species are for example lions and hyenas. “People always get surprised when they realise that we have just as many animals as all the other zoos. On that point, we are no different to other zoos,” says Nordestgaard. “But we do stand out, however, in regard to our location,

where the many green areas explain why we call it a zoo park. Many of our season ticket holders enjoy coming here on a regular basis just to walk around in the more than 20-hectare area.” By Nicolai Lisberg Photos: Jyllands Park Zoo

For more information, please visit:



Charlottehaven Hjørringgade 12C 2100 Copenhagen Ø


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Summer in Finland By Eva Kiviranta and Anna Leikkari, VisitFinland | Photos: VisitFinland

Experiencing the magic of a summer in Finland all comes down to one thing – the white nights and the sun that never sets. Here are five ‘outdoorsy’ tips to experience a different kind of Finnish summer.

if you really want a ride, go wild-river rafting in Kukkolankoski near the River Tornio or head out to sea. Wilderness hiking and a night in a hut

Spending your summer days in a cottage near water is like taking a crash course in Finnish mentality – nothing calms and relaxes the Finns like days spent at their summer cabin. The sauna is the central element of it all, which combined with swimming and plenty of grilled fish and berries creates what is often referred to as ‘the art of doing nothing’.

In addition to high-tech innovations and cutting-edge design, Finland offers some of the last untouched wilderness in the world, boasting 37 national parks with hundreds of huts that are mostly free to stay in. So if you fancy holidaying on a budget, head out into this amazing scenery and experience the All Men’s Right – the right to use any land for passing through and eat berries and mushrooms along the way.

Kayaking on still lakes or wild rivers

Wildlife watching

Finland is not called the Land of a Thousand Lakes for no reason. Over 188,000 lakes cover more than 10 per cent of the land, and most of the country borders on the sea. Practice kayaking on the calm and sheltered Lake Saimaa in the south or the wilderness Lake Inari in Lapland, or,

As more than 70 per cent of Finland is covered in forest and a lot of the rest is made up of water, it is natural to expect a lot of wildlife – and there is. Some of Finland’s most exotic animals include the magnificent lynx and the world’s rarest seal, Saimaannorppa, of which there are

Go to a cottage by a lake

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only a few hundred left. The bright summer’s nights make wildlife watching possible 24/7. Skiing under the midnight sun Finland is a vast country: while in the southern capital Helsinki the summer is in full bloom in June, in the northernmost parts, such as Kilpisjärvi, it can still be possible to go cross-country skiing. This far north in Lapland, the sun does not set at all in the summer, so you can ski under the sun in the middle of the night – a magical experience that will stay with you forever.

For tips on huts, excursions, where to go and what to see, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Summer in Finland

Nordic nature – the extreme way It is no secret that the Finns like combining the great outdoors with a bit of an adventure, with its ice hockey team being one of the Big Six in the world of winter sports, extreme saunaing quickly establishing itself as a respected competitive game, and its many waters utilised to the max for kayaking in the summers and kite-surfing in the winters. In other words: the faint-hearted or simply relaxation-advocating bon vivant may well opt to take in the peaceful views across the waters and smells of the forest fruits with feet up and

drink of choice in hand, after a slow stroll through a breathtaking national park – but there are other ways to make the most of Finland’s vast beautiful landscapes. Extreme sauna-ing, as the name of the sport suggests, is indeed at the extreme end of the spectrum – at least if you are not used to spending hours on end sweating every ounce of fluid out of your system. Flowparking, on the other hand, brings you right up above rugged landscapes, allowing you to climb, crawl and jump for your life’s worth, all while strengthening relationships and having lots of fun. En-

By Linnea Dunne Photos: VisitFinland

duro keeps you grounded, but atop a 100-kilogram motorbike – and facing the road less travelled. Indeed, go to Finland for its art and design, its many music festivals, a dose of the fascinating Sami culture, and some good old fresh air and calm waters. But do not fool yourself into thinking that there are no options. Finland’s offering is there to be discovered whatever way you see best this summer: hanging upside-down, racing through the forests, or leaving huge waves behind you on one of its over 188,000 lakes.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Summer in Finland

Motor Monkey organises enduro safaris both in Finland and abroad.

Motor monkeys and the love of enduro In 2011, the Finnish programming company Bitwise organised a recreation day for its employees and clients in Tampere. The main activity of the day was enduro, as there happened to be a few enduro enthusiasts in the workplace. That was the start of another company, not quite like the company it originated from. By Johannes Laitila | Photos: Jussi Hyttinen

“Just like most of the things we do, this started half-incidentally,” explains Tomi Mikkonen, CEO of Bitwise. The recreation day was successful, and so Mikkonen and his colleagues started a company called Vetomies – or Motor Monkey, as they call it in English. Having been active for three years now, the company organises enduro safaris both in Finland and abroad. Enduro is a motorcycle sport that is practised predominantly off-road. While it gets more challenging and intense on an expert level, anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle should be able to give the sport a go. Motor Monkey’s one-day safaris, organised near Tampere, are popular activities during various workplace team-building days, and the participants’ experience levels tend to be varied, to make an under-

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statement. “We have many people there who have never even ridden a motorcycle,” says Jussi Hyttinen, who joined Motor Monkey after looking after Bitwise as a client of his own company. According to Hyttinen, a normal recreation day goes something like this: “We pick up the group from the office before noon, and then we go to the tracks, have some coffee, do a briefing, get familiar with the equipment, and then go.” From tracks to travelling For the more experienced, however, the thrill of enduro is actually getting from one place to another. Travelling, that is. Motor Monkey organises enduro safaris also on the island of Saaremaa, and in Estonia and Dubai. “On the longer trips, the

participants usually have a longer history of the sport,” says Hyttinen. The longer the trips, the more important it is to avoid major differences in the riders’ levels of experience. On one-day safaris the groups can easily be split into smaller sub-groups, which is not entirely possible when you are actually travelling from one spot to another. But that is not to say that the group of enduro enthusiasts would be in every way homogenous. “When we went to Morocco last November, we had a young woman in her early twenties, and the oldest people were guys in their fifties,” says Hyttinen. For beginners, Motor Monkey is planning to start a new activity: an enduro course. “It’s like a diving course: people can come

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Summer in Finland

and test the equipment in a safe set-up. We will have something for everyone, and you won’t necessarily need previous experience of enduro to join,” Hyttinen explains.

nen’s personal favourite enduro weather is dry, sunny and warm, but there are plenty of fans of the sport who prefer the dirt, slush, snow and rain instead.

All year round

But make no mistake: despite having a vehicle with a motor beneath you, enduro will make for intense exercise. Just think of where the word enduro comes from: endurance. “Usually, a beginner can’t ride for longer than two hours in one go. The bike weighs 100 kilograms, and when you try to move it around in terrain, it is really hard,” says Hyttinen.

Hyttinen has been riding enduro for four years now, and he has always had a thing for vehicles with two wheels, such as downhill bicycles and street motorcycles. When he discovered enduro, something clicked. “I was able to ride a motorbike even during the winter. Now I don’t even really ride street bikes anymore,” he says. Yet it all gets different, and more brutal, during the winter. You need to make major adjustments to your bike, and you definitely need to have a lot more clothes, and several layers of them. In the end, Hytti-

Love for the sport Motor Monkey is a company that did not really start out as a business, at least not the way the word ‘business’ is usually conceived. Even today, it appears to be more

like a collective, the members of which share a love for enduro. And love can get extreme. Next summer, Hyttinen and his colleague and friend at Motor Monkey are planning to do a nineweek trip, starting off in Helsinki. The plan is to ride out of Helsinki, then ride through the woods to Russia, across the Urals, to Mongolia, through Mongolia to the Gobi desert, then north to Siberia, back over the Urals, and finally back home. “It is going to be a big adventure, and it is a really rare trip to do. But it’s the journey that gives you the kicks – it’s challenging and fun.” For more information please visit:

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Nuuksio National Park: Wild woods and lakes on Helsinki’s doorstep. © Metsähallitus/Meri Marttinen

Into the wild – safely and comfortably Weary of crowds, noise and tight schedules? Tired of always choosing the same holiday destination? Longing for a relaxing and peaceful time out with family or friends? Choose one of Finland’s national parks as your summer holiday’s travel destination. By Päivi Rosqvist,

Finland’s national parks contain some of the country’s most spectacular natural scenery, but also free facilities such as safe marked hiking routes, nature trails and campfire sites stocked with firewood. Thus they are excellent destinations even for a not-so-experienced hiker, especially since many of the parks are within easy reach from cities, airports and tourism resorts. Furthermore, gone are the days when the hiker needed to carry his own tent and food. Unless one insists on doing that, modern accommodation abounds. How about a night in a spa after a day’s hike? Or a friendly stay at a farmhouse? Or why not rent a cabin with modern equipment? Take a tour in some of the most breathtaking national parks, or visit www.out-

30 | Issue 64 | May 2014 to find out more about all 37 of them. Wilderness on the fringe of the capital Visit Nuuksio National Park only 45 minutes from Helsinki’s city centre and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Here, you can escape into wild natural settings and enjoy typically Finnish scenery, with lovely lakes, green forests and rugged crags. Pack your backpack for a memorable picnic after a day’s hectic shopping or a day conference. The nearby Finnish Nature Centre Haltia highlights the best of Finland’s natural treasures from across the country. SAS flies to Helsinki-Vantaa. Pristine waters and historic lighthouses The Bothnian Sea National Park, as its name suggests, lies on the shores of the Bothnian Sea. Here, perhaps lying in a

hot bathtub, you can enjoy bracing sea winds and fine views out across the wild waves. History comes alive on the park’s remote lighthouse islands, which also offer hotel and B&B accommodation. Divers and kayakers can explore Finland’s most pristine marine waters. SAS flies to Pori. Finland’s best-known scenery When you take in the splendid view across Lake Pielinen from the top of the UkkoKoli hill, it is easy to see why this spot in Koli National Park has enchanted so many Finnish artists, including the famous composer Jean Sibelius. The breathtaking scenery always instils a sense of serenity in visitors, and Koli’s hills and lakes provide fine settings for enjoyable outings and activities for the whole family. Primera flies to Joensuu and Kuopio.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Summer in Finland

Bothnian Sea National Park: Enchanting lighthouse islands and splendid seascapes. © Metsähallitus/Anssi Riihiaho

The wilderness of flowing water Savour the photogenic scenery of Oulanka National Park, including roaring waterfalls, winding rivers and rolling hills along the Karhunkierros Trail, Finland’s mostloved hiking route. Cross gorgeous gorges safely on hanging bridges, or brave the rapids by white water rafting. See leaping trout and diving dippers, or spend a night in Finland’s northernmost bear-watching place – all from within easy reach of the

Koli National Park: Finland’s most-loved national landscape. © Metsähallitus/Johanna Kokkola

Ruka holiday resort with its many accommodation options. SAS flies to Oulu. Europe’s cleanest air under the midnight sun Trek from hilltop to hilltop through the arctic fells along Finland’s first, but nonetheless safe, hiking trail. Here you can get into the mood of a hike off the beaten track, but still find welcoming

Oulanka National Park: Raging rapids, thrilling trails and wonderful wildlife. © Metsähallitus/Mari Limnell

lodgings for comfortable overnight stays in historic Lappish villages. This part of Lapland has provably the freshest air in Europe. In early summer, you can enjoy the midnight sun and in August the starry skies stretching across the fells. SAS flies to Rovaniemi. For more information please visit:

Pallas-Ylläs National Park: Enjoy Europe’s cleanest air in the fells of Finnish Lapland. © Metsähallitus/Maarit Kyöstilä

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Flowparking is also a journey into Finnish nature. All four locations provide an unparalleled environment.

Flowparking reinvents outdoor adventure sports Flowparking is a combination of climbing and obstacle running. It offers a new form of competition in the field of outdoor sports and has proved to be one of the safest yet most exciting leisure activities. The best thing is that everything happens on courses built tens of metres above the ground.

One could describe flowparking as a sport, but for most participants it is an active way to have a good time outdoors. “As a form of exercise, this is very social. Our visitors include families, businesses, as well as school groups and even sport clubs. The latter see flowparking as an alternative way to train – flowparking really improves your flexbility and ability to perceive the environment, but first and foremost it’s a lot of fun.”

By Tuomo Paananen | Photos: Flowpark / Pekka Nokelainen

Not just a walk in the park Imagine running, walking and crawling through an obstacle course. Now think about doing all this on a track hanging 20 metres above ground in a forest while somebody called King or Queen of Monkeys tries to give you instructions from the ground. No, it is not madness: it is called flowparking and is perfectly safe. “Flowparking

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combines a daring sequence of physical endeavours. Once you have encouraged yourself to climb up on the course, it’s about balance and coordination. After succesfully completing a test course, every flowparker is attached to a safety line to go through a real course. It’s extreme – but safe. Oh, and yes: all members of staff have unique Flowpark names,” says Veera Westerlund, Queen of Monkeys.

All the Flowpark courses vary by their degree of difficulty. The level of difficulty is marked with colours, as in most skiing centres: the easiest one is green, the second easiest blue, medium difficulty is red and the wildest course has a black label at its entrance. “Flowparking can be a race or a relaxed adventure, it’s really up to the visitor. Either

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Summer in Finland

way, you will get some exercise without even noticing,” says Westerlund. All the courses are built above ground: the highest one is 20 metres above ground and the lowest just two metres. And flowparking has been gaining popularity – especially amongst families. “We also have a ‘kid’s course’ in Turku,” says the Queen. “Due to the high demand, we built one in each of our new locations Vierumäki and Ähtäri. However, flowparking is really suitable for all ages: our youngest visitors are 4-year-olds, and the oldest are around 80.” Unique locations, eco-friendly courses All four Flowpark locations are different from each other, as they have been built according to their forest environment – without harming any trees. “The first Flowpark was founded in Turku in 2010. It’s located in a courtyard forest of a shopping centre, yet it’s the biggest of our Flowparks. In 2012, another one was built in a beautiful peninsula environment in Lappeeranta, where the course partially hangs over the shore waters of Lake Saimaa. We build the courses ecologically, and try to use as many recyclable materials as possible in building them.” This summer, two new branches will be opening. The first is located in Vierumäki, next to a sport complex surrounded by hectares of woodland. The second is in Ähtäri, close to a zoo. All in a package The variety of locations provides not only different kinds of courses, but a selection

of service packages for groups. All the parks have nearby accommodation options and other services offered by the districts. “We collaborate closely with local accommodation and food businesses. Probably the most exotic Finnish experience, the sauna, can be enjoyed as part of most of our packages,” says Westerlund. In Turku, one of the most exciting, traditional choices of local collaborators is the smoke sauna at UPM Forest World. In Lappeenranta, visitors can enjoy good food in Restaurant Kasino on the idyllic shores of Lake Saimaa. “The new locations are built close to the Vierumäki Sport Institute of Finland and Ähtäri Zoo. Each location offers service packages for companies, private occasions, school trips and stag parties.”

It does not have to be a contest – but smiles are pretty much guaranteed at Flowpark.

An idea worthy of a prize Flowpark was founded by architect Janne Kalhama, the King of Monkeys, in 2009. Kalhama was on a work trip in Europe when his associates invited his party to join them in an adventure park. “At first, people only reluctantly said yes,” explains the Queen of Monkeys. “But after a while, everybody was having fun and enjoying themselves. It was then that Janne decided to establish an even better park in Finland. The result was the beginning of flowparking – a mixture of fun adventure and sport.”

On a course you must jump, climb – and crawl. All the courses are different from each other, and built partially from recyclable materials such as barrels, pipes and tyres.

innovative and brave business idea with an eco-conscious, active and social approach to leisure.

But the concept of Flowpark is Finnish through and through. The city of Turku awarded Flowpark with an Oscar for Tourism in 2012, an award granted for an

For more information, please visit:

Touching the sky: flowparking is an active part of your holiday itinerary.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Summer in Finland

Flow festival lights up Helsinki in August By Tuomo Paananen | Photos: Flow Festival 2013 / Jussi Hellsten

Flow Festival is a surprising and beautiful journey into the world of music, art, design and food. Flow differs greatly from your ordinary summer festival amongst muddy fields and wet tents. It manages to create an extraordinary, organic and quaint atmosphere in the unlikely setting of a disused industrial compound of Suvilahti, near the centre of Helsinki. “Flow has been described as a festival for those who don’t like festivals,” says artistic director Tuomas Kallio. “Indeed, instead of mere music performances we want to offer visitors a three-day sense-arousing journey in a down-

town location in Helsinki.” In addition to an interesting line-up, including artists such as Outkast and The National, Flow Festival presents experimental art, design and light installations. “We have film screenings, talks, and circus acts. The point is that whatever way you turn your head, you are supposed to hear or see something interesting.” The fresh, tasty food selection at the festival has also been acclaimed by visitors and artists alike. “We emphasise vegetarian, organic and natural food. All the food vendors as well as the artists are curated by us.” This year, the city of Helsinki welcomes back Flow Festival for the eleventh time, and

Flow Festival 2013 / Niklas Sandström

Lake Saimaa – a big secret in eastern Finland By Mia Halonen | Photos: Saimaa Travel

A mosaic of 14,000 green islands and more than 120 connected blue lakes – Lake Saimaa truly is Finland at its best. This summer, take a leisurely cruise on the lake or visit Russia visa-free. With a coastline of nearly 15,000 kilometres, Lake Saimaa is the biggest lake in Finland and the fourth largest natural freshwater lake in Europe. “And certainly the most beautiful,” insists Kirsti Laine, CEO of Saimaa Travel. From early June to late August, Laine’s company organises cruises between Lappeenranta and Savonlinna. The natural beauty is breathtaking. Along the way, you might catch a glimpse of the endangered Saimaa ringed seals. All of the remaining 310 seals are the descendants of the seals who were separated from the rest when the land rose after the Ice Age. If you wish to see a city that for centuries was the most international town in this corner of the world, take a daytrip from Lappeenranta to Vyborg on the Russian side of the border.

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Saimaa Travel takes you there visa-free via the one-of-a-kind Saimaa Canal. Or how about spending two nights in the most splendid metropolis of Europe, St. Petersburg? Laine loves her work: “The best thing about this job is the magical moment early on a summer morning: after all the fuss of people getting onboard, the boat embarks and suddenly everybody calms down. There they are, people from all over the world, standing on the deck taking pictures and looking at the spectacular lake view in awe. Sometimes I have tears in my eyes just looking at it. I start my working day knowing they will have a fantastic experience on the gorgeous Lake Saimaa – an experience they will never forget for as long as they live.”

For more information, please visit:

why wouldn’t it: the organisers truly clean up their tracks. “We have always been ecoconscious and measured our carbon footprint. We recycle 95 per cent of the material we use,” says Kallio and continues: “Sometimes we feel like paying too much attention to the details, but the only way to create a truly green festival in an industrial area is to have some excessive passion. We really feel that Flow is a one-of-akind festival, also on an international stage. It has grown from a small event organised by musicians, DJs and music lovers, and we are proud of that.” The 11th Flow Festival will be held 8-10 August in Suvilahti, Helsinki. Get your tickets from:

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View across Vejle

More welfare for the money with welfare technology and innovation With the increase in the number of elderly people, alongside higher expectations of public services and labour shortages, the welfare state will increasingly become dependent on welfare technology – and already such technology is being widely embraced. By the Welfare Administration of Vejle Municipality

Discussions on welfare technology often centre on robot vacuum cleaners and assistive feeding robots. However, there is far more involved in the wider issue of welfare technology than gizmos. Responding to economic and demographic challenges also requires a coherent approach to the way we communicate with the public and manage public services, to give citizens a better everyday experience. In short, it is about benefitting from technological innovation and getting more welfare for the money – and this is what our approach in Vejle is about. Welfare technology needs to be seen as everyday technology that contributes to a better life. No matter how much care a person requires, the most important thing for most people is to remain as independent as possible. In this case using a robot toi-

let may, for instance, prove a better solution than hiring care workers. The municipality has allocated 20 million DKK for welfare technology over a fouryear period. This is why we have launched several projects, including refurbishing several care homes and residences for the disabled, which are now packed with technology and assistive equipment – smart-home solutions with systems that enhance comfort and security, new home appliances and customised communications and service systems so that residents can connect with the world around them.

fessionals into play. Recently, we have worked with Design School Kolding to create environments for citizens with severe disabilities, a collaboration that earned us the LGD (Local Government Denmark) Innovation Award 2013.

Welfare bus

Several projects are developed in partnership with private providers and educational institutions. It is important for us to bring the right resources and health pro-

For more information, please visit:

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Above: Mobile stand aid from Ergolet. Top right: Telemedical patient briefcase from Medisat enables nursing staff for patients with COPD and other chronic diseases to move parts of the treatment from the hospital into patients’ homes. Below right: A prize-winning design from 3Part for a walking aid for disabled children.

Cooperation brings about innovation and growth of health and welfare solutions Like the other Scandinavian countries, Denmark is well known throughout the world for its highly efficient health care system and social services for the most vulnerable. But the Scandinavian model is under pressure as a result of ageing populations, more chronic diseases, and citizens’ high expectations in terms of treatment, care and welfare. By Henrik Kagenow, general manager of Welfare Tech | Photos: Welfare Tech

tients more efficiently. The Danish municipalities, The increased focus on which take care of senior technological solutions, citizens and disabled peoand of course the willingple, have discovered that ness to use and implenew technologies are one ment them, is expediting of the best and most effimassive development in cient ways to overcome Denmark. More compathese challenges. Many nies are taking ‘side steps’ municipalities have intenfrom traditional industries sified their efforts in disseminating and reaping Henrik Kagenow, general manager of and venturing into the the benefits of welfare Welfare Tech health and welfare industechnology and health IT, try, while many new, small working closely with companies to test companies are popping up, offering unique and try out new solutions. solutions for the sector. Integration of the latest technologies, The development is taking place in close such as telemedicine and robot solutions, is collaboration with health professionals and citizens, so everything is based on immedialso gaining ground in Danish hospitals. ate user needs. University research also Such solutions are paving the way for a betplays a major role. In Patient@home, a mater patient flow and shorter hospitalisation, jor Danish research and innovation project freeing up resources so that hospitals can with both national and international partincrease their capacity to treat more pa-

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ners, industry, hospitals and municipalities are working together to find new products and services, which reduce the pressure on health care and home care services, thus enabling patients to receive integrated care in their own homes. At Welfare Tech, we help to match companies with the right partners to innovate, test and implement new solutions, and call attention to the business opportunities offered by the market. This paves the way for new, efficient solutions, which could be of interest to the rest of the world.

Welfare Tech is a national cluster organisation in Denmark with members from private industry, public organisations, and research and education institutions. The cluster is a hub for innovation and business development in health care and home care. Welfare Tech operates as a national entry point and test bed for international companies who want to enter the Danish and European markets.

For more information, please visit:

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Danish Welfare Technology

Big in Japan – made helpful in Denmark By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: J. Honoré Care Aps

Electronic bidet seats have been common in Japan for years. J. Honoré Care altered the equipment to improve hygiene and independence for disabled and elderly people in Denmark. Robert Jacobsen, coowner of J. Honoré Care, first discovered the Japanese familiarity with high-tech toilets on a trip seven years ago. Around that time, his father revealed that his fear of getting old was mainly about not being able to take care of himself. This inspired Jacobsen to think of a connection. “I thought, we can make a combination. Why not take

this advanced equipment, simplify it and tailor it to those with special needs back home?” Approved welfare technology The Japanese’s rigorously tested technology was made into an easy-to-use version, the Aspen Bidets seat, which is now approved by the National Board of Social Services. It helps municipalities offer more solutions, removes strain on care workers, and improves living standards. Tools have been developed to complement the product: a lift helps people sit down and get back up, and there is an armrest

available with integrated one-touch operation. “Disabled and elderly people can live more dignified lives, and techsavviness is not required. Most functions are operated by pressing a single button,” says Jacobsen.

How it works The electronic bidet seat turns an existing toilet into one that cleans with warm water and subsequently dries, using pleasant, temperate air. J. Honoré Care has adapted the seat to fit all standard toilets in Scandinavia. The only requirement is a grounded outlet (regular 230V).

For more information, please visit:

Take your physiotherapist with you anywhere you go With motion sensors, detailed feedback and online result analysis, the interactive and mobile exercise tool, ICURA, helps therapists ensure that patients work the right muscles in the right way wherever they are. The use of ICURA has been implemented in the treatment plans for patients in need of rehabilitation or permanent physiotherapy in four municipalities in Denmark. The tool not only makes patients’ lives easier, but also ensures that therapists spend their time and efforts where they

are most needed. Consequently, in the end, it can save the government institutions responsible for the treatments significant resources. Administrative director of ICURA ApS, Jakob Mandøe Nielsen, explains: “Typically, when someone is in need of rehabilitation, the patient will work with the therapists in a treatment centre once or twice a week and then supplement that with training at home. But the problem is that even though the patient shows up at the treatment centre and is dedicated to the work, the therapist has no way of

knowing if she is doing the training at home, and if so, if she is doing it correctly. ICURA measures both the quantity and the quality of the exercises.” Based on motion sensors incorporated into flexible bands placed on the body, ICURA, as the only tool of its kind, presents a three-dimensional picture of the patients’ workout. Based on the measurement of muscle work, skeletal position and so on, the patient receives spoken and visual feedback via the ICURA app, informing him of possible improvements in positions or motions. Finally, and perhaps most crucially, the information gathered is stored online, allowing the therapist to access it to assess, plan and improve the patient’s progress. By Signe Hansen | Photos: ICURA

The ICURA app gives specific and precise visual and vocal feedback, ensuring that the patient works the right muscles and joints in the right way.

The ICURA tool is easy to transport and use, meaning that patients can do their exercises whenever and wherever they want to.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Danish Welfare Technology

The HS 130K lift-and-transfer system helps elderly and disabled people to sit and mobilise to and from the toilet. Here it is mounted on an AquaClean 8000plus UP shower toilet.

Improving working environment through technology Making life easier for older and disabled people and improving the working environment for care staff, welfare technology is not simply about installing innovative equipment – it requires the adoption of a new mindset. Through training and consultancy, SmartHome helps its clients maximise the potential of modern technology. By Sanne Wass | Photos: SmartHome

With the slogan ‘who cares – we do,’ Danish SmartHome is all about helping people have an easier life through the use of modern technology. Specialising in assistive technology within the bathroom, SmartHome offers equipment that helps elderly and disabled people maintain their dignity and become more independent. “There are many people in need of extra assistance in their daily lives. If I had enough money I would give it away for free, because it makes such a huge dif-

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ference to people’s lives. It is indeed motivating that we can help others in such a big way,” says director of SmartHome, Palle Bro. When Bro started up SmartHome in 2007, its main product was a toilet with a builtin washing and drying function – the aptly named Geberit Aqua-clean shower toilet. He explains how an incident in his family gave him the idea to work with modern technology for the bathroom: “A family

member of mine suddenly became dependent on home care assistance when going to the toilet. Imagine you are reliant on help from your loved ones and sometimes strangers to do your most personal and private daily routine. It’s extremely awkward and can be very embarrassing,” he says. “I had to do something.” In 2010, SmartHome designed and produced the HS 130K lift-and-transfer system – a device designed for wall-mounted

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Danish Welfare Technology

toilets, helping elderly and disabled people to sit and mobilise to and from the toilet. With the philosophy of keeping it simple, the equipment is intuitive and easy to use, making it significantly easier, safer and quicker for people with disabilities to go to the toilet. According to Bro, the feedback has been incredible: “Many people have become completely independent because of the lift-and-transfer system. It gives them the freedom to go to the toilet when they want. And people save strength and energy to do other more important things. It improves people’s dignity, selfesteem and quality of life.” The lift-and-transfer system has become a great success on the Danish market. Today, it makes up the core of SmartHome’s business, with more than 600 items sold around Denmark to municipalities, private homes, nursing homes, and institutions for disabled people. In addition, SmartHome retails several other technological products and bathroom accessories. A win-win situation The HS 130K lift-and-transfer system has also proved to be hugely effective for the care workers, whose job includes assisting elderly or disabled people to the toilet. It is – literally – a weight off the worker’s shoulders. Dorthe Liljengren, a senior

consultant at SmartHome with a 29-year background as an occupational therapist, explains: “Social and elderly care is heavy work. With the lift-and-transfer system it does not take so much effort, and the carers feel that transfers are safer and far less traumatic.” The result is a better working environment, fewer sick days, and more resources for other tasks. But, Liljengren warns, to achieve the full potential of modern technology, it requires thorough implementation. “In order to get this new welfare technology implemented in a nursing home or institution, the employees and management have to change their way of thinking. Without a new mindset, they quickly return to their old habits, doing what they always did,” she says. In fact, the equipment constitutes only about 20 per cent of SmartHome’s business. The rest is implementation: training management and staff, and guiding them to use the equipment correctly. SmartHome’s occupational therapists play a vital role in providing consultancy and strategic tools to help the workplace reach its goals. “If the implementation is successful, if the workers are able to handle the device correctly and understand why it is worth using, then it’s definitely a win-win situation for both the workplace

and indeed the service users,” Liljengren says. A fast-growing market There is no doubt that the market for welfare technology is booming and constantly evolving. SmartHome’s next project is to develop the lift-and-transfer system further, incorporating a music function and coloured LED light, which can have a positive and calming effect on people suffering from dementia. “We are continually developing and innovating new products, and we are responsive to the wishes of our clients and partners,” Bro says. Today, SmartHome’s main customers are Danish, but the business is in the near future expanding to the rest of Scandinavia and Europe, where it is currently looking for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. “Welfare technology is tomorrow’s solution,” says Bro. “When looking at the demographics of the future, we know that there will be more and more elderly people and fewer carers to look after them. Therefore, we must increasingly incorporate these solutions into our daily life.” For more information, please visit:

Windsor Series 3 (above left) and The Ascot (above right) are bathtubs with a lift-and-transfer chair that helps the user in the bath. The Ascot bathtub is height-adjustable.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Danish Welfare Technology

Controlled using voice command or a touchscreen device, the i-Home system helps the disabled and elderly regain some of their freedom by helping with tasks such as opening windows (above left), opening curtains (above right), switching lights off, and opening the fridge. Soon, the system may even respond to other means of communication, including thought.

The invisible helper “Duchess – open the door” – the command is one of many with which Human Tech’s invisible helper can be directed. Aspiring to give disabled and elderly people some of their independence back, the Danish firm provides intelligent home solutions controlled by voice. The firm is furthermore working to expand the system to respond to actions such as teeth clenching, head and eye movement and, eventually, thought.

and exists to ensure that only intended commands are executed. Using technology where it makes a difference Human Tech ApS was founded by Max Jensen in Aarhus, Denmark, in late 2011. Prior to this, Jensen had spent a quarter of a decade developing and implementing

By Signe Hansen | Photos: Human Tech ApS

Being disabled and unable to get around often implies having to depend on other people for even the smallest of tasks such as opening a window, picking up the phone or switching on a light. Else Klausen has been paralysed from the chest down since an ill-fated operation eight years ago, but today she has regained some of her independence, thanks to Human Tech’s intelligent home control system i-Home. “I can now open the door, close the curtains and turn on the lights simply by asking for it. I have regained power over my own time and life; I no

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longer need to wait for somebody to come and help me but can manage a lot of things by myself,” says Klausen and adds: “I have gained a lot of freedom and a tremendous improvement of my quality of life.” Klausen is one of four people living with the full Human Tech’s i-Home control system. The system listens constantly and is activated when it hears a ‘trigger word’ followed by the desired command. The trigger word may be individually chosen, such as ‘duchess’, ‘servant’ or ‘Elisabeth’,

Founder and director Max Jensen

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technological home control systems in the United States. Upon returning to Denmark, he decided to use the technology to improve the lives of people who actually needed it the most. “It seemed natural to use this technology to help for instance the physically handicapped, accident victims or elderly people. The essence of the system is that it gives its users more freedom – freedom from having to wait for someone to come and help you, or feeling like you have to bother someone with smaller details – such as every time you want to open a window. This is the kind of freedom that you and I take for granted, but for people who don’t have it, it means a lot to get it,” explains Jensen. The first steps towards realising this ambition were taken in cooperation with Aarhus Municipality’s Welfare Technology department, which, impressed by the technology’s potential, agreed to let Human Tech set up three test installations – something that has since grown to become four ‘real’ homes and eight demonstration/inspirational homes across Denmark. Currently, the average price of each voice-controlled home is approximately 150,000 DKK for an installation that includes voice control over all kinds of doors (such as fridge, cabinets, entrance and so on), lights, TV, radio, computer, phone, door camera, and even lowering clothes hangers. The main ambition, says Jensen, is now to lower the costs involved in in-

Mobile clothes rack

stalling the system to make it accessible for individuals as well as care institutions and municipalities. The goal is to have the cost reduced to less than 50,000 DKK in less than a year’s time. Small actions – huge impact Inspired by the needs of elderly and disabled people, Human Tech keeps developing the system and adding and exploring new ideas. Some are simple yet make a huge difference. “Someone asked us if we could help him lift his duvet. He had problems moving, paralysed from the neck down, but could still feel his legs. He can now lift his duvet and get cool air to his legs and then lower it again later, which he could not do before. Another user just wanted to be able to open the fridge and lower the shelves so that he could get out a bottle of water by himself.” While the system is currently operated via voice command, smart phones and tablets, the future holds promises of even more versatility as the technology is being developed to respond to all in all 18 other means of communication. They include eye movements, teeth clenching, and finger movements, and this coming May, Human Tech begins researching the possibility of controlling the system by thought. Although this all sounds very technological, using it is actually extremely simple. “One of the major points of our system is

that it is not a computer but rather someone you talk to. It’s like getting an extra family member, or a new friend – someone who constantly listens to find out what you would like to happen. The computer is not visible – there is no screen, no keyboard and no mouse – unless you want it,” explains Jensen, ending: “What you get is like an invisible person, servant or secretary who follows you around, so that you can always call on them and make them do whatever it is that you want to do.”

Voice tracker

For more information, please visit:

Voice-operated door

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Overcome challenges by dictating your future As the digitalisation of our world marches forward, more and more people suffer from computer-related repetitive strain injuries. Physical obstacles related to the daily use of a computer are more common than ever, but Dictus, a Danish speech and voice recognition software, has revolutionised the lives of people and businesses struggling with increasing requirements for text-based documentation.

a strain on your business or your life, maybe you should start dictating your future?

By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: Dictus

A talented and ambitious woman had just finished her master’s degree. During her studies, she experienced increasing pain in her arms and wrists, making it difficult to complete the amounts of writing required. When she was offered her dream job, she was at a loss: this job, too, required more writing than she was physically able to do. Not wanting all her hard work to go to waste, she went looking for alternative solutions. And she found one. Dictus is the first speech and voice recognition software in Danish, converting daily speech into text, and allowing people such as the female graduate and those with dyslexia, strain injuries and other challenges to continue their lives as normal, without having to worry about society’s increasing demand for text-based documentation.

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For social and healthcare workers, this demand has proved especially difficult to meet as around 20 per cent have difficulties with the writing requirements of their job. Using Dictus, they can now dictate instead of writing, and the software converts their speech directly into text in most Microsoft Office programmes or Internet Explorer, saving both time and trouble. “Using Dictus not only improves the employees’ competencies and the quality of their written work – it ultimately increases their welfare and job satisfaction, as they are no longer reliant on the help of colleagues,” managing director Jens Otto Kjærum explains. Welfare is the heart of the philosophy behind Dictus, so whether it is dyslexia, physical injury or language ability putting

Facts about Dictus Can be programmed according to user or industry-specific needs Used by high-profile clients from within various industries, including the Danish parliament and national broadcasting companies Try speech recognition yourself: dictate a text message or an email with Dictus for Adroid or Dragon Dictation for iOS.

For more information, please visit:

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Celebrating Danish Welfare Technology

Sketching, prototypes and continuous user testing are key to the success of IdemoLab.

In the borderland of technology and design From futuristic snowsuits for kids that measure the child’s temperature to intelligent pill boxes that ensure that patients take the right medicine at the right time – Danish technology company DELTA is one of the frontrunners within high-tech products. Combining interaction design, specialist knowledge and advanced technology, the firm’s research unit, IdemoLab, seeks to test, provoke and push the boundaries between idea and reality.

IdemoLab works within numerous areas including lifestyle and welfare products.

By Signe Hansen | Photos: DELTA

Established in 1941, DELTA today employs approximately 270 specialists; most are based in Denmark, but the company also has divisions in Sweden and England. IdemoLab’s key to success is its ‘learning by doing approach’, which, among other things, means that the development of all new products includes extensive use of rudimentary models, prototypes and continuous user testing. Morten Wagner, head of IdemoLab, explains: “When we develop a new product, our work takes place somewhere between the spheres of technology and interactivity design. Because we always have the

“We act as a sort of funnel into the otherwise extremely technology intense company that is DELTA – we are an extra layer between the world and the superspecialised experts,” explains Wagner, adding: “We have a very simple ambition, and that is to help products succeed in the real world. What we do in IdemoLab is to ensure that ideas are turned into products that make sense technologically and practically.”

users in mind, and because we have a staff of highly skilled engineers and designers, we arrive at some very usable and highly advanced products that are absolutely at the top of their game.” While DELTA is a specialist within several areas including electronics, information technology, micro and nano technology, sensor systems, acoustics and optics, IdemoLab is the place where fresh new ideas are allowed to bounce around and eventually meet the real world. The lab works closely with clients and users in developing and testing new ideas.

Intelligent pill boxes that ensure that patients take the right medicine at the right time are among the many high-tech products developed at DELTA’s IdemoLab.

For more information, please visit:

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Queen Margrethe II of Denmark playing on the modular interactive tiles.

To play is to live Headquartered in Odense, the playful birthplace of fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, Entertainment Robotics has taken the city’s vision to heart: to play is to live. With its revolutionising modular interactive tiles, the company has managed to combine robotic technology, modern artificial intelligence, and play culture in a product used not only in sports, dance, arts and learning, but also in health and rehabilitation, where it has had scientifically proven effects. By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: Entertainment Robotics

“LEGO and the thought behind LEGO is very clever, but the bricks have no functionality as such. We wanted to combine electronics with building blocks, and create a technology that we can bring to anybody, anywhere, anytime. Just like LEGO, the modular interactive tiles can be put together in any configuration to suit our needs and interests. By adding the ‘user’ to the equation, we create an intelligent response,” professor and director Henrik Hautop Lund explains, adding: “Play is important to many people, not only children, and with playware we can mediate

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play and creativity and utilise them to transform lives.” Welfare technology through play The modular interactive tiles were originally developed as an alternative form of physical rehabilitation exercise. With this new technology, users are able to break away from monotonous treatment programmes and participate in exercise that is fun and exciting, and therefore more motivating. The battery-powered tiles present a vast number of opportunities for games and can be used for many different purposes.

Professor Henrik Hautop Lund is the 2002 World Champion in RoboCup Humanoids Free Style. He developed the MusicTiles app in collaboration with Peter Gabriel, and RoboMusic with World Music Award winner, Funkstar De Luxe. Additionally, he heads up the Centre for Playware at the Technical University of Denmark.

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Children in orphanages and rehabilitation centres in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa (above right) enjoy playing with the modular interactive tiles.

As the tiles are wireless, they can be set up on the floor or a wall within a minute simply by attaching one to another – just like a jigsaw puzzle. To play a specific game on the platform, users simply select one of the game cards on the game selector box. Each card has a small description of the game, the preferred platform size and shape. The extraordinary tiles allow users to create new shapes simply by changing the size or the formation, which means that the level of a game can also easily be changed. In addition, the tiles can be linked to a PC, tablet or smartphone via a wireless connection, allowing documentation of progress and performance. Embracing generations When Lund and his team of researchers started out, it was with children’s play and playgrounds in mind, and the modular tiles are now used for children with cerebral palsy in rural Tanzania. But, interestingly, the older generation has also welcomed the ‘intelligent tiles’ with open arms. The playfulness and openness traditionally associated with children have proved to transcend age groups. In collaboration with local councils, Lund and his team started looking into what play means to the elderly, and if it has an ef-

fect. The tiles were introduced in a number of care homes and rehabilitation centres and were a positive surprise. “Physical training and rehabilitation should be fun, and the modular tiles offer this opportunity. And the effects are just amazing,” Lund explains. Scientific studies have shown that training with the modular tiles has a great effect on the functional abilities of the elderly, providing improvements to a wide range of abilities, including mobility, agility, balance, strength and endurance – all areas of high importance for activities of daily life. As an example, Gentofte municipality (Copenhagen) reports a more than 60 per cent improvement in balance among the elderly playing with the tiles only in the short term. This effect points to the modular tiles as an important tool in falls prevention, but hospitals have also used them to introduce fun rehabilitation amongst cardiac, stroke, dementia, and lung patients. The playful aspect of the modular interactive tiles motivates the elderly to exercise, and thereby provides an opportunity for maintenance and rehabilitation of their functional abilities. Hence, the modular tiles can be used both for prevention and for rehabilitation. The simple set-up and

adjustment to individual intervention and capabilities facilitates the use of the tiles in both institutions and private homes. Additionally, it allows for the documentation of progress and effects, and makes for an ideal tool for making a continuous flow for patients, taking them from the hospital to the rehabilitation and training centres and to their private homes. There are no limits to the options and opportunities the interactive tiles present, and Lund and Entertainment Robotics have high hopes for the future – ready to present their revolutionising playware technology to anybody, anytime, anywhere!

Each tile lights up in a different colour.

For more information, please visit:

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Making workout feasible with Ergolet By Sanne Wass | Photos: Ergolet

Take a run on the treadmill, or exercise on the step machine. Activities that once seemed hopeless for people with physical disabilities are now possible thanks to a simple bodyweight relief system from the Danish company Ergolet.

and people recovering from surgery, injuries, stroke and other neurological disorders. Physical and mental improvement The Ergo Trainer is developed in cooperation with the Research Centre for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury at the University of Copenhagen, where it has been the cornerstone of a research project since 2003. The results show

Endorsed by experts, the Ergo Trainer enables patients to begin rehabilitation at an early stage without risk of physical strain. The system, which can be used alongside various fitness machines, partially relieves the patient of his bodyweight and ensures support during a workout. “The patients can suddenly exercise in a way they couldn’t otherwise. If you stumble, the Ergo Trainer supports you, so you can never fall or get hurt,” says Kent Hvidtfeldt, sales manager at Ergolet. The system benefits a wide range of rehabilitation patients in therapy centres and hospitals: elderly, overweight, multiple sclerosis patients, The Ergo Trainer combined with a treadmill.

Kent Hvidtfeldt, sales manager at Ergolet.

significant improvements, both physically and mentally: “It really increases people’s selfesteem. I see the patients’ joy when I visit hospitals and training centres with the Ergo Trainer. They are smiling, running and sweating, as if they had no limitations at all. It’s amazing,” says Hvidtfeldt. After a 12-week test programme with the Ergo Trainer, the participants’ walking abilities improved by over 60 per cent. And, Hvidtfeldt adds, the technology reduces the risks of injuries for the therapists, improving their working environment. In addition to the Ergo Trainer, Ergolet retails a wide range of assistive technology. With the tagline ‘functional products in Scandinavian design,’ the equipment is designed and developed in Ergolet’s Danish headquarters in Korsør, and sold in more than 25 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit:

The robot that helps patients get out of bed faster By Signe Hansen | Photos: Atlinas

When a car accident caused a lengthy hospital stay for one of director Knud Andreasen’s relatives, the electro engineer came up with the idea for a training robot. Today, Atlin the robot is in the process of being tested to prevent the extensive nerve and muscle damage that patients normally endure after bedridden periods. The geriatric department at Odense University Hospital, where Atlin is currently being tested, has estimated that patients lose an average of 20 per cent of their muscle mass while in hospital. Atlin the training robot not only prevents

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this, making it easier for patients to get back to their normal life, but also helps patients fight boredom, restlessness and poor appetite, and not least helps prevent blood clots forming. “Everybody needs exercise – that’s selfevident, but the dilemma for bedridden patients is that they have to be well to exercise. That’s why we have aspired to meet a set of extremely high expectations with this machine. It will be used by people who are in a situation where they have enough problems. They should not feel that the robot brings them extra stress or discomfort,” emphasises Andreasen, founder and director of Atlinas Ltd.

Because Atlin is controlled via a set of pedals that move in a straight line, it eliminates the need for strenuous circular motions and locked positions typical for conventional bed cycles. Furthermore, the robot adjusts the resistance to the pressure applied by the patient and is thus ideal for even the weakest of patients. “Even a little movement will help nerves and muscles being activated, and with Atlin everybody can get started,” says Andreasen. For more information, please visit:

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Ingenuity and innovation in interactive screen solutions For several years, ProReact has been delivering interactive solutions within the field of spatial control design. Drawing on past experience in interactive screens and path finding technology, the company aims for an inclusive, user-driven approach to touch screen media to break new ground. By Marjorie de los Angeles Mendieta | Photos: ProReact

One such key example is the IBG, ‘Interaktiv Borgerguide’ (interactive citizen guide) – the company’s biggest project to date. The project was developed in cooperation with the Social Development Centre, SUS, and several interested municipalities. The state-of-the-art touch screen guide integrates several key scheduling and information functions pertaining, among others, to nursing homes and daycare facilities. Moreover, by implementing an intuitive recognisable graphical and colour-coded interface, it has been specifically tailored to be more easily utilised by users with mental disabilities. The IBG features an array of functions for planning the everyday functions of the institution and serves by providing rich information graphics for users. The staff can use the guide to plan the activities of the

day, and the relevant information is immediately made available to the care centre users who thus get an overview of who is on duty and today’s schedule. Nursing home residents can also use the guide for tasks such as reading the canteen menu and placing their orders online, or placing reservations for the use of technical equipment or washing machines.

nical systems. When integrated with other systems, it can keep track of staff’s working hours for accountancy purposes as well as monitor user reservations and orders, billing them accordingly. As a result, the IBG has already received much praise for saving administrative time, and this is just scratching the surface, asserts Jesper Karlberg, managing director of ProReact. The future of large-scale interactive solutions has just begun, and the possibilities are seemingly endless. Recently ProReact, already at the forefront, joined forces with the Fugmann Corporation, boasting years of experience from the field of intelligent electrical installations. The vision for the partnership is to raise the bar for intelligent building solutions.

By enabling users to perform tasks and receive information previously channelled through staff, the IBG also works as a tool of empowerment for the disabled. The possibilities for planning joint activities and exchanging pictures have also had noticeably positive social benefits for users. Another key focus of the IBG solution was to make it fully integrable with other tech-

For more information, please visit:

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Providing the framework for the future As one of the frontrunners in technological innovation and with a world-renowned health care system, Denmark holds a truly unique position within welfare technology. The Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, strives to be the voice of technology, to influence decision makers, and to ensure high-standard working conditions for the very people the future of Danish society is relying upon. By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: IDA

Denmark is internationally renowned for its welfare society, where the interests of employers and employees are protected through a model commonly known as The Danish Model. The Danish labour market is to a great extent regulated by the various players rather than by legislation, and within The Danish Model employers and employees reach voluntary collective agreements on pay and working conditions. Consequently, trade unions and associations are pivotal players on the labour market, and there is a very high number of union members among Danish workers at all levels of employment.

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IDA is a modern professional association for technical and science professionals, which amasses and propagates knowledge. Its vision is to help technical knowledge workers set the agenda through competence development, network establishment and political influence. With more than 88,000 members and offices in the country’s four largest cities, IDA’s goal is to be an influential, high-profile professional association. Several politicallyappointed committees ensure that the views and objectives of IDA become heard and are made visible in a number of areas. Among these areas is welfare technology.

Frida Frost, president of IDA. Photo: Steen Brogaard

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The challenge of a generation “I clearly remember when we didn’t even have the internet, and today we all own computers in various sizes for various purposes,” says the president of IDA, Frida Frost. “The technological development of the last 20 years is unprecedented, and we are now in a position where we have to utilise our technical knowledge to develop our health care system to fit the future, especially within eldercare,” she continues. The picture painted is the same across the entire western world. We are giving birth to ever fewer children, while we have a large generation of resourceful elderly citizens with high expectations for their retirement. With this generation never having experienced financial despair as such, the question begs: how are our limited numbers of young people going to care for the older generations? “Scandinavia and in particular Denmark has a world-renowned health care system and an infrastructure that allows us to store large amounts of data about our citizens. Furthermore, we have an unparalleled trust in our system and in data protection, which leaves us in a truly unique position in terms of the development of welfare technology,” Frost explains. “Denmark is very clearly in the lead here, and we need to take advantage of this position and improve conditions for our technical entrepreneurs.”

Adapting to future needs Many of IDA’s members are associated with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), a prestigious university at the forefront of technological innovation, whose students and staff lead the way in Denmark’s work within many areas, including welfare technology. But being the frontrunner in a global race does not come without its challenges. Denmark is in desperate need of more engineers. While DTU attracts high numbers of international students, drawn to the country’s model of society, way of life, and academic acclaim, keeping the graduates in Denmark has proved difficult. “Firstly, we need to be better at integrating foreign students and workers,” Frost says. “The corporate structure is quite different in Denmark compared to many other countries, and that, as well as the social aspect, is a challenge for many graduates. Secondly, we need to attract and educate more engineers across all fields and look into retraining established professionals to the particular sectors in which they are most needed.” While the technical degrees are still vastly dominated by men, advancement within areas such as welfare and biotechnology have caught the attention of more and more women. And, as Frost suggests, technological innovation not only transcends borders – it will also, in time, break down gender inequalities.

To meet the demands of society and of its members, IDA facilitates more than 2,000 professional and social events every year, including everything from specialised meetings in particular fields to more general and inspirational meetings providing new perspectives and valuable tools for work and everyday life. Within the last couple of years, IDA has consciously worked towards a more global touch for all of its events, as more than half of its members, one way or another, transcend international borders. In September, IDA and its Nordic counterparts will host a conference on welfare technology in Copenhagen to discuss the challenges and possibilities of the industry, because, as Frost concludes, “our members create the future – we provide the framework.”

IDA’s head office

For more information, please visit:

With more than 88,000 members and offices in the country’s four largest cities, IDA’s goal is to be an influential, high-profile professional association.

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Danish soap dispenser invention expected to save lives By Else Kvist | Photos: Nobak

A beeping soap dispenser with flashing lights, reminding people to wash their hands, is set to revolutionise hand hygiene and save countless lives. Shocking statistics show that six out of ten adults do not wash their hands after going to the toilet, leaving bacteria to spread and people to become ill or even die. Each year, one in ten people in Denmark also picks up an infection while in hospital, resulting in around 3,000 deaths. The United States has around 100,000 such deaths. The new, beeping soap dispenser could potentially have a similar impact to that when Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis in 1847 brought down the mortality rate of women in a maternity ward by making doctors wash their hands. The product was created by Lars Forsberg, founder of the Copenhagen-based company Nobak, after he heard how a sink, situated outside a toilet in a cafeteria, made it easy to observe how many staff left without washing their hands before returning to make burgers. “I

Nobak’s life-changing soap dispenser reminds people to wash their hands.

Nobak founder and product developer Lars Forsberg.

The soap dispenser starts to beep and flash when the toilet is flushed.

Visionary designs impel change By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: Nicodesign

Located in Copenhagen, Nicodesign by Nicolas Nicolaou is an architectural and industrial design office with an innovative and visionary approach to its products and concepts. With more than 30 years of experience, Nicodesign aims to create products that will change the lives of individuals and the ways of the society we live in. “In order to make the world a better place, we need to do better as people and as a country,” Nicolas Nicolaou explains. “We hold a unique position in Denmark because we have the

concluded that we find it hard to relate to bacteria because they are invisible,” says Forsberg. “I then looked to the car industry, which uses visual and aural signals to give people a gentle nudge to fasten their seatbelt, and transferred the same technology to a soap dispenser.” The dispenser, which goes into production this autumn, detects the sound of a flushing toilet and begins to flash and make a sound, and when the product was trialled in hospitals, the number of people washing their hands doubled.

means to create extraordinary products with high export value and the possibility to change the lives of people around the world. We need to take advantage of this.” As simple as it sounds, not many companies bring this vision to life. With a keen interest in welfare and society, Nicolaou creates products that make a difference. With flexibility and freedom in mind, he has created a three-in-one insulin pen for diabetics, simplifying their daily routines; play ware used in the rehabilitation of Alzheimer’s patients, revolutionising office interiors; and water filtering

For more information, please visit:

household elements that can produce up to 70 per cent savings on water usage. Always at the forefront of trends and needs, Nicolaou was also first on the market with the now wellknown iWatch. A graduate from the acclaimed Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Nicolas Nicolaou is an internationally recognised industrial designer, who has received several awards for his functional and sustainable designs. The philosophy behind his inventions is deeply grounded in a genuine passion for changing things for the better. “Happy people benefit society both socially and economically, and products with this value can easily be exported to the rest of the world,” he concludes.



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Three-in-one insulin pen for diabetics


For more information, please visit:

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Celebrating Danish Welfare Technology

Production of the core engine of the dermatological laser system from Advalight, one of the companies from Welfare Tech Invest's portfolio.

A truly active investor in early-stage companies

Above: Wear & Care is a diminutive, almost invisible sensor, which registers and reports the moisture level in adult diapers, developed by SUMA Care, one of the companies from Welfare Tech Invest's portfolio.

becomes hugely successful and the other never gets off the ground? Needless to say, we don’t have the full answer, but we believe numbers show that we are onto something,” stresses Rasmussen.

A rigorous business development process helps Welfare Tech Invest reach higher standards in entrepreneurial investments in med-tech and welfare tech ventures, through the activities offered by the company managing the fund. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Welfare Tech Invest

Statistically, eight out of 10 new companies close within five years of starting up. Numbers show, however, that more than 94 per cent of the entrepreneurs that have been through the Business Development Programme at Accelerace survive, and a fair part of these receive investment from the funds under management, such as Welfare Tech Invest. In total, the ventures Accelerace has worked with have received P72 million in funding and investment. “One of the key reasons for our success rate is that we take active part in developing and shaping the company before investing, so in effect our business development programme ends up being a live due diligence for the coming investments,” explains Mads Rasmussen, investment director at Welfare Tech Invest and partner in Accelerace, adding: “Our extensive work in the med-tech and wel-

fare tech sectors means that we have built close relationships with public and private health professionals, leaders and decision makers. That means not just that we can get through to the prospective clients, but also that we understand what they are looking for – what makes them buy a product.”

In total, the ventures Accelerace has worked with have received P72 million in funding and investment.

Welfare Tech Invest is a commercial fund founded by the Region of Southern Denmark with a base capital of P12.5 million. The fund is under management by Accelerace, which

Accelerace not only helps entrepreneurs bring their product quickly and efficiently to the market but also shares its knowledge about what makes successful entrepreneurs, through its Entrepreneurial Learning Lab. “We spot and train talent and help them become even better entrepreneurs. Through our constant research in entrepreneurship we strive to unlock the key to the characteristics of the most successful entrepreneurs: what is the difference between two entrepreneurs with an almost identical product, where one

controls a total capital of P65 million – of which it has invested P13.2 million in 43 different companies to date. Selected companies from Welfare Tech Invest’s portfolio of 20 ventures: - Advalight - Nordic Neurostim - SUMA Care

For international stockists, please see: or

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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S n acks

Me als


Pap ers



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Welfare Technology is the answer Future technological change will result in a reduced number of people having employment per OAP (Old Age Pensioners), and at the same time there will be more elderly people in need of care. We expect an increase of up to 70 per cent in the number of OAPs up to year 2030. Health care and nursing services will occupy an increasing part of our resources in the years to come. This again leads to an increased pressure on public budgets, the work force and tax levels. Change and innovation are necessary for the sector to be sustainable. By Norsk Teknologi (Norwegian Technology)

Welfare technology is the term used for technical assistance that contributes towards increased safety, social participation, mobility and physical activity. Technology enhances people’s ability to manage in everyday life in spite of disease or reduced functionality. Welfare technology can also work as support for the relatives and promote better working conditions for those employed in the nursing sector through better accessibility, utilisation of resources and quality of services. There is broad consensus around the fact that most people want to live in their own homes for as long as possible. The need for care and public services arises when one is unsafe at home. Very often the problems start with different forms of functional failures, such as forgotten cooking rings, in-

stability and falls, leaving the home in the night, and being disorientated as to where you are and where to go. Accessible technology could be a great support for many already today, but the lack of knowledge as to what options exist, as well as rigid support systems, prevent implementation. The municipalities in Norway are responsible for offering their citizens the services that are necessary and legally established by law, and subsequently responsible for implementing welfare technology and new services. Despite both political will and available technology, the market for welfare technology is conceived as immature. The local communities must be enabled to demand welfare technology in their purchases through acknowledging what is available to them. Experiences from pilot projects

must be shared, and knowledge of choices and solutions made available to others. There is a great need for stimulation in the private market to create a boost in the nursing sector. Norwegian Technology has proposed a tax deduction scheme, which may give tax advantages to people who take responsibility by preparing their own houses for old age. This will increase welfare for the individual consumer, and at the same time give good economic benefits for society. It is well documented that the rise in the number of OAPs in a few years will amplify the challenges in the nursing and caring sector. Well-known technology like welfare technology may contribute to meeting the challenges that local communities are facing, while also helping to fulfil most OAPs’ desire to live at home for as long as possible. Norwegians are traditionally prone to take advantage of new technology early. There is no doubt that welfare technology is the answer. For more information, please visit:

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Welfare technology – an important part of the solution of the health care challenges The demand for health care is going to increase dramatically in the future due to an aging population, more people with chronic conditions and increased expectations of a good personal health situation. At the same time, there will be a shortage of health professionals. By LFH – the Norwegian Trade Organisation for Health and Welfare Technology

“We believe that the development in the health sector is not sustainable, and that we need to allocate resources in a new way and start to think differently,” says Trond Dahl Hansen, CEO of LFH – the Norwegian Trade Organisation for Health and Welfare Technology. “Welfare technology can free ‘warm hands’ and contribute to an improved quality of care. As such, it is a key part of the solution to tomorrow’s health challenges,” he insists. A recently published report by LFH focuses on what welfare technology is today and how suppliers envision the future of welfare technology solutions. An important goal of the suppliers of welfare technology is that the health care sector agrees on a common definition of welfare technology, and with that as a starting

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point works with suppliers towards a common goal of increasing the quality of life for as many people as possible. For this to be achieved there must be a clear plan for innovation and the future financing of welfare technology solutions. To ensure good welfare technological solutions, active commitment on innovation and actual investments in welfare technology will be crucial. A good balance between respect for individual customisation and standardisation is required, along with a clear definition of the responsibilities of the different actors in the health sector.

Trond Dahl Hansen, CEO of LFH – the Norwegian Trade Organisation for Health and Welfare Technology

About LFH LFH is the Trade Organisation for Health and Welfare Technology. As of today, we represent approximately 110 companies in Norway, which manufacture, distribute, sell, or in another way have a vested interest in medical devices. The member companies have a collective turnover of nearly 9 billion NOK, representing nearly 90 per cent of the total turnover of the Norwegian medical technology

For more information, please visit:

market. Our members have approximately 2,500 employees combined.

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The marketplace of possibilities With 18,500 visitors in 2012, 85 per cent of whom were regulars who have made the fair a recurring highlight of their work calendars, Eliaden is back this June with a world-class list of exhibitors, seminars and networking opportunities. As far as the electro-technical industry is concerned, this is the most important marketplace – and there is something for welfare technology representatives as well. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Eliaden

Taking place on 2-5 June this year at the Norway Trade Fairs in Lillestrøm, Eliaden was held for the first time in 1984 and has since grown in both size and importance. It is now the go-to place for electro-technical professionals of both the industrial and the building segments who want to build relationships, eye up new products and solutions, and attend seminars. This year’s highlights include the introduction of the new electrical norm, NEK 400-2014, and a seminar by NELFO focusing on standards and regulations for the electrical and telecom segments. In addition, features such as Automatiseringsforum (Automation Forum) and Elektronikktorget (Electronics Market) are sure to draw large audiences.

“There are so many interesting activities and product seminars on offer, and though Eliaden is a technical fair, there are several exhibitors of products and solutions within welfare technology as well,” promises Nils-Erik Magnell, project director at the fair. “This is where professionals come to meet like-minded people from across the industry and make sure that they’re staying on top of the very latest development.” For visitors, Eliaden means a wide range of interesting exhibitors in a location that is easily accessible from both Oslo and Gardermoen Airport. For exhibitors, furthermore, it promises help with everything from the building of the exhibition stand to the writing of press releases and planning of logistics including travel and accommodation.

2014 is a particularly exciting year for both the fair organisers and industry professionals, as a two-day conference on smart energy will take place alongside the fair. Energismarte Byer (Energy Smart Cities) sees key decision makers from both business and politics meet to discuss energy-efficient solutions to the challenges of urban areas. “The conference is an important platform where industry representatives meet politicians as well as end users from within the construction and property industries to foster understanding and bring about new, innovative solutions,” says Magnell.

For more information, please visit:

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Freestyle Navigator 2 display meter

Master your glucose level better Imagine if there was a handy machine that would automatically measure your blood sugar every minute. Now stop imagining, because there is: with the FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system, life with diabetes, and preparing for what is to come, gets that bit easier. By Anja Elen Eikenes | Photos: Abbott Diabetes Care

Abbott Diabetes Care allows you to master your glucose levels better and become safe, thanks to the FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system. All you have to do is to put a sensor with a transmitter on your arm or your abdomen, and a monitor on your belt, and they will communicate all the necessary information about your glucose. The system will automatically monitor your glucose levels continuously. It will also predict high and low values, giving you warnings up to 30 minutes before your

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glucose is heading too high or too low, and keeping you from feeling unwell. A sensor protrudes only five millimetres below the skin and measures glucose in the interstitial fluid. The sensor can be worn for five days and will continuously measure glucose levels during this period. Fewer episodes of hypoand hyperglycaemia Keeping track of glucose

levels can be a demanding challenge, especially for people who experience major fluctuations in their glucose. “Sensor technology is a revolutionary step forward in glucose monitoring,� says Anoar Solberg Diab, commercial manager at Abbott Diabetes Care Norway. Continuous glucose monitoring shows measuring results that traditional blood glucose monitoring can

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Norwegian Welfare Technology

easily overlook. With continuous measurements over 24 hours, the result might be that you are warned about episodes of hypo- and hyperglycaemia before they happen. Hypoglycaemia is defined as a low level of glucose, and hyperglycaemia is a glucose level much too high. The Freestyle Navigator 2.0 system is proven to be very accurate, providing reliable measurements of hypo- and hyperglycaemic episodes. A recent study confirmed that the system helps reduce the time a patient spends in hypoglycaemia. Measuring every minute The FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system consists of a sensor and a transmitter, both in a discrete skin-tone colour, alongside a monitor. The small sensor can be used up to five days on the backside of your arm or the abdomen. The system wirelessly reads the glucose level with up to 30 metres between the sensor and transmitter and the monitor.

ing or falling, or predict how it will evolve. But with the FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system, which measures your glucose continuously, you will be able to react and make sure to prevent low and high levels.

ing before a given high or low value is reached. The alarm can be set so that it alerts about 10, 20 or 30 minutes before an expected glucose value outside the predefined target area.

Not only can you see your current level; you can also look back at earlier measurements to spot trends and patterns. The system displays glucose patterns of 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 hours in a continual line chart. It provides direct access to the proportion of measurements within or outside the predefined goal, including highest and lowest readings and average and standard deviations, clearly showing the variation of glucose measurements.

How to get the system

The FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system helps make life with a diabetes diagnosis easier, and it helps you prepare for what is to come. Threshold alarms, which can be adjusted to individual needs, alert you when glucose levels reach a high or low value. Also predictive alerts give a warn-

The product is distributed by hospitals’ processing aid departments in Norway and can only be prescribed by a specialist physician. If you believe that the FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system can help your selftreatment, ask for a referral from your doctor to a specialist physician, who can issue a prescription on behalf of the specialist health services in Norway. If granted, you can enjoy the use of the easy, light and comfortable system that just might make your life a good bit easier. Rev 1 APRIL/2014 156

For more information, please visit:

The monitor receives glucose information from the transmitter and displays the real-time continuous glucose monitoring data for you on the screen. It gives access to information every single minute, day and night. Though the equipment reads the glucose level in the body every minute, the levels will be presented on the screen as an average every five minutes. The product provides an accurate picture of how the glucose levels change in terms of speed and direction. Spot patterns and trends “The FreeStyle Navigator 2.0 system for continuous glucose monitoring can provide an increased level of glucose understanding with information about past, current and upcoming values, so patients can take appropriate actions faster based on their glucose values – and that’s the beauty of sensor technology,” says Solberg Diab. With traditional blood glucose tests, you cannot know how the level has changed between measurements to see if it is ris-

Navigator sensor

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With strategic alliances and partnerships in place, Sensio works to bring the very best welfare technology platform to the Norwegian market and beyond.

Innovative welfare technology and smart home solutions “Our solutions enable home owners to manage everything from their utilities, ventilation systems and alarms to their lighting and TV using a central point of control, which in turn is connected to a technology platform and server,” explains William Holm, CEO and one of three founders of welfare technology firm Sensio. By Stian Sangvig | Photos: Sensio AS

A privately-owned Norwegian company based in Oslo, Sensio offers control systems for welfare technology and home automation. Formed five years ago by three of its current members of staff, the company today has twelve employees. Its system, explains Holm, is so easy to install that your local electrician can do it. So far, staff of 750 Norwegian electrical installation companies have been trained to install the system in homes and institutions, and the easy-to-use Sensio system can be operated both locally and remotely. “The goal is for the system to be adapted to the user as opposed to the user having to adapt to the system,” continues Holm. Simple and intuitive use and

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full availability are thus key factors to obtain a smart and safe solution. All the components of the home are integrated into the home controller, which is the main unit. The home can be managed both locally, without any internet connection, and remotely, controlling the home through the Sensio Unity server. So what happens if the server fails? “This is a fully understandable concern for which we have full back-up,” says Holm. “We have a cluster of servers. All data will automatically transfer from one traffic server to another traffic server if the worst were to happen, and the user won’t notice a thing.” For large welfare technology projects, clients can also manage servers on their own.

Complete, flexible platform Sensio delivers a complete platform for welfare technology. This means that the Sensio system is utilised as a superior system over other solutions. It is highly flexible in coor-

CEO and co-founder William Holm

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sio are partners. Sensio will deliver the technology platform, which will contribute to Lyse Energi’s successful roll-out of their Smartly solution to 160,000 customers. “Direct access to a customer base of that size also allows prices to come down more quickly,” argues Holm. With regards to the future, Holm is optimistic, as the combination of costefficiency and user-friendliness has made the system a realistic option for consumers. Today 5,000 homes in Norway are managed by Sensio’s solutions, and the goal is to grow the market while continuing to make the product even better.

dination with other systems and suppliers, and it also communicates with other solutions, including electronic patient records. It can provide user access to external users, such as municipal employees, as well as access to different user groups.

solutions also enable senior citizens to live in their own home for much longer, which eases the pressure on waiting lists for a place in municipal residential homes for elderly people,” says Holm. User-friendly and cost-efficient

This flexibility attracted the attention of the administration of Norwegian municipality Fredrikstad which, after an open bid between different welfare technology providers, commissioned the company to take on Norway’s first and so far largest welfare technology project, including 2,500 senior citizens homes, the institution Helsehuset with 39 rooms over four floors, and the new 65-room nursing home Østsiden for patients suffering from dementia. “Our safe and remotely-managed home

In order to develop smart solutions for the home to the highest level of userfriendliness and cost-efficiency, Sensio has formed strategic alliances with both technology and service providers over the years. For wireless technology, a partnership agreement was signed with xComfort solution provider Eaton Electric. In order to gain access to a large market, an alliance was formed with Stavanger-based utilities provider Lyse Energi a number of years ago, and since 2013, Lyse and Sen-

iPad light control

iPad temperature control

After the first five years of hard work and heavy investment, Sensio made a healthy profit last year, which Holm expects will more than double this year. Until now, most of the focus has been on the Norwegian market, but the business partners are already expanding to include an international market. Strategic alliances are currently being formed in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, according to Holm. “Another positive effect of our growth is that we need to hire dedicated, passionate and talented software developers in order for us to keep our promise to our customers,” explains the CEO. Sensio and Lyse will now work together to deliver the best welfare technology platform to the market. For more information on Sensio’s smart home and welfare technology solutions, please visit:


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A better life for dementia patients Bardum wants to improve the quality of life for the elderly with dementia. By providing a mattress that helps them sleep through the night, and a chair with rocking movements that keeps them both calm and active during the day, the company offers dementia patients the chance to live in their own homes for longer. By Anja Elen Eikenes | Photos: Bardum

Bardum is your aid provider. It helps clients of all ages take part in activities and play active roles in their everyday lives, according to marketing manager Veronica K. Astrup. “We want to help children, adults and the elderly to have a sense of achievement and an improved quality of life. Old age or disabilities should not keep anyone from leading an active life.” Bardum’s aim is to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities to fill their days with joy. Therefore, the company provides a product that prevents dementia patients from getting sleeping problems. By using the mattress ThevoVital, you can easily sleep through the night despite suffering from dementia. With 67 per cent of

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dementia patients suffering from sleep disturbances, this issue affects both patients and carers, but the documented effects of the dementia mattress include less nighttime wandering, napping during the day, and disorientation, as well as a decreased need for sleep aid medication. Another of Bardum’s products is a chair with rocking movements, called the ThevoChair. The chair, which moves in a 360-degree rotation, stimulates the senses and activates people. Studies show that the rocking movements reduce the symptoms of dementia, and the patient becomes more even-tempered and receptive to impulses from the surroundings, suffering less anxiety and depression as a result. Smooth rocking motions move

the foot, knee and hip joints in a gentle way. Both these products bring peace of mind to carers. Bardum has worked to improve people’s quality of life since 1999. Try out the ThevoChair and ThevoVital products for two weeks to make sure that the product is right for you or the person you care for. To watch, feel and touch the products, visit ‘Almas Hus’ in Oslo, ‘Mulighetsrommet’ in Kristiansand, or ‘Innovasjonssenteret’ in Grimstad.

Sleeping mattress ThevoVital

For more information, please visit:

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Øytex’ waterproof Flexisit, a full raincover with arms.

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Lett Sit – guaranteed to keep you warm.

One size does not fit all Finding clothes that fit you nicely can be challenging for most of us. But for wheelchair users, this is a challenge faced daily. To the rescue, luckily, comes Øytex, a Norwegian company selling customised clothing made to perfectly fit everyone. By Kjersti Westeng | Photos: Øytex

Øytex was founded in 1990 by two sistersin-law and their niece. The idea came about when the three experienced seamstresses were asked to make a footmuff for a wheelchair user that was both warm and easy to put on. Soon after, they started contacting technical aid centres across the country to ask if they needed similar products, which they all did. Today, Øytex works with most technical aid centres in Norway, providing them with wheelchair footmuffs, aprons, capes, jackets and waterproofs. The daughters of the three founders have now taken over the running of the business and are proud to continue their mothers’ legacy. “Our number one priority is quality, and we always make sure to use the very best materials. The design is quite simple, yet stylish and fash-

ionable,” says manager Janette Ulriksen Gjertsen.

sold products. Another popular product is the FlexiSit, a full raincover with arms. All products are tested in an environmental chamber before being sold in order to ensure that they are water- and windproof, warm and comfortable to wear. However, the design and style of the Øytex collection is also a very important aspect. “We often get feedback from customers saying that they are happy with the design and want to buy our clothes because they look nice,” says Gjertsen.

Excellent quality guaranteed Øytex makes its clothes from OEKO-TEX® branded fabric delivered from Sweden, meaning that they are guaranteed to be free from illegal and harmful substances. All products are easily adjustable and can be tailored to fit each individual customer. “There is no such thing as one size fits all. When customers don’t fit into any of our standard sizes we sew according to their measurements in order for it to fit perfectly,” explains Gjertsen. Øytex has two popular wheelchair footmuffs: Aktiv Sit and Komfort Sit, both guaranteed to keep you warm. They are adjustable and easy to put on and take off, making them some of Øytex’s most-

An example of tailoring to fit a specific body shape.

Aktiv Sit footmuff – guaranteed to keep you warm.

For more information, please visit:

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Revolutionising care for increased quality of life Revolutionising the charting of urine incontinence, TENA Identifi is launching in 2014, developed to outline the frequency and proportion of urine void by the use of 3G technology to further help increase the quality of care and individual support. By Didrik Ottesen | Photos: Tena Identifi / SCA Hygiene

The newly-developed diaper technology by SCA Hygiene Products, with the Norwegian-based company Simpro providing help with the technological aspect, is equipped with electronic sensors connected to the internet via 3G and accordingly creates information regarding the exact time and amount of leakage. The information is subsequently gathered in a report which in detail outlines the person’s help requirements, contributing to the provision of better individual care for the person and furthermore helping to improve elderly care and routines in nursing homes. “Our innovation will make the care process significantly less time consuming as well as less resource-demanding

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by simplifying the everyday aspects for care takers, nurses and people with urine incontinence,” says Gisle Christensen, commercial director at SCA Hygiene Products AS in Norway. “The use of welfare technology can enhance the quality of future elderly care and improve the quality of life for many people.” Implemented in order to better handle the demographic challenges, considering the increasing number of the elderly in the population, SCA’s innovation, TENA Identifi, is groundbreaking in its focus on welfare technology within urinary incontinence. Having already had trial launches in Denmark and Canada, the results are showing important improvements in several areas, most significantly

notably improved and personallycustomised care, and has led to increased quality of life, better toilet routines and better utilisation of resources. “Our main aim is to continue to explore the possibilities of technological aid to help our clients to provide much better care for people in need of incontinence treatment. This product will help identify specific needs and consequently help people struggling with incontinence to receive a more adapted protection and be able to go to the toilet when needed, which, successively, will affect the person’s life quality in a positive way,” Christensen explains. “Furthermore, the working environment for the care takers and administrators in the health sector will be boosted as well, producing less waste and experiencing decreased financial cost, which will provide them with the opportunity to use their resources in a better and more efficient way,” says Christensen.

For more information, please visit:

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duced in Sweden, but when the manufacturer was unable to accommodate product improvements in 2004, Bratten decided to set up Ergoseat. “We currently have a motorised robot in Bergen, adapting each seat to its patient, with mobile production units all over Norway.” Ergoseat has garnered much attention beyond Norway’s borders, too. After a product presentation at a trade fair in Germany, a customer in Qatar with extensive research and development facilities expressed an interest in what Ergoseat has to offer. “Attention is likely to return to focus on Norway in the near future,” says Bratten, who reveals that the company recently secured a contract with Norway’s Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) to supply them with chairs for the next four years. “This will allow us to increase production from today’s 280 units per year to nearly 400 units,” explains the owner. In order to accommodate for a production increase of this scale, the company also aims to hire more staff.

Flexible wheelchair seat solutions Ergoseat is a Norwegian supplier of wheelchair seats, which can be tailor-made to suit individual needs and disabilities, whether from birth or following an accident. The company was founded by general manager and sole owner Bjoern Bratten, has twelve employees, and is based in Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen. This year, Ergoseat celebrates its tenth anniversary. By Stian Sangvig | Photos: Ergoseat

“The success of Ergoseat is down to our unique research and development facilities and our ability to mould a seat that is tailored to any individual patient’s needs,” explains Bratten. The moulding is particularly beneficial as it optimises the distribution of body weight and works as a perfect solution to prevent pressure ulcers. In addition to improving the quality of the

patient’s daily life, a moulded seat helps to keep treatment costs at a minimum. The moulded seats come in two types, depending on the condition of the patient: Softseat and Solidseat. “Our products and their adaptability are a result of 20 years of extensive research and development,” says Bratten. Initially, chairs were pro-

For more information on how Ergoseat may meet wheelchair patients’ needs, please visit:

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New software to boost confidence of elderly By Ulrika Kuoppa | Photos: Mylifeproducts AS/Memas

Many older people would like to stay at home, but a faltering memory can make it dangerous. Recently-launched software Memas helps make life happier and safer for elderly Norwegians. Memas is a piece of online software that makes it possible to keep track of what happens every day for an elderly person living at home. Relatives can manage the calendar from their own PCs to simplify life and, at the same time, increase the safety for forgetful and vulnerable family members. Appointments can be entered,

messages left and photos sent to the receiving Android tablet installed in the elderly customer’s home. Features and appearances are controlled via a web page that enables the user to choose a custom-made interface for the relative. Numerous research and development projects have been made where the functionality, usefulness and enjoyment value of Memas and similar products have been tested. “Our product can help people with memory loss in the areas where they struggle the most: being confused about time, feeling bored and

experiencing a sense of loneliness," says director Jorun Pedersen. “Memas helps the user to remember things, over and over, not just when a relative calls. But it also makes life more fun by enabling the user to keep up with news and share family photos. A big advantage is that visitors don’t feel obliged to check and double check that the relative is doing things that need to be done. No more boring nagging!” Pedersen continues: “Memas can really change a person’s life, as it reduces the stress and the sense of insecurity that comes with dementia or memory loss. With feedback from customers saying that ‘Memas makes me feel safe’ and ‘my parents are computer illiterate, but they understood Memas right away,’ it really feels like we’re on the right track!”

For more information about the product and how to order, please visit: Jorun Pedersen

Bwell’s one vision: to keep healthy employees healthy By Didrik Ottesen | Photo: Bwell

Having developed the tools required, Norwegian company Bwell offers cemented and concrete solutions to improve and maintain employees’ health and consequently maintain workplace efficiency and well-being. The two main aspects introduced have been designed to increase quality of life and improve health-related aspects in the work place. The World Health Organisation recommends walking 10,000 steps per day, and based on this information, Bwell has introduced the office treadmill, designed to improve an employee’s health and furthermore prevent back and muscle pain. “The treadmill offers an incomparable chance to walk while working, and additionally helps prevent back injuries often related to sitting down for too long,” says Kathrine Hovland, manager at Bwell. Moreover, the package solution

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offered includes what has been named the PowerNap, a specially designed massage chair developed by Bwell to offer employees mental and physical relaxation combined, maintaining energy and concentration levels while reducing stress. “Our experience from working with companies is that we have seen first-hand the benefits of our products and philosophy for the employees,” Hovland explains. “When implemented, and just by providing information around the subject, the system has drastically improved efficiency and helped workers become more physically active, all the while increasing employees’ health and subsequently reducing health-related absence.” Offering courses and coaching in addition to the products, all based on research and relevant studies, Bwell introduces easy steps to drastically improve health and productivity in the workplace.

For more information, please visit:

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Alta mini


Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Norwegian Welfare Technology

A profitable company and world-leader in hearing care, Oticon still operates with its founder Hans Demant’s relentless passion as a key driving force.

One man’s dream became the hope for millions Approximately 500 million people around the world are suffering from hearing loss. Oticon is a company dedicated to improving the quality of interaction and communication for people living with the day-to-day obstacles that damage of the hearing causes.

Hearing loss is not a simple issue, and therefore there is no simple solution, something Oticon keeps in mind when developing its products. Through thorough interviews, research and time spent with people suffering from hearing loss, Oticon’s researchers are committed to making their products help overcome the everyday obstacles hearing problems can amount to.

By Astrid Eriksson | Photos: Oticon

Central to the research and innovation of Oticon is its loyalty and aim to put people first. With this in mind, the company is devoted to working towards an environment where hearing loss is no longer an issue. But it is not only a matter of making people with damaged hearing able to hear the sounds of nature, city life or others. The technology is needed in order to make life function in ways others may take for granted – like being able to communicate freely, interact naturally, and participate actively in life and society. Oticon is one of the world’s two largest providers of hearing care solutions, but it all started modestly with one man and his wish to help his wife who was suffer-

ing from hearing loss from an early age. Through his conviction and personal motivation, Hans Demant began importing hearing devices from America and started his own company, and when it was time for his son William to take over, the latter did so with all the passion and determination his father had started out with. Today, as a part of the William Demant Holding Group, Oticon has not lost sight of the mission its founder once set out on: to improve life for people with hearing loss. Making profit in a downturn market, Oticon is a successful world-leader in hearing care, running its own international research facility, Eriksholm, and providing people in over 100 different countries with hearing aids and devices.

Oticon uses refined technology, skilled personnel, and most of all a passion for making a difference, to make sure that the spirit of Hans Demant lives on in the work of the company today. With the motto ‘people first’, this giant is adamant never to forget what matters most – a helping hand.

For more information, please visit:

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Switch off the lights from the comfort of your bed, open the blinds in your home while away on holiday, or open the door to a visitor even though you are not at home – all with HDL’s clever Smart Home system.

Smarten up your home With an HDL Smart Home, you can install a clever solution that is extremely easy to use yet will not cost the earth. From a single elegant keypad, you will be able to control your lighting, heating, blinds and music. Sensors can monitor your house at all times, allowing you to create a home that is both energy efficient and secure. By connecting to the system with your smart device, you can stay in constant contact with your home, wherever you may be. By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: HDL Nordic

“With an HDL Smart Home, you’re getting what you expect modern technology to give you. After all, you wouldn’t normally buy a car without all the features – electric windows, Bluetooth stereo,” says Nick Sutton, managing director at HDL in the UK. “At HDL, we offer solutions that are inexpensive. Whether it’s a two-room flat or a mansion, anyone building today can afford an HDL solution.”

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Elegant, functional design People are drawn first and foremost to HDL’s elegant keypad. This multifunctional panel, with a small LCD screen, enables you to control all the elements in your home – lighting, heating, blinds and curtains, air conditioning, even music – from one place. You can have one by your bed, so that you can switch all the lights off in the house simultaneously before you

go to sleep. Available in different colours and finishes to suit your taste, the invention means that you can finally get rid of all those clunky light switches and thermostats that have been cluttering up your walls. “We have worked extremely hard on the design of the keypad,” says Christopher Dahl, managing director at HDL in Scan-

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dinavia. “We use easy-to-understand symbols and texts so that everyone can use them intuitively, the same way you use a normal light switch.” The system can be configured to switch off the lighting and heating when you go to work and come back on again in time for when you return home. Sensors can detect if a room is empty and turn off the lights accordingly. When you are on holiday, you can programme the system to turn lights on at certain times, as well as open and close blinds and curtains, so that it will look as though someone is still living in the house. You will be alerted in the event that an alarm does go off. Save on energy, maximise security By creating this automated rhythm in your home, you will save energy. “We can save you up to 40 per cent on your utility bills by reducing heating and lighting,” says Dahl. “A system like this should only cost a little more than a traditional installation, yet, because of the energy savings, in five to 10 years you will have earned back the entire installation cost.”

DLP panel

Control just about everything in your home from your iPad.

With your smartphone or tablet device, you can control the system from anywhere at anytime. “The idea is to keep you in constant dialogue with your house,” says Dahl. From this autumn, if someone rings your doorbell and you are not at home, you will be able to talk to your visitor and even let them into your house over the phone. This cutting-edge technology is not only attractive to young people who have grown up surrounded by computers – the over65s, too, are increasingly using smart devices. It is the simplicity of the HDL systems that really appeals to them. HDL sensors can connect to alarm systems, which will quickly report if something happens to an elderly or disabled person, allowing them to live in their own homes for longer, reassured that help will arrive fast. Setting the mood

Remote control

With extensive experience in lighting theatre stages and concert halls around the world, HDL helps clients create different moods and atmospheres using LED control for ambient lighting. As well as residential home automation, HDL’s services are also employed in commercial projects. Gordon Ramsay recently installed

HDL lighting systems in two of his London restaurants: the newly refurbished Savoy Grill at the Savoy Hotel and the recently opened London House in Battersea Square. LED lighting, which is energy efficient and has a long lifespan, has been installed throughout both restaurants. The lights can easily be adjusted to create the perfect atmosphere for guests, whether they are having a leisurely lunch or a pretheatre dinner. Thanks to constant innovation and affordable pricing, HDL is at the forefront of an industry that is set to boom. This summer, HDL will expand its portfolio by launching its wireless range, whereby existing wiring systems can be configured. To find out how you can make your own home smart, head to Grand Designs Live at ExCel London on 3-11 May, or Eliaden Trade Fair in Oslo on 2-5 June, where HDL will be exhibiting all it has to offer.

For more information, please visit:

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Better light for the future By Stian Sangvig | Photos: Light Efficient

A Nordic partner of US-based Digital Lumens, Light Efficient provides lighting solutions for the industrial market. “Our aim is to provide our clients with quality lighting solutions that save energy, reduce costs and improve their lighting conditions,” explains partner and director of marketing and product, Karianne Bjerknes. The idea to set up the company, which was founded in Oslo 18 months ago and today has three employees, emerged upon winning the award for Best New Product at the World Eco-

nomic Forum in 2012. Shortly afterwards, the founders obtained the necessary distribution rights for the Nordic countries. Light Efficient’s market includes large warehouse buildings with a ceiling height between four and 26 metres. “We encourage customers to set aggressive cost and energysaving targets,” says Bjerknes. The company’s largest customer is Norges Varemesse (Norway Trade Fairs), who saved 80 per cent in energy costs across its 40,000 square metres of exhibition space. Other clients include distribution centres, industrial bakeries and gyms.

The technology behind the solutions focuses on intelligent light fixtures, wirelessly networked and centrally managed. “Customers can expect large annual energy savings and a typical pay-back of two years,” Bjerknes explains. The solution can withstand temperatures and spill-overs from industrial plants and can be cleaned using high-pressure water. Put simply, for users this means maintenance-free lighting for more than 12 years. “Our plan is to expand our staff in order to spread our message across Scandinavia and beyond,” Bjerknes ends.

For more information, please visit:

Small devices with big impact By Andrea Bærland

When their previous employer closed down, Vigdis Wergeland and Wibecke Sem-Jacobsen wanted to keep working with their passion: making reading and writing accessible for everyone. The two resourceful women went ahead and started Daisy, and nearly two years later they offer some of the most innovative welfare technology products in Norway.

puter to read out. Talking pens can also be useful in the everyday life of the visually impaired by assisting in everyday chores such as organising the pantry. This is done with ‘talking stickers’. The users programme the stickers themselves to tell them which item they are pointing to with the pen. The founders of Daisy also spend a substantial amount of time teaching everyone from teachers and parents to the users themselves how to best utilise their products. “People often

There are many reasons why the written word may become inaccessible to someone – everything from visual impairment to learning difficulties such as dyslexia. “Our goal is to give everyone the chance to understand a text, regardless of their ability,” says Wergeland. Text-to-speech computer software enables users to ‘read with their ears,’ and pen-sized scanners allow us to digitise With a USee tripod you can use the camera on your smartphone or tablet to enlarge text printed texts for the com- and images. Photo: Therapybox

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don’t realise that very small changes in the workplace can make a huge difference in accessibility,” says Wergeland. It can be as simple as using the camera on your tablet or smartphone as a magnifying glass, held by a special tripod keeping it in focus. Wergeland also stresses the importance of introducing welfare technology in schools to avoid stigma: “Ideally, when you distribute a hand-out in class, the student with reading difficulties should receive it straight to her device so that she can listen to it, rather than have the teacher read it out loud for her.”

The PENpal talks the visually impaired through daily activities. Photo: Mantralingua

Scanners the size of a marker pen can be used to digitise and read out printed text. Photo:

For more information, please visit:

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ReSound LiNX is the new-generation hearing aid. Bluetooth technology connects the hearing aid to your iPhone, and your iPhone can help locate the hearing aids if misplaced.

Hearing aid turned high-tech cool A brand new technology solution by ReSound tackles hearing loss with a wireless connection to your iPhone, iPad and iPod. A hearing aid is no longer only about hearing – it is the new lifestyle product. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: ReSound

ReSound dates back to 1943 and is among one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids in the world, with around 3,000 employees and distribution in 80 countries. The head office is based in Denmark. Norwegian product manager Atle Nerland has worked at ReSound since 2006. He says that people might think of hearing aids as “a large, beige thing on your ear,” but today’s modern technology makes for endless possibilities in tiny devices. “We constantly work to develop products with clear benefits for consumers in their daily lives,” says Nerland, explaining that in 2020, 1,000,000 Norwegians will suffer from hearing loss, but today only about 200,000 are wearing hearing aids. “Unlike getting glasses, many people are reluctant to get hearing aids,” he says.

Smartphone innovation But new innovation might change that perception, and earlier this spring the company released a new smart device: ReSound LiNX, the first made for iPhone hearing aid. “It’s really exciting,” says Nerland. “ReSound LiNX is the world’s first ‘cool hearing aid’, and we have never seen such big media attention around a product before.” The hearing aid connects to your iPhone through a low-energy Bluetooth connection. “It’s a wireless headset that just happens to be your hearing aids. You just keep the iPhone in your pocket and stream the sound straight to your ears,” Nerland explains. “Everyone keeps their phone close, from the moment they get up in the morning. So you just need to switch the hearing aids on and you’re up and running.” The iPhone works as a remote control for adjusting sound levels, and a friend can

even use it as a microphone in noisy places like restaurants. Another feature is geo-tagging, where the phone automatically returns to the settings you have previously chosen for a favourite café, the office or any other location. And no need to worry about losing your hearing aids: the phone can always help you find them. Additional products and apps make it easier than ever to be yourself. Music-lovers can adjust treble and bass with the new Smart app. A TV streamer can send sound directly to the hearing aids, allowing individual sound adjustments with your iPhone. “The options are endless,” says Nerland. “It’s now more about what people are interested in and how they use their iPhone.”

Norwegian product manager of ReSound, Atle Nerland.

For more information, please visit:

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Colourful and custom-made earplugs from Namsos.

Handmade in Namsos Modern technology has made it possible to industrialise earplug production. But a small company in Norway still uses the original craft, creating every custom-made earplug by hand. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Namsos Audiosenter

Namsos Audiosenter was launched in 1996, making individual earplugs for customers with hearing loss, but the range extended to hearing protection for musicians, hunters and professionals, the largest client being the Norwegian airline company Widerøe. The first step towards getting customised earplugs is to visit an audiologist to make ear impressions. “We use the impressions as templates and make the earplugs in a soft acrylic material to closely fit the ears. Every ear is different and we also make earplugs in every colour possible. You can even get them engraved with your name, phone number or logotype,” says Espen Flyum, audiologist at Namsos Audiosenter. Hearing protection for work and play Hearing loss due to noise at work is one of

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the most common work-related health problems today. But hobbies like music or hunting can also damage your ears. “We create moulded earplugs with special filters that absorb sound on four different levels. It is also very common to combine this with a communications radio,” says Flyum, strongly recommending using hearing protection when hunting. Namsos Audiosenter also makes earplugs for integration with mobile earphones, for listening to music while working out, and in-ear monitoring for musicians. Another popular product is a special earplug for swimming, used by both children and adults. “Custom moulded hearing protection is growing bigger every year. We notice that people are willing to pay more for a pair of

custom-made earplugs, because the comfort is so much better than in conventional hearing protection,” says Flyum. Handmade earplugs for children The company also has a contract with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) to make individual earplugs for children under the age of 18. “The industry wants handmade customised earplugs for children with severe hearing loss, even for the youngest ones who get new earplugs every three months. It is a huge deal that they want them to be handmade in Norway,” Flyum insists. The production is based in the small town of Namsos, with four people working on the production side and a total of eight employees. Nevertheless, together they make around 16,000 earplugs here each year. “We constantly develop new colours and earplugs for new areas of use, such as various types of sports, often in combination with music devices and mobile phones,” says Flyum. For more information, please visit:

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S G F PEC IN IAL NI SH TH WE EM LF E: AR Oulu Health) ET EC working on soluHN tions for example for OL OG preventive and elderly care. Y

There is also a true start-up boom that was witnessed in 2013 during two investment events that took place in Helsinki, where altogether more than 150 start-ups from the well-being, welfare and health care technology, and service sectors took part. This year, the international SLUSH 2014 event in Helsinki on 18 and 19 November will be even bigger in terms of the number of start-ups.

FIHTA Trade 1996.

Health tech in Finland is booming Finland has a high-quality health care system. For a country of its size, it also boasts a large number of health technology professionals. For decades, the country’s dynamic health technology industry has been innovating and developing technological solutions for the global market – helping millions of people around the world and employing tens of thousands of people in Finland.

Above: Icare One. Below, left: Evondos Dispenser. Below, right: Planmed Verity.

By FiHTA, Finnish Health Tech

Over the recent five-year period, 20072012, Finland’s health technology manufacturing and exports have seen an average growth of over 8 per cent annually, despite the recession. In fact, this rate of growth virtually matches the long-term growth rate of the same figure annually since 1996. Health technology companies operating in Finland are highly specialised, and several rank among the largest in their field. Products developed in Finland are renowned for being robust, as well as safe and effective. After a pause in growth in 2011, Finnish health technology exports sky-rocketed by 23 per cent to P1.65 billion in 2012.

Health technology now represents nearly 40 per cent of Finland’s total high-tech industry – second only to the electronics and telecommunications sector exports. (High-tech product exports totalled P4.3 billion in 2012, according to Finnish Customs).

For more information, please visit: FiHTA - Healthtech Finland: Oulu Wellness Institute:

The high-quality health care system, a long tradition in health technology, and the strong knowhow in ICT and mobile technologies make for an excellent basis to solve the challenges of today’s health and welfare systems in Finland and globally. There are several national as well as regional innovation eco systems and clusters (e.g. Aalto University Health Factory,

Oulu Health: SLUSH 2014: Taltioni personal health database: Innovation Village: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health:

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Above left: Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony. Above right: Matti Suur-Hamari, snowboarder. Below right: Ilkka Mitali and wheelchair curling.

One proud Finnish medal from the Sochi 2014 Paralympics

Russia’s Mikhail Terentiev were introduced as new members of the IPC Athletes’ Council, with the mission to work with the other members and the International Paralympic Committee IPC.

The Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games was held two months ago, and the nine days of competition that followed were record-breaking in terms of athletic performances, ticket sales and media coverage: the Games featured 547 athletes from 45 countries, competing in 72 medal events.

For the first time in the history of the Paralympic Games, the Nordic countries cooperated very closely. Since every Nordic country had one or two athletes participating in alpine skiing, it was convenient to have a joint doctor and physiotherapist. Cooperation continues at different levels for the preparation of the next Paralympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and PyeongChang in 2018.

By Leena Kummu of the Finnish Paralympic Committee | Photos: Maiju Torvinen/Finnish Paralympic Committee

The Finnish team included 13 athletes competing in five different sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, wheelchair curling and snowboarding. The only sport that Finland did not participate in was ice sledge hockey. Almost every event in the Paralympic Games was sold out, and the audience cheered for all participants. Altogether 316,200 tickets were sold for the Games, a remarkable 86,200 more than in the previous Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010. What an illustration of the great job the organising committee did, not to mention indication of the significant growth in the general popularity of the Paralympic

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movement, with more than 55 countries broadcasting the competitions. The Finnish team achieved one medal, and several athletes finished within the top 8. Finnish cross-country skier Ilkka Tuomisto, 30, won silver with a perfect performance in the 20-kilometre race. Russia dominated almost every sport, topping the standings with 30 gold medals and 80 medals in total. Sweden and Norway were the strongest Nordic countries with four medals each. During the closing ceremony, Norway’s Eskil Hagen, Finland’s Katja Saarinen and

The Finnish Paralympic Committee was established in 1994 and celebrates its 20th anniversary with a seminar and party on 23 May 2014.

For more information on the Paralympic movement, please visit: For more information on the Finnish Paralympic Committee, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Finnish Welfare Technology

New technology helps you manage your well-being and self-care and gives you 24/7 access to your personal health records.

Health care for the mobile Have you ever had your patient records printed or handwritten on different paper pads in order to summarise your medical history for a doctor who does not know you nor has access to your files? By Taina Värri | Photos: Pixmac

Finnish technology company Mediconsult has thought this over and spent the last five years developing the next step in health care. Highly automated mobile platform Medinet aims to help save the precious time of health care professionals while giving the patients an up-to-date tool for the management of their own well-being and self-care. The purpose of the system is to enable the patients to access, study and fill their own data via the web, wherever they may be. That way, there will be a detailed history of each person’s health and medical history in one single database. It will provide more time for face-to-face consultation, but also detailed background data when using different health care services in different locations.

The Medinet system will not mend a broken leg, not to mention a broken heart. But it can, however, be used as a lifestyle monitor that supports you in maintaining a healthier lifestyle and managing your current medical condition. Users can measure their own blood pressure, blood sugar, weight or pedometer step counts, put the data in the system and that way keep track of their own health status.

communication with health care professionals. Your digital health diary can naturally be accessed only by the health care professionals and yourself, using strong and reliable identification, much like online banking. The log will record all activity on your account and that data will be separately stored for possible further investigation. Moreover, if there is a strong practical need to combine the data from the social services and the health care system, the patient, and only the patient, can give permission to combine the two in the one database.

Personal assistant in your pocket The application works as a notebook and a personal assistant, sending you text messages when your new prescription is ready to be picked up in the pharmacy or when your lab results are available on your Medinet account. Another essential part of the service will be a special social media platform for peer support and

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Finnish Welfare Technology

Bringing expertise from the security industry and investing it in the world of health and elderly care, Seniortek helps senior citizens feel safe and gives care workers the time to focus on what no advanced technology can offer: the human touch.

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Finnish Welfare Technology

High-tech security for the elderly The Nurmela brothers from Rovaniemi, Finland, decided to use their security systems expertise to create a humane, easy-to-use technological innovation to help the elderly and their carers. Today, thousands of senior citenzens and their relatives across the Nordic countries enjoy the peace of mind the Seniortek security systems bring. By Mia Halonen | Photo: Seniortek

People live longer than ever before, and most of us would like to live in our own homes for as long as possible. But with age inevitably comes more need of assistance. Nowadays, relatives are seldom able to take care of the elderly on a fulltime basis and, with the number of senior citizens on the rise, the whole society is facing new challenges in organising elderly care in a more efficient way.

install the system, so it can easily be placed in a regular home, and when the system is no longer needed, it can simply be unplugged. Motion detectors stay awake when others sleep

For many years, brothers Pasi and Sami Nurmela worked in the security industry. When listening to the comments of the users in the nursing homes and assisted living buildings, they realised that there was a huge need to think things over: there already was a lot of security and surveillance technology, but it all needed to be combined into one easy-to-use system. After all, nurses are specialists in providing care – not in the latest technologies.

The systems are based on motion detectors, so there is never any compromising video footage gathered and the resident does not have a feeling of being under constant surveillance. The censors do, however, detect if the resident has, for instance, been motionless for an unusual period of time or has left the residence. And if the resident falls, the system alarms the carers automatically, even if the patient is unconscious. “This is important, because senior citizens often don’t want to bother anyone. If it was up to them, they might not push any button and then the help might get there too late,” says Nurmela.

The Nurmelas started Seniortek Ltd. in 2005, and from the very beginning it was clear that they wanted to do something that was truly helpful for their customers. “We want the nurses to have less routine work and more time to spend personally with the patients,” says Pasi Nurmela, now CEO of the company.

The systems can be controlled via a computer network and using a Dect telephone, and all systems are managed using a single, customer-specific user interface. Since the routine work is left to the machines, the carers have more time to do the kind of work no machine can ever do: adding the human touch.

Seniortek Service Home Concept and Home Application combine different surveillance and alarm systems as well as a nurse call function into one single, easyto-use tool. The actual gadget in the resident’s room or in a senior citizen’s home could easily be mistaken for a pillar for a flower pot. There is no need for any structural changes in the building in order to

The cost of peace of mind But all this high-tech equipment must be expensive? “No, actually it is not,” Nurmela assures. “For the cost of a couple of routine house calls by a nurse, you can have this system at home for a month. And in a 30-bed sheltered living facility it takes just four years for the system to pay back its costs in full.”

Costs can be permanently reduced. And more importantly, the system improves communication and helps relieve stress, so the working conditions of professional care staff are significantly improved. “Employees will be more committed to the workplace, and the families of the residents can be sure that their loved ones are well taken care of.” Great clients Nurmela gives praise to the Seniortek clients. “Actually, I have to confess that it is our clients who do most of our R&D,” he smiles. “We listen to the users very carefully and try to figure out technological solutions to their problems. We are very much between the soft and the hard side of it all.” All this has resulted in the respected INNOSUOMI prize awarded for excellence by the President of Finland in 2007. The patented Seniortek concepts have already found their way to the other Nordic countries, and in Japan and America a lot of interest has been expressed. Quite the achievement for a small company from such a remote corner of the world – but Nurmela can see the positive side of living next to Santa Claus in Lapland. “The good thing about living here by the Arctic Circle is that we have ample time to think all summer long when the sun shines 24/7!” Who knows what the Seniortek brains will think of this summer?

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Finnish Welfare Technology

Different devices for location tracking have been invented in the past, but BiiSafe Buddy is different in its unnoticeable approach. It also keeps the phone battery from draining fast. Quality design and usability

BiiSafe Buddy is a stylish smartphone accessory that keeps you safe and can also double up as a necklace.

Stylish button for people who care Let us imagine that pushing your key fob would help you find your mobile phone, or share your location with friends, or get you out of an uncomfortable situation. Thanks to the Finnish company BiiSafe, we may have to imagine no more.

The discreet approach, however, does not mean that BiiSafe Buddy is not stylish. Quite the opposite. BiiSafe Buddy won the Red Dot Award 2014 in March for its high design quality. “Some strong Finnish design brands have won this award before, so we are in good company,” says Suutarinen. BiiSafe is also releasing a special edition of its flagship product, a piece of jewellery decorated with diamonds. The emphasis still remains on usability. At least the demand seems to be there, judging by the pre-ordering figures. The software is available in AppStore, and the product itself is for sale on the company’s website and from a number of retailers. The aim of the small Finnish company was always to go global straight away. “These days, it’s possible. You don’t need to have 50-100 employees at the start,” says the CEO.

By Johannes Laitila | Photos: BiiSafe

Jouni Suutarinen, CEO of BiiSafe, says that the business idea emerged a couple of years ago. His father lived some 300 kilometres (186 miles) away and was suffering from memory disorder. As Suutarinen was worried whether or not his father had re-

CEO Jouni Suutarinen

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membered to embark on his daily stroll, he realised that the man always carried his keys with him on his belt. So it all began. If one could share their location with a small item attached to their keychain, there would be much less to worry about. BiiSafe was formed in late 2011, and last month, it released its newest product, BiiSafe Buddy. The idea is simple. BiiSafe Buddy is a smartphone accessory that utilises cloud services. It is the size of a small coin and can easily be carried around. With just one press of a button, you can share your location or send an alert in case you need to. “We have been looking for a category where this product would fit in, but there’s no obvious such category. It seems we actually have created something totally new,” says Suutarinen.

BiiSafe jewellery

BiiSafe buddies

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Celebrating Finnish Welfare Technology

Saving lives with smartphones By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: Innovamo

Innovamo provides innovative mobile solutions for the healthcare sector using near field communication (NFC) technology. Thanks to the SOS-ICE service, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions can go about their daily lives as normal, secure in the knowledge that in an emergency situation, they will receive the right treatment quickly.

will launch, displaying all the patient’s crucial details. Alternatively, they can retrieve the information from the SOS-ICE website. While it is already common for those at risk to wear some kind of identity bracelet with basic medical details, with SOS-ICE far more information can be stored, such as emergency contact details and recent

By wearing an SOS-ICE silicon bracelet with an NFC chip, you can have all your essential medical information on you at all times – ideal if you suffer from something like diabetes, Alzheimer’s or food allergies. Workers in high-risk environments, or motorcyclists and bicyclists can also benefit from putting an SOS-ICE sticker embedded with an NFC chip on their helmets. Paramedics can simply tap their smart NFC technology-supported device to the bracelet or sticker, and the SOS-ICE app

Enabling E real

aachievement Man Mannaz is an international frontrunner in leadership development. A do Adopting innovative and efficient learning methods and approaches, wee empower people development and business success. w

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test results. “We are addressing a known problem, but modernising the solution with today’s technology,” says John Caesar, founder of Innovamo. Individuals have complete control over how much information they want to share. The annual fee allows Innovamo to maintain information in a secure database and monitor usage for security purposes. The wristband is included in this fee, and more fashionable chip-containing accessories are under development.

For more information, please visit:

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The great Swedish outdoors Summer in Sweden means long days and bright nights, where the sun never sets in some parts and you can spend all day and night in the great outdoors. Here are a few of our favourite things to do during the Swedish summer. By Anna Hjerdin, online communications manager at VisitSweden | Photo:

At sea… Head to Stockholm or Gothenburg for true archipelago paradise. Go island-hopping or hire your own boat and sail around the 24,000 or so islands. Why not hire a sea kayak, explore the west coast archipelago’s world-famous seafood, and visit quaint fishing villages such as Fjällbacka? Or take a trip to Sweden’s first national marine park, Kosterhavet National Park? If canoeing is your thing, discover the wild rivers in Swedish Lapland or head to Värmland in the west to try river rafting. If you are after more of a leisurely trip, then Skåne and Halland in the south of Sweden offer long sandy beaches and warm waters, as well as more active holidays for kite- and windsurfers.

Photos: Staffan Widstrand



On dry land… In 2014, Sweden was awarded Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year by The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), and there is plenty to discover from links courses such as Fal-

sterbo Golf Club in Skåne to the challenging Stadium Course at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club outside Stockholm, unquestionably one of Europe’s finest courses. However, if you agree with Mark Twain that ‘golf is a good walk spoiled’, then Sweden has thousands of miles of marked hiking trails. Have you heard of the legendary hiking trail Kungsleden, The King’s Trail, which takes you through the wilderness of Swedish Lapland? Hike the Roslagsleden trail, starting just outside Stockholm, taking in forests, rolling countryside, Viking burial sites, medieval churches and lakes. In the south, try Skåneleden, which takes you past some of the country’s finest farm shops and cafes. Make sure to stop at the gardens at Sofiero Castle, awarded Europe’s most beautiful park in 2010. For something to get the adrenalin pumping, head north to Åre for mountain biking and zip lining. So there it is: Sweden for nature and outdoor lovers, walkers, cyclists, canoeists, adventurers, golfers, and many more.

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Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Sweden’s Top 3 Summer Experiences

Make the most of summer – Swedish style Sätra Brunn, the place where the greenery and picturesque cottages contribute as much to the peaceful atmosphere as the high-quality water that led to the founding of a health spa here in the 1700s, is ready for summer. And that means more than just peace and quiet in tune with nature – this is the place to experience a really great pub night, Swedish style. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Mats Wikman

“The whole barbeque, beer and music thing is quite Swedish, isn’t it?” says Sofia Granlund, sales and marketing manager at the resort, pausing for a moment before adding: “In the great outdoors, of course! Under a clear-blue sky, where it’s bright until close to midnight.” Indeed, Swedes are notorious for their insistence on staying outside every waking hour once the calendar switches to summer, and Sätra Brunn is the perfect place for it.

a big barbeque buffet and drinks for sale.” Shuttle buses pick up guests from the nearby town of Sala, and the pub nights are hugely popular among locals. Moreover, admission is free. “There’s no entrance fee, but guests are encouraged to leave an exit fee at their own discretion,” says Granlund, adding: “We’ve been lucky with the weather, too. The weather’s always good on Wednesdays!” Scenery and celebration

“Every Wednesday evening from Midsummer’s on we arrange summer pub nights,” Granlund explains. “Sometimes we get the big stars, and other times we celebrate local talent. But there’s always live music,

Surrounded by beautiful parks and plenty of flowers, Sätra Brunn is not just a place to celebrate summer and time off, but one ideal for relaxation. The spa deals are affordable in the summer season, and there

are accommodation options even for more limited budgets. With its own church and perfect party premises, the resort hosts summer weddings almost every weekend, and, naturally, Midsummer’s is a big calendar highlight. One of the biggest Midsummer celebrations in County Västmanland, it draws crowds of up to 7,000, and the traditional element is key: “Many families book a table for dinner every year, and they insist on always sitting in the same spot.” As the summer draws to a close, a socalled party of light invites guests to a night of torches, candlelight and a fire show. The already magical scenery gets a celebratory glow, and live music and dancing are a given. Where? Oh yes: in the stunning, charming, great and muchloved outdoors, of course. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Sweden’s Top 3 Summer Experiences

With mindfulness and a back-to-basics approach to life now on trend, Urnatur has been dubbed the future of tourism, with two founders who live in tune with nature, perfectly eco-consciously, inviting visitors to switch off and enjoy great conversation with them.

Find inspiration under the canopy Biologist Ulrika Krynitz and forester Håkan Strotz created a paradise at Urnatur. In the deep forests in the middle of southern Sweden, an ecological and stress-free environment is on offer. Mostly without electricity, this is the place where anyone can get back to basics – to experience first-hand, with all senses, just how extraordinary Mother Nature is.

“We’ve created what we call ‘a poem of Swedish nature’, where our guests can enjoy living in simple, but beautifullydesigned, huts and experience nature at its best,” says founder Ulrika Krynitz.

By Ulrika Kuoppa | Photos: Ulrika Krynitz

Urnatur (the Nature Primeval) is the ideal setting for a getaway, providing inspiration and team-building experiences in abundance for colleagues. This is where a lot of adventures can be had and inspiration can be found, or the place for a blissfully relaxed holiday. To sit in the dark, quiet night in the deep forest around an open fire will provide food for thought for anyone. En-

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joying the heat from the wood-burning sauna before diving into the lake for a refreshing swim under the stars is an experience of a lifetime.

Håkan Strotz and Ulrika Krynitz

She claims that creating Urnatur more or less happened by fluke when two souls wanted to create something they truly believed in, as far away from an office setting as possible. Ulrika, the biologist and animal lover, delights in discovering new ed-

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Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Sweden’s Top 3 Summer Experiences

At the wood hermitage, the guests can enjoy the real tranquillity of living in the midst of the forest, sleeping in comfortable beds and getting in tune with nature. There is no electricity, so if it gets dark, lanterns can be lit, and if it gets cold, some more logs can be put on the fire.

here, the visitor will likely go back with a feeling of inner calm, full of inspiration.

“We are rather self-sufficient in terms of food. All our meat comes from our own lambs, and we serve pike, perch and crayfish from the lake alongside wild herbs that we gather in the surroundings,” says Krynitz, continuing: “Anyone can come here. We have a lot of avid nature-loving guests, but we also get plenty of guests from the hustle and bustle of the big city, who have told us that coming here is a great big adventure. I think the fact that we’ve got no electricity here, making the fire so important, is one of our key elements and a reason why our concept is so successful. Something magical happens with us humans when we sit by a fire and listen to its crackling sound.” The future of tourism

ible plants, growing vegetables and looking after her chickens and sheep. She has also developed her own range of textiles, fabrics and rugs. Strotz, on the other hand, knows about forestry, wood, construction, artisanship and survival techniques. Urnatur’s guests can rest assured that they are in very capable and knowledgeable hands. Obviously organic “Our homestead is the heart of everything we do,” says Krynitz. “The grounds have probably looked like this for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. This is where our sheep graze and keep the landscape open. Everything is organic, something so natural for us that we sometimes forget to point it out. We cut the grass by hand to encourage floral diversity. All our cabins and buildings are made by us, with wood from our own forests, and the majority of the interiors, furniture and fabric are also made and designed by us.”

Urnatur believes in good conversation, in providing the right surroundings and settings for it. It means a lot for new ways of thinking and gives inspiration, but it also adds to the dynamic of the group discussions among colleagues. A lot of inspiring lectures and courses are also on offer. “We are so pleased that Urnatur has been given awards and is being highlighted as a good example of the future of tourism by a number of organisations, journalists and magazines, alongside universities and authorities,” says Krynitz. “One of the trends at the moment is going back to nature, back to basics, mindfulness and reconnection – big words that really only mean that people have tired of dividing their lives into work and leisure. They now want to fill their existence with something more, something they believe in: something with meaning, where they can see the consequences of their actions and take responsibility for what they do.” But this is no big deal for Krynitz and Strotz at Urnatur, since this is what they have been doing all along. That, in itself, is a big inspiration for the visitor. After a stay

To book a stay or read more, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Sweden’s Top 3 Summer Experiences

Clockwise from left: The preserved Linnaeus summer home close to Uppsala. Photo: Kalbar/Destination Uppsala. Explore nature through one of the Herbationes Upsalienses excursions. Photo: Ana Vera. Botanical garden. Photo: Bengt Johansson. The Linnaeus Museum, home of botanist Carl Linnaeus. Photo: Kalbar/Destination Uppsala. Experience Ultuna Knowledge Park in the spirit of Linnaeus. Photo: SLU

In the footsteps of Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus developed the system of classifying plants and animals, and is the father of modern taxonomy. He was an advocate of spending time outdoors, enjoying fresh air, and feeling at home in nature.

More to see and celebrate Carl Linnaeus will be celebrated during the annual festivities taking place 17-25 May in venues around Uppsala. Stadsträdgården, the beautiful city park, also celebrates its 150th anniversary with a programme of activities and events on 23 August.

By Malin Norman

Uppsala is staying true to his heritage with the ambition to offer citizens at least one green area within every eight-minute walk. “We all need to take care and make use of the nature we have available,” says Brita Zetterberg Blom, project development manager at Destination Uppsala. Get closer to nature, the Linnaeus way Linnaeus preferred teaching outdoors and built a system of eight educational excursions called Herbationes Upsalienses. He wanted students to explore on their own to awaken their curiosity, a theme of these trails still today. There are over 300 species from Linnaeus’s time to discover as well as the opportunity to try geocaching, a treasure-hunting game with GPS.

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More of his work can be seen in the Linnaeus Garden, where he conducted research and taught his students. The periodic plant blocks contain more than 1,000 species arranged according to the Linnaeus system. His home, which is now the Linnaeus Museum, also found in the garden, still contains orginal furniture, clothes and textiles from the family’s time here, and stages exhibitions in the library, writing chamber and cabinet. Just 12 kilometres outside Uppsala, in Hammarby, is the Linnaeus summer house, built for the family to get closer to nature. “Both the house and the garden have been preserved – the most precious parts of the Linnaeus legacy,” says Mariette Manktelow, project manager at Destination Uppsala.

The Orangery in the Botanical Garden will host the Ikebana & Contemporary Plant Art exhibition from 14 June to 14 September, with seven Japanese artists creating installations on-site. The Orangery was built on the initiative of Carl Peter Thunberg, one of Linnaeus’s students who published the first Japanese flora. Worth a visit is also the Ultuna Knowledge Park, a garden based on the concept of learning about plants in their natural environment and in the spirit of Linnaeus. The park is open for anyone interested in horticulture, environmental conservation and landscape development.

For more information, please visit:

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S N L PECI AN AL DS TH CA EM PE E: gas AR emissions CH ITE to water manCT agement to handle inUR E creasing rainfall, and preservation of existing and creation of new green spaces in cities with higher population densities. The health aspects of the design of green areas in cities are becoming more important as people are becoming less physically active. Contemporary landscape architecture in Norway

Evening sun over the Tungeneset picnic area and viewpoint at the National Tourist Road Senja. Architect: Code Arkitektur AS. Landscape Architect: Aurora Landskap. Photo: Hugo Fagermo / Statens vegvesen

Landscape architecture in Norway Close your eyes and think of your favourite outdoor space… if it happens to be a park with water, lawns, flowers and trees creating a cool shadow on a warm summer’s day, you are in a place created by a landscape architect. By Marit Hovi and Gyda Grendstad, Norske landskapsarkitekters forening (NLA)

Take a trip along the National Tourist Roads all over the country. For the last 20 years, these roads have been supplied with beautifully-designed viewpoints, overlooking the spectacular sceneries along the coast, in the valleys and the mountains. Or take a walk to the many urban spaces in the cities, for example Bjørvika in Oslo with the walkable roof of the Oslo Opera house, designed by Snøhetta, or the new sculptural park at Ekeberg nearby. You will be surprised to find outdoor spaces comparable with the best international standards worldwide!

Below: A tour through Svartdalen (the Black Valley) in the Old Town of Oslo. Landscape Architect: COWI AS. Photo: COWI AS.

Landscape architecture has its roots in garden art, a millennial tradition in designing gardens, parks and other recreational areas. The topic also includes outdoor areas in schools and nurseries, cultural landscapes and urban environments. The landscape architect’s typical work is the design of roads, streets and urban open spaces, residential areas, sports facilities, parks and natural areas. Green areas increase human health Today, landscape architects work with an array of tasks that can be summarised as design and management of the outdoor environment of the human habitat. In addition, there is a larger focus on all environmental issues ranging from climate

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Norwegian Landscape Architecture

children are highly dependent on the quality of outdoor areas,” says Haug. “In some cases, the older children are downright idle. Our contribution has been to facilitate versatile expression in a social context, and in addition, we utilise the natural elements in as far as possible.”

Photo: Daniel Mikaelsen

Photo: Øyvin Vestre

The children at a kindergarten in Longyearbyen said that they wanted to be able to play and climb outdoors all year round. The solution was a 6-metre tall semi-climatised tower with a large glass wall.

Active meeting places for children and youngsters Inspired by children to the degree that they insist that children are their employers, the landscape architects behind Haug Landskap make obstacles into resources with an aim to transform play. The results are astounding: not only are children itching to get out to play, but motor skills are significantly improved – and the social environment is hugely improved. By Linnea Dunne

Focusing on activity areas in schools and kindergartens, Haug Landskap has for the past 15 years been collaborating with Øyvin Vestre from Aktiv Arena AS, experienced to an almost legendary degree within playground and outdoor environment design. The work is part of some-

what of a revolution in regard to family environment, according to landscape architect and founder Merete Haug, who refers to a past of playing around the home and a present of full-time childcare as the norm. “One of the biggest challenges of full-time kindergartens is that

Having worked with countless activity areas across the country, Haug and Vestre have brought about some impressive results. “The reports unanimously show that the kids are excited to get out to play during recess and their motor skills are improving significantly, and experience shows that active children are less likely to bully,” says Haug. One example is the Uranienborg school in the capital, where the entire primary school playground was redesigned, creating a multi-facility ball sports, climbing, gymnastics and sand play environment that stimulates creativity and invites physical exercise. In the Kullungen kindergarten in the arctic Longyearbyen, on the other hand, LED lights shifting throughout the day in the colours of the northern lights added a spectacular environment, encouraging children to play in extreme weather conditions. Asked what they really wanted, the children said that they wanted to be able to climb outdoors 12 months of the year, so a 6-metre tall semi-climatised tower with a large glass wall made outdoor fun during the winter not just possible – but altogether safe as well. “Our multidisciplinary approach to work has enabled us to tailor the environments to the children’s ages, interests, and developmental levels,” say the two collaborators, their passion unmistakable. “There is no contradiction between beautiful and stimulating outdoor environments; we can really relate to the old proverb that says that ‘form follows function’.” Left: The complete overhaul of Oslo’s Uranienborg school playground resulted in a multi-facility ball sports, climbing, gymnastics and sand play environment, stimulating creativity and inviting physical exercise. Collage by Johan Wagenheim

For more information, please visit:

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Top left: Colonialen Bistro in Bergen Literature House, opened winter 2013. Photo: Helge Hansen. Below left: Kleppestø Secondary School in Askøy. Illustration: Fortunen. Right: Bønsmoen skole in Eidsvoll. Photo: Merete S. Odland.

All-encompassing architecture Fortunen AS is an architectural firm that believes in healthy competition, using colours to stimulate well-being and making things that last. From landscape architecture to interior design, from public projects to private, for Fortunen AS it is all about the big picture. By Maya Acharya

“Our vision is to give people an overall experience,” says Nils Johan Mannsåker, manager and one of three owners of Fortunen AS. “We believe that by involving ourselves within the whole spectrum of the term architecture, we can heighten people’s quality of life through the spaces they use.”

and so we often seek out young people with solid expertise,” Mannsåker explains. “The fact that many of us are from different cultures and countries means that we often have different traditions when it comes to the concept of development. This is positive as it allows us to discuss our values and exchange ideas.”

an “open and creative process.” Adding colour Projects involving schools and education have been especially important for Fortunen AS, and many have been nominated for various prizes, such as the Mies van der Rohe prize, and awarded prizes including Norway’s Best Indoor Environment. “We pay special attention to the use of colours and materials,” says Mannsåker. “It’s important to provide stimulating environments when designing spaces for children, but no less important for adults and especially the elderly.”

Broad knowledge and personal touch Fortunen has existed since 1985, though it was finally founded as a firm in 1993. Although the Bergen-based architectural firm is still relatively small, today employing around 20 staff, its competence is as diverse as the expertise of its employees. “Having a small team means that we can offer a personal contact with our clients while working within a range of different fields. It’s also important that we have a very varied range of professional resources

Creative competitiveness Another interesting focus for the firm has been taking part in architectural competitions. In fact, Mansåker himself started his career this way. “At the time, there weren’t many other options for a newly graduated architect. Competitions were a way into the architectural field and offered a chance to refine your skills.” Fortunen AS has won around 25 competitions and thrives on what Mansåker calls

Mannsåker affirms: “Buildings are like tools, developed in collaboration with those who are going to use them. You can build a beautiful instrument, but you have to be able to play it – otherwise there’s no melody. Success means making an instrument that can be used by generations to come.” For more information, please visit:

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The popular skiing facility Holmenkollen.

Grindaker AS creates landscape design for all aspects of life What does the Olympic biathlon arena in Sochi have in common with the residential neighbourhood Klosterenga in Oslo or Drammen Park? The landscape architects at Grindaker AS have worked their magic on all three. By Ellinor Thunberg | Photos: Damian Heinisch

The award-winning Norwegian firm has a proud legacy as one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to the late 1950s. The Oslo-based company Grindaker AS took its current form in 1987, and today the company has around 30 employees. An important part of the office culture is a balance in gender, experience and background. Landscape architect Geir Pettersen says that the mix of people is a great advantage, as everyone has a different expression. Pettersen himself started working at Grindaker in 1997, when he

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was still a student at the school today known as the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). He was taken on as a full-time employee when graduating the following year, and today he is a partner. Creating public spaces Grindaker is involved in everything from public parks and sports facilities to schools, residential areas, infrastructure and cemeteries. The landscape architects regularly work alongside both architects and engineers.

“The best thing about this job is being allowed to create with nature and make nice environments for people,” says Pettersen. He is engaged in all types of projects and recently finished working on a military training facility at Haakonsvern navy base in Bergen, Norway, in collaboration with the firm Longva Architects. The project won the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency’s architecture prize in 2013. Pettersen explains that an essential part of designing for public spaces is to create an inviting place that evokes a good feeling and positive experience. “It should be perceived as a logical, natural and easy place to spend time in,” he says. The joy of outdoor life Norwegians are typically fond of nature and sports like cross-country skiing, and

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Above: The award-winning military training facility at Haakonsvern navy base. Photos: Ivan Brodey

Grindaker has worked with various takes on the great outdoors. “Norway is really into outdoor life, and parks are in a way the urban outdoors, and from that to sports facilities and out into the wild with nature trails or planning for parking spaces and accessibility, we cover all aspects of outdoor life. It basically starts in the city and works its way out,” says Pettersen. A current project is the new multi-sports facility, Marikollen, in Rælingen municipality not far from Oslo. Previous work includes an extension at the popular skiing facility Holmenkollbakken, a stone’s throw from the Norwegian capital. But there has also been an Olympic dimension at Grindaker – stretching from Lillehammer in 1994 to work on the recent biathlon arena in Sochi.

society is becoming more aware, putting sustainability in the spotlight for everyone. “We try to create sustainable environments that will still be there many years from now,” says Pettersen. “Sustainability and good materials are important, but also the design that will make you like the place. It doesn’t help that you have strong materials if the composition is no good. You need good architecture, combined with a clever choice of materials.” Room for reflection

Ecology has always been an important part of the design process, but today the rest of

Looking back on his career, Pettersen is particularly proud of some projects. One of them is Steinsskogen cemetery in Bærum municipality, because of its clear architectural approach and identity. He says a place like a cemetery needs to have a sense of eternity: “It’s a place where you want to be able to find some peace and room for reflection. But you also have to consider trivial things like easy and efficient maintenance and a distinct archi-

The residential area Klosterenga in Oslo.

The Steinsskogen cemetery is one of landscape architect and partner Geir Pettersen’s favourite projects.

Sustainability is key

tectural approach to make it comprehensive and easy to take in. The most important thing is that it has a distinct character and identity.” In the future, Pettersen would love to work on a larger outdoor area like a park combined with outdoor venues for sports, concerts and festivals – though he points out that all projects are exciting and interesting. On 15 May, the company publishes a book about its projects, entitled Grindaker AS Landskapsarkitekter. It is also among the final eight shortlisted for the national award Statens Byggeskikkpris 2014, for its work on the school Nord-Østerdal videregående skole in Tynset, Norway. The winning project will be announced on 17 June. For more information, please visit:

The Skøyen square.

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At Ekeberg, a reflecting pond has been designed behind an old water reservoir. Here, James Turrell has installed his works of art, Skyspace and Ganzfeldt.

Transforming spaces, creating a community As one of the largest landscape architecture firms in Norway, Bjørbekk & Lindheim offers long-standing, broad expertise within its field. With projects ranging from private gardens to public parks and city planning, the experienced landscape architects create modern outdoor spaces built on the principle of affiliation. By Kjersti Westeng | Photos: Bjørbekk & Lindheim AS

Bjørbekk & Lindheim was founded by Jostein Bjørbekk and Tone Lindheim in 1986. The company has experienced a steady growth over the last 28 years, mostly because of two very important factors: its talented team of 25 architects, and a high client satisfaction rate. “We have a well-established staff of experienced landscape architects who are all experts in their fields. In addition, we have a number of returning clients who come

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New viewpoints have been added at Ekeberg, such as the Munch Point where Munch got the inspiration for his painting The Scream.

back to us because they trust us and value the work we do,” says Bjørbekk. Inspired by the past, looking to the future When taking on a project, the experts at Bjørbekk & Lindheim first spend time learning about the space and its history. Whether it is a school, a park or an urban area, there is always a story to explore. Once the team knows the background, it can start developing and transforming the area. “Every space has a spirit – a general feel to it. We make sure we always listen to

Steel panels emphasise the contour of the ship setting and the hollows in the cultural heritage path at Ekeberg.

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this and take it into consideration when planning a new project,” says Bjørbekk. He continues to explain the importance of considering the past, but at the same time looking to the future. Although the team uses the past as inspiration, it never copies it. It simply brings elements from the past into the contemporary world, always creating something new and creative, yet somewhat recognisable to those familiar with the space. “We do our utmost to create good social meeting places, where people feel they can stay a little longer, both see and be seen, meet new people and make use of the attractive surroundings. Our job is to create beauty and attractions in these outdoor spaces,” says Lindheim. She explains that the team does not normally seek to transform a space dramatically; instead, it touches the landscape in ways which might not even be noticeable at first. However, these interventions are what make these outdoor spaces wonderful places to spend time, whatever the time of day. The Ekeberg park in the forest A great example of the work of Bjørbekk & Lindheim is the Ekeberg project, a development the team has worked on for 10 years. The Ekeberg area has a very long history tracing all the way back to the Stone Age. When Norwegian investor Christian Ringnes wanted to donate P45 million in order to create a sculpture park, he was met with criticism and demonstrations from a group of citizens claiming that the 19th century parkland should be left untouched. “However, if you looked into the history of Ekeberg, you could see that it was never left untouched: it was absolutely a cultivated area,” explains Lindheim. Over the past decades, Ekeberg has been neglected. Bjørbekk & Lindheim transformed the area into a beautiful forest park with works by famous artists such as Louise Bourgeois, James Turrell and Dan Graham, the remains of cultural heritage marked and made significant. The firm also rebuilt steps, rehabilitated paths and added viewpoints, most famously one overlooking the fjord where Munch’s The Scream was inspired. The 25-acre forest park has since become very popular.

The Nansen park was designed based on a combination of soft, organic lines and straight lines related to the old airport. Streams of water run from the former terminal building and control tower through the entire park at Fornebu.

The transformation of Fornebu When Fornebu Airport was closed in 1988, the large deserted area was in desperate need of a transformation. Bjørbekk & Lindheim contributed to this transformation by developing new roads, pedestrian paths, recreational areas, schools and residential developments. The most outstanding contribution is the Nansen park, a beautiful park making a green heart in the new community at Fornebu. “We have used water as a key element in this park,” says Lindheim. Streams of water run all the way from the former terminal building and control tower through the entire park. A total of seven green paths lead to the plaza, and lots of meeting places and activity areas can be found on the way.

fountains in the square. On a warm summer’s day, kids play in the water running down the open channels from these fountains, creating a playful environment for everyone to enjoy. For more information, please visit:

Playful environment at Tjuvholmen The use of water is a signature element of Bjørbekk & Lindheim, something the Tjuvholmen project from 2008 clearly demonstrates. Tjuvholmen is located on a peninsula pointing out from Aker Brygge into the Oslofjord, making water a natural focal point in this project. Bjørbekk & Lindheim wanted to improve the access to the sea and built wide steps leading down to the water. The outdoor areas were built with great attention to detail, with four

The former port area Tjuvholmen has now got green areas, better access to the sea, and urban plazas.

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A hugely popular meeting place for Oslo residents and tourists alike, Aker Brygge offers an unrivalled view of the fjord landscape in the middle of Oslo. Photos: Tomasz Majewski

Perseverance: LINK Landskap celebrates nearly 30 years of transformation It all started at Oslo’s Aker Brygge almost 30 years ago and, still today, the successful relationship with Aker Brygge continues as LINK Landskap launches the first phase of an extensive regeneration project of the Norwegian capital’s muchloved and world famous waterfront promenade. With a passion for biodiversity and social interaction in the public realm, and plenty of credentials proving its playful craftsmanship for working with water, the landscape architecture firm is no doubt right for the job. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: LINK Landskap

Established in 1985, LINK Landskap has operated under a range of different names and grown to include 22 employees consisting of landscape architects, landscape engineers, and draftspeople from a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds. Developing new perspectives has always been a key, as has the studio’s insistence on respecting

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and celebrating the Norwegian architectural and landscape traditions, as studio director Anne Pia Møllenhus explains: “Many of our employees have been with the firm since its inception, and this combination of the young and experienced, the

creative and the deeply-rooted, is our strength.”

Likewise, as the firm’s parent company, LINK Arkitektur, expands to include offices in Sweden and Denmark, the growth is part of a carefully considered strategic plan. “We are adamantly Scandinavian, so this is a positive and natural growth for us,” says Møllenhus. “Things are going really well, and the added activity and optimism are great – we know that we have qualities and expertise that mean that we can also compete on an international market.” LINK Landskap’s studio director, Anne Pia Møllenhus.

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reopening of Leirfossen waterfall, which together with the Hølaløkka wetlands project, opened in 2004, further contributes to the purification of the river water. The park is now alive with opportunities for everything from sport and recreation to social and cultural gatherings. “This is a project we’re particularly proud of,” says Møllenhus. “People live and work in the environments we create, so it’s absolutely crucial that we put a lot of thought and care into the landscapes we design. These are environments we experience every day.” Aker Brygge – Oslo’s pride Well-known and loved by Oslo residents and tourists alike, Aker Brygge is one of the capital’s main meeting places and tourist attractions, visited by around 12 million people each year. Moreover, it is hugely significant for the firm itself, as winning the commission for the industrial waterfront site’s original redevelopment back in 1985 was what led to the firm’s establishment. Now LINK Landskap has had the unique opportunity to revisit Aker Brygge, to renew and adapt this urban space to a contemporary context with people in focus. Among islands and rivers Natural growth – a sentiment that echoes through each and every project in LINK Landskap’s portfolio. Just look at the Østerøy project, a proposed new island in the Oslo fjord, based on extracted rock from the Follo Tunnel rail project. Employing a so-called landscape ecological approach, LINK Landskap proposed the establishment of wellfunctioning flora and fauna on the new island, aiming to improve the fjord’s water quality and contribute to a varied, healthy natural environment, while also increasing recreational opportunities. Consider also the newly opened redevelopment of Grorud Park, one of the firm’s most recent accomplishments and long-lasting love affairs. This project aimed to bring natural and cultural history experiences to the public along the River Alna, emphasising a variety of experiences and opportunities for recreation based around the river’s remediation. LINK Landskap contributed to the

Part of a greater effort to reinvigorate Oslo’s post-industrial waterfront, the Aker Brygge project places contact with the magnificent fjord landscape and social interaction at its very heart. Significant funds have gone into the area’s most recent redevelopment, the first phase of which opens this month, with plenty of space for socialising, shopping, and enjoying the scenic waterfront. “The outdoor furniture was recently installed ahead of the first-phase launch, and visitors literally jumped across the railings to try them out for some sunbathing,” says Møllenhus. “I reckon that’s a pretty promising sign!”

Østerøy, a proposed new island in the Oslo fjord, made for a landscape ecologically challenging task for LINK Landskap. Illustration: MIR

and timeless, and we believe in the craft; we aim for landscapes to make space for life,” says the studio’s director. She quotes Jan Gehl, the great Danish architect and urban design consultant, who once said “First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works.” This understanding, coupled with perseverance and persistence, makes for a great recipe. It certainly works for LINK Landskap. For more information, please visit:

Landscapes for life If the firm’s landscapes make people jump across railings to take part, then LINK Landskap has certainly succeeded in its ambition. “We’re not so much about the gimmicks and antics and all that. Our projects are typically simple

Improved water quality makes swimming an option – one of many in the redeveloped Grorud Park full of natural and cultural history experiences. Photo: Mads Erling Amundsen

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Photo: Erik Børseth

Left: Selberg Arkitekter is behind the landscape surrounding Aker Solution’s headquarters. Photo: Byggenytt. Right: Leangen Travbane may be replaced with housing, commercial property and a park. A new racetrack is planned to open in Klæbu. Photo: Selberg Arkitekter

Three heads think better than one When a group of colleagues decided to get together to start their own firm three years ago, they wanted to take a new, interdisciplinary approach to architecture. Selberg Arkitekter brings planners, architects and landscape architects under one roof, and together they design everything from private gardens and courtyards to the landscape surrounding Aker Solution’s new headquarters in Oslo and Stavanger. By Andrea Bærland

Interdisciplinary projects are always kicked off by bringing representatives from each discipline together to discuss the project terms as well as opportunities and constraints.

sion. They then formed two groups with all three disciplines represented, to come up with a concept. The end result was a green neighbourhood with a variety of housing, a park, various other outdoor areas and a re-opened creek.

The architects at Selberg Arkitekter believe interdisciplinary teamwork from the early stages is the key to success. “Our philosophy is that one plus one plus one should always add up to more than three,” says partner and landscape architect Neil van Est of how this approach benefits the client.

Selberg Arkitekter joined forces with the infrastructure engineers at Vianova and the civil engineers of Aas Jakobsen, to build a network offering services across the board.

In the case of Leangen Travbane, a big project where Selberg Arkitekter was hired to make a masterplan for how the racetrack could be repurposed, managing director Knut Selberg brought the entire office together for a brainstorming ses-

Selberg’s landscape architects, architects and planners have worked closely together with the network’s road planners on a project along the European Route 6, a motorway running throughout Norway from north to south. As such, the firm

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contributed to the designing and landscaping of a 4.2-kilometre stretch of the highway in Trøndelag, involving a passageway for wildlife across four lanes, sound walls, erosion control of water ways and constructed wetlands. Everything is designed in 3D, an important design tool used throughout the whole project. “What you see is what you get,” says van Est, adding: “When we work this way landscaping links everything together, rather than coming in towards the end of the project to decorate; after all, our projects have a direct impact on the surrounding environment.” Teamwork has proved to be both social and time efficient. Rather than spending valuable time setting up meetings or emailing back and forth, it is just to stop by a colleague’s desk. “It creates a lot of synergy and enthusiasm in the workplace,” van Est concludes. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Denmark

Ballebro Færgekro is about wellness in the original sense of the word: wellness for the soul.

Hotel of the Month, Denmark

Sea breeze wellness As the viewers of TV2 Denmark’s Danmarks dejligste badehoteller will know, Ballebro Færgekro offers a respite of true seaside bliss. Despite being by name and origin a ferry inn, the hotel was, thanks to its historic surroundings, authentic charm and romantic atmosphere, chosen by the programme as one of Denmark’s most wonderful beach hotels. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Ballebro Færgekro

Ballebro Færgekro, one of Denmark’s Historic Hotels, is located in the area of the famous battle of 1864. It is also just a stone’s throw away from Als Fjord, and in 1870 the striking building, which was originally built as a farm, was turned into an inn to accommodate passengers on the ferry between Ballebro and Nordal. The ferry is still running, but today guests visit not so much because of the short but beautiful boat trip as for the peace, beauty and history of the area. “What a visit here is really about is the nature and history of the area, and then it’s

that often misused word: wellness – not in the modern sense but in the original sense: wellness for the soul. Sitting in one of our loungers on the grass next to the sea, that’s wellness for the soul – and in the winter you can enjoy the same experience from the restaurant,” explains Peter Philipp, who has owned and run the inn with his wife Tina since 1999. In Ballebro Færgekro’s restaurant, which is located in a beautiful classic 1890s glass pavilion opening towards the sea, guests can enjoy a small but delicious menu of freshly prepared Danish produce

in an intimate atmosphere. “We are both very down-to-earth people so we try to create a relaxed and homely atmosphere here and make sure that the history of the place really shines through,” says Philipp. With just 11 rooms, three of which have a sea view, Ballebro Færgekro is indeed a small and intimate place for a getaway. Like the rest of the inn, the rooms are decorated in a light and harmonious style and old paintings and furniture remind guests of the amazing history of this region of Denmark. Despite the fact that Denmark lost the battle of Dybbøl to Germany in 1864, this year sees a row of interesting events commemorating the fight’s anniversary.

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Sweden

Hotel of the Month, Sweden

Endless entertainment at the Swedish Riviera So naturally tempting that marketing becomes superfluous, Pite Havsbad attracts big crowds of regular visitors who love its unspoilt beaches, warm waters, and endless entertainment options. The task of the owners seemed simple: to add all the additional features that make for an unforgettable holiday or rewarding conference. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Pite Havsbad

Often referred to as the Swedish Riviera, the coastal area outside Piteå in the Gulf of Bothnia first got its stellar reputation when, sometime in the middle of the 20th century, it topped the league for the warmest waters for swimming in Sweden three summers in a row. Ever since, tourists and beach fans from all over Sweden and beyond have been coming here for a good dose of sun, fun and relaxation, and what started out as a popular beach resort has grown into one of the

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biggest tourism and conference centres in Northern Europe. “I guess Pite Havsbad is unusual that way: we offer all kinds of guests all kinds of services and attractions,” says CEO Robert Sjölund. “This is an incredible strength, and we welcome everyone from families with kids to business leaders and politicians. We have served Nobel Banquet dinners and had bands like Mora Träsk perform, and guests can put up a tent in one

of the camping areas or book a hotel suite. It perhaps sounds a little unspecific, but it’s also what makes it so much fun.” Perhaps the benefit of the hilly seabed, which allows for the warm water to roll in towards land and stay there for beach lovers to enjoy, is its being a destination in its own right. Consistently warm and sunny summers and long sandy beaches attract enough visitors not to need any additional spin. The job of the centre, as such, is simply to look after and entertain the happy guests. Spa, entertainment and fun all year round Like any self-respecting holiday resort, Pite Havsbad offers spa experiences

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aplenty: think candlelight, massage and skin treatments, and soothing music. Few other resorts, however, offer all the entertainment options available here: there is the Water Park with its 81-metre water chute and 10-metre drop, ensuring that those keen to get the swimsuit on can do so regardless of weather and indeed season; then there is Skeppet, a fully-fledged activity and adventure venue, entertaining families, hen parties, business groups and school classes alike with bowling, a dome cinema, cocktail workshops, soft play and multi-sport simulators to name a few of countless attractions. Sjölund, an MBA and marketing graduate with professional experience from a number of sectors and countries, took over the management of the venue in 2003 and explains that a lot has happened since. “As early as in the 1980s, we had the largest camping site in the Nordic countries, but we have worked really hard to develop the venue into a respectable all-year-round destination,” he says. “Of course the Water Park and Skeppet are new, but we’ve also massively extended our conference offering.” Flexible conference and accommodation options Offering 39 conference rooms, one holding up to 800 seated guests, Pite Havsbad welcomes groups as large as 3,500 as

More than just a beach resort, Pite Havsbad offers flexible conferencing options as well as endless fun in the activity venue Skeppet.

well as smaller teams in need of neat but creative spaces for workshops. Add to this a 1,800-square-foot exhibition hall and majestic ocean views, and you can see why both creativity and innovation flourish here. Packages for day and overnight conferences as well as exhibition and show deals and more traditional types of conferences make it easy for businesses to book. With 40 years of experience, the seasoned staff at Pite Havsbad know to think of all the details – so that busy business guests do not have to. Like the business rooms, the accommodation options come in a wide range of styles and sizes, too. “We’ve developed the area in stages, adding different types of accommodation in different styles: apartment hotels with balconies, more traditional hotel rooms, and holiday cottages,” says Sjölund. “But of course our camping is still massively popular, espe-

cially in the summer. Some keep it simple and just bring a tent, while others come by caravan.” One of the most entertainment intensive destinations in Sweden, Pite Havsbad adds a little bit of everything you love to the traditional beach holiday – whether you come for swimming in the summer or simply stunning views the rest of the year. And it does seem like somewhat of a nobrainer: why go to France or Italy for your annual beach holiday when you can get it all right here, with sun and tempered water guaranteed? Add the long, bright summer’s evenings of the north, and you have got yourself a pretty spectacular holiday trip to look forward to.

For more information, please visit:

The coastal area outside Piteå topped the league for the warmest waters for swimming in Sweden three summers in a row in the middle of the 20th century, and since then the area has been a popular location for activity-packed sun bathing holidays.

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Norway

Cut out the costs of conference facilities, swimming pools and luxury spas, and you can have all the facilities and conveniences of a quality hotel room – at a much lower price.

Hotel of the Month, Norway

Comfortable accommodation at a low price Smarthotel is a chain of so far three hotels, offering comfortable accommodation at fixed low prices throughout the year. The existing hotels are located in Forus (between Stavanger and Sandnes), Oslo and Tromso, and an additional three are currently under construction in Hammerfest, Stavanger city centre and Bergen. The first hotel opened at Forus in 2003, and new owners in 2007 decided to gradually take the concept nationwide. By Stian Sangvig | Photos: Smarthotel

Each hotel has between 160 and 265 rooms. “All rooms have DUX beds of high quality, a desk with a lamp, hooks for clothes, a TV set with ten channels, blending curtains, air conditioning, and its own bathroom,” says general manager Oerjan Kjaerstad. As such, one can expect most facilities and conveniences of a fullprice hotel, despite the low prices offered by Smarthotel – and the knee-jerk reaction is to ask how they manage to keep the costs low enough to justify their pricing policy. “Unlike other hotels, we do not

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have swimming pools, gyms, jacuzzis, saunas or meeting room facilities, the high maintenance costs of which impact on the day rate of a hotel room,” Kjaerstad explains. But research suggests that the majority of guests simply want a modern, clean and tidy room for the night, with a bathroom and a comfortable bed – which is exactly what Smarthotel offers. At Smarthotel, a Scandinavian breakfast is offered at a symbolic cost, and it is quite popular among guests. In addition, guests

have the opportunity to borrow a bike for free or rent a Mercedes Smartcar for half the price compared to that of traditional car rental companies. So far, the business model is undoubtedly working. The hotels in Oslo and Tromso were 75 and 85 per cent booked, respectively, at the time of opening. The success has been noticed internationally, too. Users of TripAdvisor voted Oslo’s Smarthotel among Norway’s top 10 hotels last year. The future looks bright for Kjaerstad and his teams of 15-20 employees per hotel. “Our goal is to continue to improve our product and pricing concept, and gradually grow into a nationwide chain,” he concludes. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Denmark Seven riverboats sail the waters of the River Guden, including the legendary ‘Hjejlen’.

are completely free. In fact, you are treated to more than 140 free concerts in and around Sileborg’s town centre, more than 80 orchestras, and around 400 enthusiastic jazz musicians from all over the world. While the line-up of music speaks for itself, many people also visit the festival for the amazing atmosphere. “A lot of our visitors only listen to jazz once a year. It’s not a must to like jazz in order to visit us – a lot of people just really love the bustling atmosphere,” festival coordinator Steffen Juul Hansen explains.

Attraction of the Month, Denmark

Bringing jazz to the people Every year, during the last weekend of June, Riverboat Jazz Festival brings together people of all ages for four days of swinging jazz music in the heart of Denmark’s Lake District. Taking place in the stunning city of Silkeborg, northern Europe’s oldest jazz festival showcases the best and brightest of classic jazz with more than 80 orchestras from around the world. By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: Riverboat Jazz Festival

If you can play New Orleans jazz on the Thames and on the Mississippi River, why not on the River Guden? This was the reasoning behind the foundation of Riverboat Jazz Festival back in 1966. Nearly 50 years later, the festival is still going strong with

seven boats sailing the waters of Silkeborg, lead by the legendary ‘Hjejlen’. One of the reasons Riverboat attracts more than 40,000 people every year is the fact that the vast majority of the concerts

With only two paid employees, Riverboat Jazz Festival is heavily reliant on its many volunteers, who donate their time and expertise to the Danish festival year after year. Because of this, the Riverboat can keep the focus on the music. The festival aims to present at least five new orchestras every year, who have never performed on Danish ground before, and this year’s contributions hail from as far as New Orleans and Cuba. The overall philosophy is to continuously keep a finger on the pulse, and showcase the best of the business while also focusing on new talent. Consequently, Riverboat has teamed up with local schools to promote the genre of jazz to a younger audience, something which has proved very successful. Hansen and Riverboat Jazz Festival are seeing an increasing interest from younger people, and the many free concerts play a pivotal role in this: “If people won’t come to jazz, we have to bring jazz to the people,” he concludes. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Sweden

Attraction of the Month, Sweden

Cutting-edge technology on a wave of collective memory With exhibitions exploring everything from seafaring life to tropical coral reefs and Nordic sea life, the Maritime Museum & Aquarium in Gothenburg takes maritime expertise and a seaside location and turns it into a bastion of cultural heritage and innovative solutions. This summer, the museum really gets wind in its sails, as shipwreck figureheads literally jump out of the walls to tell their stories – while infrared lights start to really shake things up. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Olle Andersson

“Our aim is to take the experience of our collective memories to a whole new level, while also setting in motion the creation of new memories and new experiences,” says Emma Having, head of exhibition and learning at the Maritime Museum & Aquarium in Gothenburg. She is just about to kickstart the first few workshops as part of an exciting pilot project, exploring a collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology that sees software initially developed for the world of dance and computer art bring together exhibition vis-

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itors in an interactive, thoroughly stimulating experience. The permanent exhibition Ocean of Memories, which has been closed all spring, is set to open for this ground-breaking phase two in June. The exhibition’s memory hall, a room full of figureheads revealing memories from shipwrecks, has had itself a significant facelift, and the storytelling methods have improved and been diversified. The entire room has been painted black, the figureheads highlighted

by spotlights, and little islands for resting and reminiscing on have been created. Through headphones, visitors get to take part in the memories of the figureheads, learning about everything from the commissioning of builds, the people onboard the ships, and the societies that set the scene for the stories. “We’ve completely moved away from the use of texts and signs,” Having explains. “It’s important to remember that we all learn in different ways, and by blending fact and fiction this way and creating an atmospheric environment, we capture the curiosity of a much greater group of people.” Ad-hoc motion sensing project But the biggest draw for new audiences is doubtlessly the collaboration with engineer and artist Frieder Weiss, in his own words “an engineer in the arts”. Using in-

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Sweden

frared lights and cameras, Weiss’ software creates movement through light and provides access to feelings and experiences otherwise unavailable. In the case of Ocean of Memories, this enables visitors to experience the waves crashing over them as they take in the memories of the captain of a large vessel setting off for China, and in turn trigger waves that connect them to other visitors in the room. “Through the use of this motion sensing technology, we add a whole new dimension, connecting all the visitors at the exhibition at any one time and creating new stories through interaction,” says Having. “This has never been done before, so it’s completely ad hoc, bringing this innovative technology from the arts into our world to see what it can do to our cultural expression to make us even more accessible and interesting.” While children are likely to be mesmerised by the figureheads popping out of the walls at them, Ocean of Memories is more directly targeted at an older audience, and it is primarily young adults and the media- and technology-savvy that are likely to discover the Maritime Museum & Aquarium for the first time thanks to this cutting-edge project. Having collaborated with the recently inaugurated group for outreach at the Department of Applied

Physics of Chalmers University of Technology on breaking down the boundaries between the two fields, Having is convinced that this is a win-win situation: “Engineers sometimes don’t see the potential of their own work for the creative industries. We help them understand processes beyond their comfort zones while also reaping the benefits of their tools as we work together.” The activity is strongly supported by Sten A Olsson, Foundation for Research and Culture. Water as bearer of culture Opened in 1933, the Maritime Museum & Aquarium has been steadily growing and constantly improving, and the hard work has paid off: the museum has been up for a number of awards, and recent feedback on the interactive exhibition T/S Supertube, which allows children to explore the sea and seafaring, showed that it not only encourages learning and stimulates

curiosity but also makes families return for more. Overall, whether through such playful solutions or through the tropical aquarium with coral reefs, the City by the Water exhibition with its stories from the people behind the ships and the harbour, or more ground-breaking initiatives such as Ocean of Memories, the museum aims to use its maritime expertise to shift the focus and put people first. “We like to think of the water as a bearer of culture,” says Having. “It has brought a lot to the area in terms of music, culture and literature.” Safe to say, then, that whatever floats your boat, you will find it here. For more information, please visit: For more information, please visit:

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There is no such thing as a person unfit for rafting: choose from family rafting, classic rafting in calm waters, and extreme rafting.

Attraction of the Month, Norway

Rafting in Sjoa still making a splash after thirty years There are few things that will give you such a remarkable rush as well as bring you close to the power of nature as the feeling of the brisk and fierce water of a river. If you are looking for an experience you undoubtedly will remember for a lifetime, rafting in Sjoa, Norway, might just be the thing for you. By Oda Marie Eidissen Sjoa | Photos: Sjoa Rafting Centre NWR

It is here where rafting and exciting wildlife activities can be combined with the best of Norwegian culture. At Sjoa Rafting Centre NWR, over 100,000 people have been brought safely down the river for the past 30 years, and have left not only with memories of adventurous activities, but also with a holistic experience of what the area has to offer. The river is considered to be one of the best rafting rivers in Europe and has some of the leading raft-

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ing guides to make sure your trip is safe, comfortable, not to mention incredibly fun. Something for everyone The word rafting might make some people terror-stricken, but Ola Enkerud, the owner and manager of Sjoa Rafting Centre, and his wife Kristin Fjeld, assure that rafting is something everyone can do. “We offer different trips down the river, suited to the visitors’ wishes and their experi-

ence,” they explain, adding that you do not need any previous experience to embark on a rafting trip. The centre offers a variety of customised trips, from family rafting and classic rafting in a calmer part of the river, to ‘extreme rafting’ for those looking for a more vigorous experience in the river’s faster streams. It was two Norwegian outdoor enthusiasts who in 1983, during a bear hunting trip in Canada, discovered rafting in an area surrounded by wild nature – a landscape similar to that of Norway. As Sjoa ticked all of the boxes in the search for a suitable place, the training of the guides started, and the centre is this year celebrating 30 successful years as a leading

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Norway

rafting centre. “At first, rafting was seen as something only particularly interested people would participate in, but it did not take long before it got recognised as an activity for everyone,” says Fjeld. Throughout the years, even members of the royal family have visited, with the Crown Prince of Norway visiting twice. As with all kinds of outdoors activities, safety comes first, and the rafting guides are certified and highly trained. The water levels are carefully measured before each trip and the weather is also always taken into account to ensure a safe and pleasant trip for everyone. But rafting is not the only activity offered at the centre: canyoning, river boarding and bridge swinging are popular amongst tourists, while horse riding, swimming in the river, fishing opportunities and trampolines make the place ideal also for children. Accommodation, food and transport After a day of bustling activities, Varphaugen Farm offers accommodation in a warm and friendly environment, located only three kilometres from Sjoa, about a 15-minute drive. A variety of home-cooked food is on the menu, and here you have the chance to eat both local and traditional Norwegian food, including trout or sour cream porridge and cured meat, or indeed any international food you might desire. Varphaugen Farm is Enkerud’s

This year, Sjoa Rafting Centre celebrates 30 years in business, having successfully and safely brought more than 100,000 people down the river to date.

family farm and has a long and fascinating history. “For centuries, it has been a gathering point for travelling people, starting with the pilgrim travels in 1033,” he explains. The farm began its tourist business in 1947, and the first rafting activities started in 1989. If sleeping at Varphaugen is not quite close enough to nature, you have the opportunity to be a true explorer and sleep in one of the lavvus, a tipi-like tent used by the Sami people, accompanied by barbe-

ques in the bright summer’s evenings. An alluring and beautiful white beach nearby calls for brisk swims, and a warm hot tub and sauna can be a nice way to calm down after a day of rafting. At Varphaugen, a fully-equipped conference room is available for those planning on combining business and leisure on a team-building trip, and whether you are planning a trip with friends, family or colleagues, the centre is happy to help with your needs. To get to Sjoa from Oslo Gardermoen airport, the Dovre railway is an excellent choice. The three-hour train ride is an experience in itself, with beautiful scenery appearing along the way – a great introduction to the Norwegian landscape. In the summer months, with peak season in July and August, Sjoa is a lively place to visit: over 4,000 people participated in activities at Sjoa Rafting Centre last year. Consider planning your next trip to Sjoa to celebrate 30 years of successful rafting, and you will without doubt have an entertaining, and different, wildlife experience. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

The Josper grill cooks the meat at 500 degrees in just a few minutes.

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Fun and friendly brasserie As the only fresh cooking restaurant in Stavanger, Fish & Cow has already made a name for itself as one of the most exciting restaurants in town. The seasonal menu features top-quality meat and seafood – and not just fish and cow. By Kjersti Westeng | Photos: Fish & Cow

Situated in the centre of Stavanger, Fish & Cow opened its doors only a year ago. As a much appreciated addition to the restaurant scene in Stavanger, Fish & Cow offers something different to the traditional Norwegian restaurant. Just the name itself stands out: while The Dog & Fox, Old Red Cow and The Bull & Last are common pub names in England, Norwegians tend to choose more traditional names for their eateries. “We chose the name Fish & Cow because it’s a fun, international name which people remember and talk about. The name says a lot

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about what kind of restaurant we are,” says partner and business director Aslak Dalehaug. Friendly vibe Although Fish & Cow is proud of its expertise when it comes to food and wine, it is in no way pompous. This is a restaurant for everyone, at any time: during lunch, after work, on a Saturday night, for your 40th birthday party or whenever it suits you. On a busy night the restaurant can have over 200 dinner guests, so the value of good teamwork is not to be underesti-

mated. Luckily, head chef Rasmus Skoglund manages his fairly large team of chefs admirably well. “Skoglund is a young and very talented chef who is an inspiration to us all. We are very proud to have him running the kitchen,” says Dalehaug. Fish & Cow is decorated to suit the name. It is fun, playful and unpretentious, but most importantly it has a friendly, buzzy vibe that makes you want to stay, even once you have finished your meal. The interior has a retro factory look to it, with pipes in the ceiling and concrete walls. While the bar section has both floors and tables of oak, the restaurant has a different feel to it, with carpets and beautifullydecorated tables. Guests are welcome to eat in both parts, but reservations can

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Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

and bar snacks to steaks, fish and Jospergrilled chicken. Additionally, guests have the option of a three-course meal, consisting of the season’s local produce and the chef’s own creativity. The lunch menu is fairly extensive, with both cold and warm dishes available. There is also a ‘lunch of the day’ option, put together by the chefs every day of the week.

The restaurant has about 200 dinner guests on a busy night.

only be made in the restaurant. “It’s a bit like eating lunch in a storage building, only the table is set really nicely and the food tastes delicious,” says Dalehaug. “Our guests seem to love it – it’s different and down to earth.” Fresh cooking The seasonal menu at Fish & Cow is based on the concept of fresh cooking. Instead of slow roasting meat in the oven for several hours, the meat is stored in a dry-age meat cooler for up to eight weeks, before it is cooked on a Josper grill on 500 degrees for just a few minutes. Fresh cooking brings out more flavour and

maintains vitamins, giving traditional, well-known dishes a new taste.

Fish & Cow has a close collaboration with local brewery Lervik, serving a range of local beers in addition to five types of beer on tap. The brasserie also has an extensive wine list and, quite surprisingly, a number of American wines. “Americans know their steak, and therefore they also know which wines to use with different types of steak,” insists the director. “It made sense for us to follow their lead.” Catering

Always searching for the best meat products means having to alter the menu quite regularly, especially when certain types of meat are unavailable. This means that cow might not always be on the menu, despite the restaurant’s name. “The quality of the meat is our number one priority. If we can’t get the very best beef, we have to take it off the menu until we can,” explains Dalehaug. The à la carte menu has something for every taste, ranging from small nibbles

Fish & Cow also offers catering, both for private parties and for business events. Its location at the heart of Norway’s oil capital has no doubt helped boost the business. The food arrives nicely packaged in designed boxes, ready to go straight onto the table. Clients can choose from three catering menus, but they can all be tailored according to preferences. For more information, please visit:

Top left: The name Fish & Cow was inspired by the names of British gastro pubs. Bottom left: Owners Kjartan Skjelde and Aslak Dalehaug.

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Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Denmark

Beefstouw. Most of the meat for A Hereford Beefstouw is sourced from farms in Australia and South America. The beef sourced in Denmark is dry-aged for approximately five weeks. That the meat is the centre of attention at A Hereford Beefstouw is obvious to anyone visiting. Served on a steaming hot metal platter, the different cuts are simply accompanied by fries, sauce, or butter, and a salad bar. On the side of the restaurant’s solid oak tables, guests will find an order form on which they can mark what cut they want, how they want it cooked, and more. “Guests find our way of ordering a bit different and funny, but, of course, most know the concept as a lot are regulars,” says Boldt and adds: “I think people keep coming back because of the simple concept: you know what you are going to get. There is no hidden agenda, it’s very straight-forward and very easy.”

Restaurant of the Month, Denmark

A Hereford Beefstouw in Aalborg seats 68 people. It is one of only two A Hereford Beefstouw restaurants that also serve fresh lobster from its own large salt-water basin.

Australia’s best beef – served in Northern Jutland Picturesquely located in the historic heart of Aalborg is Denmark’s northernmost A Hereford Beefstouw restaurant. Thanks to its supreme Australian beef, fresh lobsters and down-to-earth atmosphere, the steak house has become a favourite among locals. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Steen Gyldendal Olesen / A Hereford Beefstouw

Founded by the Danish Damgaard family in 1971, the first A Hereford Beefstouw restaurant soon became a success, and with its unrelenting focus on high-quality, efficient service and stylish, rustic settings, the concept has kept its appeal. Today, carnivores have 13 Beefstouw restaurants to choose between in Denmark, including one in Greenland, as well as one in Sweden and Adelaide, Australia, respectively.

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In Aalborg, A Hereford Beefstouw opened in 1991. Since 2002, the restaurant has been owned and managed by the experienced chef and restaurateur Hans Boldt. “I think that it is a wonderful concept and an incredible quality – it is just impossible to get your hands on the same kind of meat quality outside the Hereford Beefstouw enterprise,” says Boldt, who also owns and runs the gourmet restaurant Hos Boldt, located upstairs at A Hereford

For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Business | Key Note

Scan Business Key Note 105 | Conferences of the Month 106 | Tax on Residential Property 109 | Business Calendar 110 | Politics 111




After seven bad years for real estate, will seven good ones follow? By Rune Wangsmo, Nordea International Private Banking

2007 marked the beginning of a troubled period for property markets in most of Europe and the US. Seven years on, many property markets are still in the doldrums, while others are starting to show signs of strength. Nordea International Private Banking focuses on the UK, French and Spanish residential property markets. We are in close contact with leading local, independent real estate analysts in each of these markets in order to keep abreast of developments there. The UK The UK residential property market has proved to be rather robust, and market commentators expect that to remain the case, particularly in London and the surrounding ‘home counties’. Historical figures for the UK show that residential property suffered only a modest set-back after the financial crisis, returning relatively quickly (compared to Spain and France) to pre-crisis levels, especially in London and the South-East. Since the earlier peak of 2007 and the following years of economic crisis, the UK market

has clearly had a two-tier structure, with the ‘prime London’ market clearly outperforming the rest of the country. While ‘prime London’ is expected to continue to develop well, underpinned by international demand and a low interest-rate environment, some observers believe that other areas, especially those immediately adjacent to central London, will also start to benefit. France In France, the market has continued to move more slowly, and valuations are currently more or less at the same level as in 2007. The number of real estate transactions in 2013 was lower than the year before, but now seems to have stabilised. In general, the outlook for the French property market has downside risks linked to the French economy’s uncertain future path. Most experts now forecast a continuing steady downward price adjustment for the market in the coming years, though not dramatically so.

and limited demand. Although there is now some evidence to suggest that the demand for coastal holiday homes in very prime locations is bottoming out, driven by international demand, the market is still fragile and highly differentiated. For the broader market, 2013 was yet another year of decline. Since 2007, average valuations have retreated by around 45 per cent to stand now at levels last seen in 2002. The Spanish market outlook remains gloomy and, despite the emergence of green shoots here and there, the downside risks are still intact.

Spain The Spanish property market is still characterised by very low activity, over-supply,

Rune Wangsmo, Nordea International Private Banking

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Scan Magazine | Conference of the Month | Denmark

Rikke and Peter Karner

Conference of the Month, Denmark

Voted number one hotel in Denmark It is a popular venue for the business meeting or seminar. The family-owned Hotel Hesselet is one of Denmark’s leading conference hotels – known for its personal service and homely atmosphere.

tion the hotel’s two meeting planners, who are available to clients as personal conference assistants.

By Sanne Wass | Photos: Hotel Hesselet

“Our motto is: once a company has ordered a conference, they just need to show up, and not worry about anything. It saves them a lot of time and resources. And it gives them a sense of security when they know everything is taken care of,” says Karner.

No wonder Hotel Hesselet is the preferred choice for many business conferences. It is perfectly located in Nyborg in the centre of Denmark, in beautiful surroundings of sea, beach and the typical Danish beech forest. Moreover, it offers exclusive conference facilities: more than 13 conference rooms and areas, suited to small, intimate meetings as well as large groups of up to 150 people. But most importantly, it is the relaxed and homely atmosphere that makes guests and companies return again and again. “Hesselet is more than just a hotel business. We spend a lot of time chatting to our guests, and doing our best to make the hotel personal. We have many regulars who consider Hesselet their second home. They almost know our

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whole life story, and vice versa,” explains Peter Karner. Karner runs Hotel Hesselet with his wife, Rikke Karner, with whom he has two children and a dog. When they took over the hotel in 2003, it was rather unknown. But in just four years, they managed to double the revenue. In 2008 the hotel was renovated and expanded, and it has now been voted the best hotel in 2014 by users on the online travel sites TripAdvisor and Trivago.

When the guests are not busy in professional meetings, there is no time to get bored. At least not if you like a bar, restaurant, pool, spa, fitness, bicycles, tennis, basketball, beach volley, or golf. And in the morning, the two meeting planners take the conference guests on a morning run. “That’s of course optional,” Karner smiles.

Meeting individual needs Every year, Hotel Hesselet hosts about 20,000 conference guests – both day and overnight visitors. The attentive owners and staff go far in the attempt to meet individual requests and needs – not to men-

For more information, please visit:

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beaver safari. During the winter, there are fantastic cross-country skiing opportunities with well-managed tracks a guarantee, and equipment can be hired at the hotel. If you fancy downhill skiing or snowboarding, just visit Hurdal Ski Centre, located nearby.

Conference of the Month, Norway

The perfect conference location In search of the ideal conference destination? At Haraldvangen Course and Conference Centre, you can enjoy a joyful mixture of activities, nature, and a professional environment.

Haraldvangen is the perfect place for team-building. In between conferences and courses, you can go exploring with your colleagues. The centre arranges a number of team-building activities that are designed to improve cooperation between colleagues at work. “The feedback we have received has only been positive,” says Gulbrandsen. “People dare to challenge themselves and others, and they get to know each other in a new way, which improves the atmosphere at work.” Haraldvangen serves traditional Norwegian food, made from locally-sourced ingredients to serve up breakfast, lunch and a two-course dinner. Special requirements? The chefs will be delighted to serve the food of your choice, cooked to your liking. The meals can be enjoyed in the dining room or the large Sami-style lavvu, seating up to 80 people.

By Anja Elen Eikenes | Photos: Tor Hurlen, Haraldvangen

Haraldvangen Course and Conference Centre is surrounded by beautiful Norwegian nature. It is idyllically located on the shores of Lake Hurdalsjøen, surrounded by woods and stunning views, only 25 minutes from Gardermoen airport. The place is ideally suited to courses and conferences, offering the perfect combination of serene surroundings and modern facilities. Haraldvangen can accommodate groups of up to 140 people in their conference rooms. Nine rooms of different sizes are available for meetings, all fully furnished and including all the equipment you would expect, including a projector or large TV. “Our objective is to make our guests feel at home,” says booking manager Lisbeth Gulbrandsen. A team-building dream In addition, Haraldvangen offers yearround activities tailor-made to suit your

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needs – whether you want a team-building activity on the centre’s own grounds or an adrenalin-pumping adventure nearby. The centre employs several guides, who can take you ice- or rock-climbing, waterskiing or sailing. Moreover, they offer to take you canoeing up the river or on a moose or

Share some quality time with your collegues, or simply relax and have fun in beautiful surroundings. Haraldvangen is waiting for you. For more information, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Business | Column

Tax on UK residential property – more changes announced With so many newspaper headlines focusing on the influx of foreign investors into the London property market, it is not surprising that the UK Government has decided to change the tax rules to collect more tax from owners of UK residential property. The first target group has been foreign investors who buy super-prime UK property through companies for tax efficiency and privacy, then non-UK residents generally, and finally UK residents who at some stage have more than one home. By Helena Whitmore, senior wealth structuring advisor, SEB Private Banking UK

Last year, a new Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) was introduced, charging an annual tax on certain residential property worth more than £2 million held by non-natural persons (broadly companies). Simultaneously, changes were made to the Stamp Duty Land Tax and the capital gains tax rules for entities caught by the ATED. Finally, the recent budget announced that the ATED will be gradually expanded, so that properties worth between £1 million and £2 million will be caught with effect from April 2015, and properties valued at £500,000 will be caught from April 2016. The ATED does not apply to properties held by individuals, so the next step, announced in the Autumn Statement 2013, was the introduction of capital gains tax for non-residents who sell UK residential property at a gain. A consultation process is underway to look at how this will work, and HMRC have released a consultation document setting out their initial views and requesting input on a number of questions. One problem with introducing capital gains tax for non-residents is how this will link to the Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR), which provides an exemption from capital gains tax on gains from the sale of the taxpayer’s qualifying main residence. The rules currently provide that if

a taxpayer has more than one home (excluding investment property) there is a two-year window during which he/she can elect the home that should be treated as main residence. It is also possible to ‘flip’ the election from one property to another, so that some relief is available on both. If this ability is retained, no doubt most non-residents will choose to nominate their UK home (regardless how little they use it), as their overseas homes would not be subject to UK capital gains tax. This would severely limit the impact of the new tax. The Government has therefore stated that it intends to amend the PPR rules for all taxpayers (including UK residents), removing the ability to elect. The proposal is that either PPR will be limited to the property which is demonstrably the individual’s main residence, based on a combination of fac-

tors, or there will be a fixed rule to identify the main residence. Either way, it is unlikely that many nonresidents will qualify for the relief, but many UK residents are also likely to end up with a higher tax bill than previously. The final ownership period exemption when a property has once been a qualifying PPR has also been cut from 36 to 18 months with effect from 6 April 2014. Anyone selling a property which has not been their only home throughout the full period of ownership should seek up-to-date tax advice. For more information, email or call 020 7246 4307

Helena Whitmore, senior wealth structuring advisor, SEB Private Banking UK

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Scan Magazine | Business | Calendar

Scandinavian Business Calendar – Highlights of Scandinavian business events Industrial Forum with John Cridland

Mayor for the City of London. Guest speaker is

As keynote speaker at this invitation-only event

Ambassador of Denmark, Claus Grube.

arranged by the Swedish Chamber, the director-

Date: 15 May

John Cridland, will reflect on an illustrious business

50 years of Marimekko’s Unikko

career and share tips and insights.

A fan of Marimekko? The Finnish-British Chamber

Date: 13 May

of Commerce, in collaboration with Aria and


general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI),

Marimekko, invites you to celebrate the 50th Norwegian Chamber’s 108th AGM

anniversary of the popular brand’s most iconic print,

The Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce and

Unikko (Poppy). Expect a fascinating lecture and 10

takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Keynote

guest speaker journalist Espen Aas from NRK invite

per cent off all Marimekko products.

speaker is Jennifer Sheridan, founder and CEO of

you to attend the chamber’s 108th Annual General

Date: 15 May

Togeva, and panelists include Al Brown, director of Champions Life Academy, and Karin Jimfelt-Ghatan,

Meeting and networking event at Statoil UK Ltd this month. The event starts off with members only, but

Norwegian National Day celebrations

co-founder of Odd Molly, to name a few.

the evening welcomes non-members as well, with

The day itself surely needs no introduction, but this

Date: 27 May

Aas revealing what it is like to be a foreign

special event just might: the Norwegian National

correspondent in the UK.

Day celebrations in Southwark Park welcome Trond

Nordic Thursday Drinks

Date: 14 May

Viggo Torgersen as guest speaker and are sure to

As every month, the first 50 people to arrive at this

paint the sky in the Norwegian colours.

networking event, this month taking place at the

Date: May 17

Radisson BLU Portman Hotel, get a free welcome

Danish Chamber’s AGM and annual dinner

drink, and fun and new friendships are guaranteed

Another day, another AGM. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Danish-British Chamber of

Seminar on entrepreneurship

no matter what time of the evening you turn up.

Commerce tops its Annual General Meeting with a

The Swedish Chamber seminar, entitled ‘Beating the

Date: May 29

dinner at the historical home and office of Lord

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Scan Magazine | Politics | The Swedish General Election


Q&A with Clara Lidström

leave parliament. The big winners, I believe, will be the parties that don’t just talk about tax rates, but have visions for society – parties that dare to be ideological, no matter what that ideology may look like.

Interview by Linnea Dunne | Photo: Emil Nyström

It’s general election year in Sweden, and only a few months to go now. How will the 2014 election year be remembered? I hope that it will be the year we remember as the year when the xenophobic party, the Sweden Democrats, lost influence over Swedish politics. But I’m not sure that that’s a realistic expectation. What one issue or debate has been the most important in the run-up to the 2014 election? I would’ve thought that it would be the jobs issue – but what everyone is talking about and what seems to stimulate the most engagement is the issue of privatisation within education and the welfare sector. A lot of scandals have surfaced recently, revolving around the effects of privatisation, and this sparks a lot of engagement amongst everybody, myself included.

think that it might keep changing until the very end. One incorrect statement by any party leadership, an old scandal being dragged to the surface – these things can determine more than you think, and I actually think that it’s a real shame. Small, isolated issues should not determine the outcome of an election. People should think bigger than that. What kind of society do we want to build and live in? What kind of ideology do I believe in? Your prediction: who will be the big winners and the big losers? I think that The Christian Democrats and The Centre [former Farmers’] Party will be the losers, but not to the extent where they

What are your hopes for the term following the election in September? I am hoping for politics that are more radical in regards to climate and equality issues. Huge efforts are still needed here. Have you decided who you are going to vote for? Not yet. It’s between two parties right now, and I will wait and listen until the very end before I make my decision.

Clara Lidström, better known as Underbara Clara, is a professional blogger and internationally-published author writing on subjects as wide ranging as fashion, DIY interiors, green living, and feminism. Read more at

What one politician has surprised you positively? I’ve been positively surprised by Jonas Sjöstedt, Chair of the Left Party. Eloquent, reasonable, and always with a finger in the air in regard to current issues. What issue do you think deserved more attention and debate than it got? I hope that gender equality issues will be highlighted more. For quite some time now, equality has not improved at all in Sweden, the way one would’ve perhaps thought and hoped it would. I really hope that more parties will address this issue! Is there a specific debate or event from this election year that sums it up in a poignant way? Wow, I don’t know yet. I think it’s too soon to say. What will be the critical, deciding factors in the last few weeks before election day? Much like in the previous election, I

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Page 112

Scan Magazine | Politics | The Swedish General Election


Q&A with Svend Dahl Interview by Linnea Dunne | Press Photo

It’s general election year in Sweden, and only a few months to go now. How will the 2014 election year be remembered? The opinion polls suggest that the Social Democrats will return to government, but a lot has changed in the eight years they’ve been in opposition. In the past, it was said that the Social Democrats defined Swedish politics, but today you could argue that the Alliance [liberal-right] Government sets the framework for what is politically possible. What one issue or debate has been the most important in the run-up to the 2014 election? Firstly, education. The performance of Swedish pupils has worsened compared to other countries for a long time now. The current government hasn’t managed to break the trend, and the Social Democrats and the Green Party are trying to profile themselves using this issue, highlighting the lack of results. Their actual proposals, however, differ reasonably little.

Is there a specific debate or event from this election year that sums it up in a poignant way? In a televised debate, facing the leader of the Social Democrats, Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister Reinfeldt chose to highlight how small the differences between the Moderates and the Social Democrats are – a poignant illustration of how this election has come to revolve less around traditional left-right conflicts and more around a vote of confidence between two governing alternatives with similar policy initiatives. What will be the critical, deciding factors in the last few weeks before election day? Every election campaign has an event that is hard to predict but that affects the result. What will happen at the end of this year’s campaign is impossible to say, but last-minute events certainly can have a great impact.

Secondly, fiscal discipline. In the early 1990s, Sweden went through a financial crisis similar to that which many other Eurozone countries are currently in. This experience has led to both the government and the Social Democrats emphasising fiscal stringency, accusing each other of not taking enough responsibility.

Your prediction: who will be the big winners and the big losers? The Left Party is likely to do well. Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt has, through criticising profits made by privately-run schools and nursing homes, made his party into a real alternative for Social Democrats unhappy with their own party moving closer to the Moderates.

What issue do you think deserved more attention and debate than it got? A-kassan, the Swedish unemployment benefit fund. With the current set-up, a lot of people on temporary contracts don’t qualify at all. But the system has also been gradually eroded, as the compensation cap hasn’t been adjusted according to rising salaries. Neither the government nor the Social Democrats are keen to discuss the issue.

The Centre Party and the Christian Democrats both risk leaving parliament. Both have been struggling to profile themselves in government, leaving voters feeling that you may just as well vote for the Moderates.

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What are your hopes for the term following the election in September? It is common that when xenophobic parties enter parliament, other parties become more hostile towards immigration as well, but Sweden has so far been an exception. When the Sweden Democrats entered parliament in 2010, it led to an agreement between the government and the Green Party around a more relaxed immigration policy. I hope that this kind of collaboration across the left-right spectrum around liberal immigration policy can live on regardless of the government. Have you decided who you are going to vote for? No, I belong to the group of voters who decide towards the end of the election campaign.

Svend Dahl holds a PhD in Political Science and is the managing director of Liberala Nyhetsbyrån [the Liberal News Agency].

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Page 113

Scan Magazine | Humour | Columns


By Mette Lisby

Who always found the Vegas slogan weird? “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!” Really? Don’t get me wrong – I can keep a secret as well as the next woman, but that doesn’t help the bachelor and bachelorette parties behaving crazy-silly (and judging from the Hangover movies, in some cases beyond that). I’m pretty sure that if you catch herpes in Vegas, it does not stay in Vegas, no matter how many times you repeat that slogan. And yet Vegas is slowly turning into one gigantic night club. I was there this past weekend, and it is a far cry from the days of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Not that I was there at that time (I’m not your grandma just yet), but Vegas has undergone a serious change from the days of classy performers to today’s 24/7 music track. Music blasts at you, during every waking moment, wherever you are; even as

you are innocently walking outdoors, you cannot escape the beat blasting from loudspeakers all along the strip. To hear music back in the days, you would have had to go to see a big band led by Quincy Jones at the Sands with Ol’ Blue Eyes headlining. Or maybe you would dial it down a nudge and go to the Hilton to see Engelbert Humperdinck (yes, I did spellcheck the name, and by the way his real name is Arnold George Dorsey – who would have guessed?). But in 2014, you are never left without a dance track – from brunch casino-side to dining at Hakkasan to lounging poolside at midday. Yes! Pools now come with DJs. Hanging out by the pool makes you ask questions like ‘How many tracks do DJs like Calvin Harris, Tiesto and Steve Aoki put out in a year?’ My guess is a rough 5,000, judging by the never-ending remix tsunami that hits you in Vegas.


When it came to choosing a university in England, my tutors had one, firm piece of advice for me. If I were to attend an art college, then it would have to be in London. This, in their opinion, was the best and only place for it. I felt differently. Here was my chance to spend three years

Leaving Vegas, I still had a beat from the latest remix by DJ Avicii ringing deafening in my ears, and I did not turn on the radio in my car. I enjoyed the silence, pondering that some things do stay in Vegas: my money – and my hearing. However, my dress was considerably tighter, proving that the calories you consume in Vegas certainly do NOT stay in Vegas. Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish versions of “Have I Got News For You” and “Room 101”.

By Maria Smedstad

somewhere new and unknown. I pushed the prospectuses to one side and thought: “Where do I want to go?” Having grown up by the grey waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, I felt it might be nice to live by the sea again. But maybe somewhere a bit warmer than Sweden. The front page of one prospectus caught my eye. It pictured an azure sea, a hot guy on a surfboard and a palm tree. A palm tree! In Britain! I decided to apply. Before the interview, a friend and I did a road trip to check this magical place out. We parked a few streets away from the college and walked the rest of the way. We made it about halfway, before we had to stop and sit down by the side of the road. Up until this point, I don’t think I had ever imagined that anywhere in the world could be as hilly as Cornwall.

The interview, when it came around, didn’t start off well. The course leader gave me a stern look and demanded to know my reasons for applying, adding: “Some people foolishly apply because they think it’s going to be all surfing and palm trees!” I fervently denied this, and a few months later got offered a place and began what was to become a happy love affair with Cornwall. I even got some studying done. But mostly it was about the palm trees. Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Issue 64 | May 2014 | 113

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Page 114

Scan Magazine | Culture | Mando Diao

Meeting of man and machine Having topped the Swedish album charts with musical interpretations of Gustaf Fröding’s poems, sold platinum in Germany, and toured extensively across Europe, Mando Diao are back with a new album. The Borlänge rockers give Scan Magazine their two cents on music, fame and Swedishness.

Fröding’s poems. We have mostly written in English, but being able to compose music to these poems felt so natural and the music just came. It was magical.

By Linnea Dunne | Photo: Fredrik Skogkvist

On Swedish music export

On Borlänge Borlänge when we grew up was a tough place – but a lot of good has come from that. Music, art – all that stuff. Being different wasn’t easy, but it made us who we are. We still have a deep connection to the town and the people.

biological. It became like an extension of ourselves, which was exciting, and it became a big inspiration for us. We could explore new sounds and ideas, and it became a philosophy: biology, the meeting of man and machine. We want to use technology, explore the possibilities, see what we can create in new and limitless ways!

On ‘there is no Mando Diao sound’ We refuse to be put in a box. We won’t do the same thing over and over just because that’s what people expect. We create according to our own desires, find new dimensions to explore, instruments to experiment with. We won’t be limited to one sound; we are dynamic and changing as people and artists. On Aelita Aelita is a Russian synthesiser that we got and experimented with. It behaved in a way that we didn’t expect that was organic,

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Sweden is very good. There is a consciousness of melody in Sweden, maybe because of our folk music – maybe the fire place tradition. It’s cool. On Swedishness We are who we are and don’t try to hide it and be English or American. We love nature, are affected by the darkness of the winter and the light of the summer.

On fame It’s nothing we think about or discuss. It’s not our motivation and nothing we pursue. If being in the gossip mags means that you’re famous, then we are not and thankful for it! On singing in Swedish versus in English The Swedish album, Infruset, came about because of a request from a close family friend. It was a spontaneous thing that led to a discovery and new appreciation of a treasure of the Swedish language: Gustaf

On 2014 It’s going to be a great year with another exciting development. We are excited about the album, the way we can do it live, and getting back out into Europe. Swedish rock band Mando Diao is back with a new album: Aelita For more information and dates of the upcoming European tour, please visit:

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Samaris

Delicate 19th century ruminations Iceland’s disproportionate amount of musical talent amongst its 320,000 inhabitants defies belief. Poised to embark on their first headline tour of the UK is the hotly-tipped three-piece Samaris.

they are most looking forward to this summer – being outside in the sunshine in particular.

By Emmie Collinge | Photo: Magnús Andersen

While proclaiming Iceland a conveyer belt of musical talent would be doing Samaris a disservice, there is something remarkable about Samaris that captures your attention: perhaps it is those ancient lyrics, their gentle stage presence, or their earlytwenties fragile naivety. Whatever it is, we are hooked.

Consisting of clarinettist Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, singer Jófriður Ákadóttir, and the electronic skills of Þórður Kári Steinþórsson, the trio formed in early 2011 and almost immediately won the Icelandic Músíktilraunir award. Like fellow countrymen Björk, Sigur Rós and múm, Samaris’s stripped-back sound is both delightfully haunting and hauntingly delightful, with strangely textured electronics blending with the lingering lyrics of 19th century Icelandic poetry. After the initial awkwardness of us not knowing how to pronounce her name, singer Jófriður (“Call me Jófri”) apologises for her croaky voice. “It’s been such a busy few weeks,” she explains. Still very much in its infancy, the band has just clambered off-stage at Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert Hall – “such a big venue, it was intense.” The conservation protest con-

cert saw them topping the bill alongside Björk, Patti Smith and Lykke Li, and given the prominent position of the band’s name on the poster, it appears that Samaris is on a fast-track to fame. Ákadóttir laughs modestly: “We thought our name was that high up as it fitted better onto the poster!” The concert was a reaction by Iceland’s music scene to the new government’s decision to postpone the tighter controls on nature, which the former government, led by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, had initiated. “The concert’s revenue is going towards hiring lawyers. I’m so happy to have been involved in such a good cause – it’s such a sad thing that protecting our nature isn’t a priority.”

Catch Samaris at a gig near you this summer:

Grounded and open, Ákadóttir describes the band’s development as “a natural, gradual progression”, which they are all finding easy to handle. Festivals are what

Silkidrangar, the trio’s new album, is out on 5 May on indie label One Little Indian.

8 May 13 May 29 June 11 July 19 July 14 Aug

- The Great Escape, Brighton, UK - Birthdays, London, UK - Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark - ATP Festival, Keflavik, Iceland - Longitude, Dublin, Ireland - Green Man Festival, UK

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Page 116

Scan Magazine | Culture | Urban Ranger Camp

The sky is the limit Experience an eight-metre free fall, rappel 35 metres down a wall or try the world’s highest indoor High Roping course. Expect to push your limits when you visit Urban Ranger Camp – and expect a day to remember. You find yourself only 15 minutes away from the centre of Copenhagen, more precisely in the B&W shipyard halls where the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place this month, but entering Urban Ranger Camp feels like entering a new world. A playground at 50 metres above ground is the setting, where you will face your inner daredevil and learn the true value of working together as a team. “We address people who want to be challenged, because our activities demand that you push your limits – but it is not only for people in good shape. Each of the

By Nicolai Lisberg Photos: Urban Ranger Camp

challenges can be adjusted so it fits exactly each individual’s level of fitness,” says Jacob Haugaard, brand manager at Urban Ranger Camp. Together we are stronger Many of the challenges require cooperation. Without working together as a team, the challenges simply cannot be completed. Therefore, many companies come for team building events, but with the world’s highest indoor High Roping course, which opened last year, individuals and smaller groups can also come along. “We have a mix of everything: companies, bachelor parties and individuals. Everyone always leaves having had a great experience: they feel they have overcome obstacles they did not believe possible, both as individuals and as teams. That is something you can use in your everyday life as well,” says Haugaard.

For more information, please visit:

Nordic culture and identity expressed in fashion Bloggers’ Corner: The very best of the Anglo-Scandinavian blogosphere: from films to fitness By Þórhildur Einarsdóttir, Nordic Style Magazine

The third Nordic Fashion Biennale is now on at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. First held in 2009, the Biennale is an initiative of the Nordic House in Iceland. It is an investigation into the roots and inspiration of the emerging Nordic fashion scene in the three island nations of Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, centring around the exhibition The Weather Diaries. The exhibition showcases works of eleven of the most talented designers from the Nordic islands, such as Mundi (IS), STEiNUNN (IS), JÖR (IS), Kría (IS), Guðrun & Guðrun (FOI), Barbara I. Gongini (FOI), Rammatik (FOI), Bibi Chemnitz (GL), Najanguaq Lennert Davidsen (GL), Nikolaj Kristenssen and Jessie Kleemann (GL). The Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter is also participating in the Biennale with her piece Nervescape III,

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occupying one of the rooms at the museum with parts of it making an escape in a colourful way. The designers’ works consist of installations from the selected designers, including the large-scale photographic art works of Cooper & Gorfer. By stepping out of the seasons of fashion, the focus is on the essence and nature of the designers’ work. Each of them was asked to create new works representing their metaphorical self, visually interpreted in photographic images by the renowned artistic duo Cooper & Gorfer who are also the event curators. The outcome is the exhibition The Weather Diaries and a book that shows a new and uncommon approach to photography and fashion. This is a story about fashion and its importance in shaping a cultural identity showing personal histories and process through texts and a short exhibition film.

The Nordic Fashion Biennale will be on-going until 22 June 2014 at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt.

The weather diaries, 2014. Hrafnildur Arnadóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter/© Cooper & Gorfer

Nordic Style Magazine is an online fashion magazine focusing on fashion and design from the Nordic countries. The website’s mission is to share Nordic talents with the world. Read more on

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Let The Right One In

teenager, first seen stabbing the surrounding trees in a fantasy of revenge by his strange new neighbour, Eli (Rebecca Benson), a girl who only appears at night. Why does she smell so strangely? And why on earth does she not eat when she is hungry? These are questions Oskar can soon easily ignore, as Eli becomes a much-needed friend. The two friends have been let down so badly by the adult world, and their desperate need of affection is incredibly moving to witness. Connection in a disconnected world

Swedish vampire opens the Apollo The Swedish film Let the right one in, based on the 2004 novel of the same name by author John Ajvide Lindqvist, has achieved something akin to cult status at this point, despite the American remake from 2010 being significantly less successful. By Emmie Krugly Hill | Photos: Manuel Harlen

But whether or not you have managed to actually see either of the films or read the book, yes even if the vampire romance genre has never really been your cup of tea, a trip to the recently refurbished and reopened Apollo Theatre of Shaftesbury Avenue to experience Jack Thorne’s highlyacclaimed stage version, directed by John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett and produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, is sure to fill you with curiosity at least.

tims upside-down in order to collect blood in glass jars. The music by Ólafur Arnalds is appropriately spooky, and Christine Jones’s snowy set impressive, filled with towering silver birches. In this forest, we witness serial killings but also the discovery of Oskar (Martin Quinn), a lonely

Responsible for the production is Canadian producer Marla Rubin, who became transfixed by the 2008 film and keen to turn it into a play. Herself bullied at school, Rubin wanted to highlight the issue in a different way, especially within the climate of cyber bullying. The result is painful and breathtakingly moving at the same time, with a climactic, tense bullying scene in a swimming pool as a poignant example.

Let the right one in captures exactly how isolating a childhood can be and the desperate longing for connection in a disconnected world – a message which this National Theatre of Scotland production delivers in the most extraordinary way.

For more information, please visit:

Innocent love and loneliness The reasons behind the musical’s success are almost immediately obvious: this gothic story of innocent love and loneliness has a seriousness and emotional intensity that will quickly disarm any scepticism. The team behind it have produced a piece that will chill viewers to the marrow and break their hearts. The opening is dramatic, with scenes of an apologetic killer suspending his vic-

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Page 118

Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Music

Scandinavian Music

By Karl Batterbee

something brand new from it. So much so, that by the end you could be forgiven for forgetting that the song was ever built around a sample in the first place. And so their new single, Hurts, stands on its own as a fresh pop entity. More genius from Electric Lady Lab.

Starting off with some Scandinavian pop that samples some Scandinavian pop: Danish synthpop duo Electric Lady Lab has gone down the alternative ballad route. A love song peppered with a recognisable flavour from the 90s – their own interpolation of Roxette’s classic Listen To Your Heart. Like all of their samples though, they have taken a more subtle excerpt from the song in question and built

Another duo making a comeback this month is Swedish folk outfit First Aid Kit. After the mega successful The Lion’s Roar album, they are back with their first new single in an age: My Silver Lining. It is a bombastic journey into the retro. These girls have always loved to delve into the past for inspiration to their sound, but this time around, it all sounds a little more sophisticated. That is down to the song’s reliance on big strings and lush harmonies. My Silver Lining instantly becomes one of the duo’s finer moments.

tially feels a bit ‘oh we’ve kinda heard all this before’, but then the chorus makes its presence known. And wow – what a chorus. There is the also-quite-brilliant postchorus that is made up of gibberish – a bit mental, this one, but enjoyably so. And we have got ourselves a hot new talent in the rap-slash-pop-slash-electro genre. Also making some new waves is Danish artist Silje Svea, particularly with the new single Sober Heart. It is a 90s-flavoured, downbeat electro track, but one that does not allow the synth work to take over the song, so it is Silje’s vocal and melody that become the show stealers here. Both are actually quite reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan’s turn on Delirium’s Silence, in parts. But Sober Heart is enough of a stunner in its own right, marking Silje as another new talent to listen out for.

Sweden also gives us an exciting debut single from a new artist this month. It is TARA, with the song Manners. Like a more pop-orientated version of Elliphant, it ini-

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here!

Brighton Festival (3 - 25 May) This year’s festival will feature Swedish violist Malin Broman, who will perform together with the Elias String Quartet. There will also be an exhibition by Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren as well as a screening of Kjell Grede’s summer classic, Hugo and Josephine. For tickets and more information, visit:

Broken Twin on tour (May) Danish Broken Twin’s music is made up of piano, strings and Majke Voss Romme’s haunting vocals. This month, aptly, she is touring Europe with her debut album, May. Bernhoft on European tour (May) Norwegian retro-soul singer/multiinstrumentalist Bernhoft is on the road with his latest album, Islander, this month. The tour will include shows in London, Berlin and Amsterdam. Broken Twin. Photo: Emilie Kjaer

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By Sara Schedin

The erratic dreams of Christian Lindberg (17 May) A breath of fresh Swedish air will flow through Cadogan Hall when worldrenowned Christian Lindberg – trombonist,

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Calendar

Roskilde Festival. Photo: Per Lange

Bernhoft. Photo: Fred Jonny

conductor and composer – takes centre stage with Västerås Sinfonietta and clarinettist Emil Jonason. The exhilarating programme includes music by Leopold Mozart and Manuel de Falla as well as two UK premieres. Cadogan Hall, London, SW1X. Mayhem (21 May) Norwegian black metal band Mayhem will play a gig in London in support of their new album Estoric Warfare. Steve Angello (30 May) One-third of the Swedish House Mafia will perform techno and house beats at the O2 Academy Brixton.

Roskilde Festival (29 June - 6 July) As usual, this legendary Danish festival has a killer line-up, including The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Outkast, Trentemøller, Cashmere Cat and many more. Ilosaarirock Festival (11 - 13 July) This Finnish festival will include a wide variety of music acts, including Portishead, Alice in Chains, Ellie Goulding, Death Hawks and Jenni Vartianien, to mention a few.

The Summer Book (7 - 29 June) This year is the centenary of the birth of Tove Jansson, the much-loved creator of the Moomins, and the Summer Book captures much of the writer’s own experience. It tells the story of six-year-old Sophia, who spends a summer with her grandmother on a remote island in Finland talking about love, life and nature. Unicorn Theatre, London, SE1.

Slottsfjell (17 - 19 July) Set by the fjords in Norway, Slottsfjell offers stunning views as well as great music acts. The festival will feature artists such as Beastmilk, Lykke Li, Veronica Maggio and First Aid Kit.

Summer festivals Combine a holiday to one of our Nordic countries with a visit to one of their many music festivals:

Way Out West (7-9 Aug) Gothenburg’s Way Out West will fea-

ture many great names, such as Röyksopp & Robyn, Icona Pop, Queens of the Stone Age, and The National.



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Inspired – Dedicated – Reliable |

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safe software – safe operations


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