NORWAY — ISSUE 3 • SPRING ‘17
N A HUM R O T FAC TRUST TECH
SOCIETY, TECHNOLOGY AND TRUST
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2017 THE NUMBERS, THE DETAILS, THE PEOPLE
forståelse lettelse påminnelse ytelse tilstedeværelse ledelse
Say hello to @else – Norway´s first HR manager with artificial intelligence Ask @else anything HR related. She´s currently a trainee and learns something new every day. Meet @else at else.sticos.no
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Curious to learn more about the Trondheim startup scene?
Startup Guide Trondheim is the ultimate guide to navigate in Trondheimâ€™s ecosystem of startups, coworkspaces, programs, celebrated founders, suppliers and city players that drive innovation.Â Whether you live in Trondheim or are travelling here, this book is everything you need in order to know where to drink your coffee, who you should follow on social media and what vocabulary you need when talking to the crowd in Norway's technology capital. Filled with smart advice and inside stories from
up-and-coming and serial entrepreneurs along with a mapping of the ecosystem and its most prominent players, this guide is all you need to bring with you to get around in the city. Get your Startup Guide Trondheim at: startupeverywhere.com or when in Trondheim, purchase at: Akademika Bokhandel DIGS Work-Work
contributors ARNSTEIN SYLTERN Is co-founder of DIGS, Trondheim’s first innovation platform and coworking space. Arnstein is also CEO of the design-driven innovation firm, SKIFT. He holds a Msc in industrial design engineering from NTNU and works predominatly with enhancing startup communities and industrial projects geared to solve global challenges. He picks his ‘Ten Startups to Watch Out For’ on page 28.
in partnership with Technoport
ESPEN HALVORSEN BJØRGAN Espen is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Trondheim. He has worked for national and regional newspapers and radio, and is now freelancing his way through life. He has passion for local development stories and currently writes for Adressavisen. Find his article about Powerhouse on page 38.
Building an ecosystem
The state of funding in Norway
Exhibitors at this year's conference
Lars Iversen introduces Technoport
Conference theme and highlights
Meet the humans
DAVID NIKEL David is a freelance journalist, web publisher and communications consultant who runs Life in Norway blog and curates the Norway Weekly newsletter. David writes about travel, tech startups & business arcoss Scandinavia for a wide range of media and organisations. David won ‘Startup Writer of the Year’ at Nordic Startup Awards 2014 and has been published in Norwegian magazine and The Telegraph, amongst others. Here he writes about Technoport Conference on page 18. LARS IVERSEN Lars is chief executive at Technoport and a senior business adviser and a partner at Springfellow AB Sweden. He has a keen interest and instinct for business opportunities. Specialities: evolving technologies, breakthrough technologies, breakthrough solutions, open innovation, ecommerce, retail and logistics. Let him introduce what Technoport is all about on page 7.
Arnstein from DIGS selects
TrustTech The long view on trust
MARIE JOHANSEN With a background in industrial design engineering and interdisciplinary studies of culture and innovation, Marie loves to solve problems and create new experiences for people. Happiness triggers include travelling, sarcasm, food and music. Read her introduction to the conference on page 8.
How we cracked the code
Comparing startup scenes
The Technoport Reykjavik vs Human Trondheim
WIL LEE-WRIGHT Wil is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The List and Tech List, writer, photographer and entrepreneur. He is passionate about documentary photography, and tries to bring these elements into his work. In this issue he takes the long view on Trondheim’s trusting economy, page 30.
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what is tech list?
Issue #3 Spring 2017 "Information generation, processing, and transmission… the fundamental sources of productivity and power.” (Castells 2000)
ech List was established in early 2015 as an outlet for The List journalists and collaborators, many of whom have a technology or innovation-based background, to delve into greater depth about some business issues of interest and take a position to profile upand-coming Norwegian startups. Tech List has been issued annually, accompanying the last two Technoport conferences, as well as a mini-edition launched in collaboration with Maker Faire and Trondheim Playground, 2016. During these past three years we have had the pleasure to work with
some incredible journalists and artists, and have engaged with leading thinkers in the technology sector from across the world. This contributes to providing a better representation of the Norwegian innovation sector, internationally. We have been to London and Reykjavik and back; we have interviewed people across the globe from Geneva to Los Angeles. In this issue we even welcome artwork originating as far afield as Japan. Everything we produce is a dialogue about how these interactions reflect the greater symbiosis of activity shaped right here in Norway. Not to mention, how Norway plays a role in the bigger picture. Technology, by its very definition, is unlimited by traditional borders and restrictions of movement. These are the tools by which we bring other cultures closer to us; they are the methods employed to bring the future within our grasp. As Spanish social scientist Manuel Castells recognises in the technological paradigm: “The transformation is more profound: it is the mixing of tenses to create a forever universe,
not self-expanding but self-maintaining, not cyclical but random, not recursive but incursive; timeless time, using technology to escape the contexts of its existence.” Innovation and entrepreneurship are two sides of the same coin. Yet, there is something very unique about the new period we are entering. Some have coined it "The Fourth Industrial Revolution", speaking to the blurred lines between the physical, digital and biological. Some recall the paradigm shift of the digital revolution, which caused an identity crisis among humans who suddenly identified more readily with their peers in New York, Sau Paulo and Hong Kong than with their geographical neighbours. This, of course, was on account of massive developments in information technology. Today we have moved beyond likeminded individuals in other places and have created virtual networks of friends, colleagues and foes. How the human will come to be recognisable in this fluid existence, and what role we will have in shaping this reality, is the focal point of this issue of Tech List. The irony that we are a locally-produced paper product, which you are currently holding in your hands as you read these words, is not lost on us. In fact, this is the underlying philosophy of Tech List. Created here in Trondheim, a Nordic Tech Capital. Read at Technoport Conference or one of the hundreds of coworking spaces, social melting pots or partner offices across country. Tech List is sent all over the world, to be read and contemplated by physically distant, but connected members of the global innovation community. Tech List is a hallelujah magazine that rejoices in Norwegian and Nordic innovation, with an unashamed Trondheim origin. We are proud to be able to deliver this product in partnership with Technoport, a catalyst organisation for supporting a growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship who shares our aim to convey the Nordic region as an attractive hub for technology and innovation. Technoport are sponsors of this magazine and have financially contributed to this issue. a
This is technoport INTRODUCTION
ear readers, How often do you hear about what’s happening in Norway when you are not actually in Norway? I’m not necessarily referring to the time we had a butter crisis at Christmas, dressed our Olympic Curling team up in flashy costumes, or even our recent turning-off of our FM radio channel. Our national business development agency, Innovation Norway has been rating international consumer opinion on Norway for some time now and although that have confirmed that we are best known for our oil and gas, and nature, we have a lot more to offer the world! Do they know what we have been up to? Have they heard about the world's largest renewable energy windpark located at Fosen, in Mid-Norway? Do they know that we have the world's strongest knowledge-based aquaculture and fishing sector? Do they know about our innovative high-tech clusters in VR, Medtech, Fintech or Edtech? Norway is on the move and busy reshaping our business world. Norway’s sector of today is not built-up of giant multinationals, it is compounded of thousands of startups and small businesses, which are re-teaching us
Norway rising EDITORIAL
how to do business in the new economy. Actors like Innovation Norway and other regional organisations like the Greater Region of Trondheim have committed themselves to make information on our exciting business and innovation sectors available in English; so as to engage in the world and enable Norway to be a more visible partner, internationally. This is part of our national strategy to strengthen communication and storytelling about Norwegian successes and possibilities. These actors, along with our other partners in Technoport, are also on the job. We require the means to communicate and Tech List - a magazine supported by the multidisciplinary efforts of government, industry, the research sector and educational institutions and Norway's startup scene - is the key to make this happen. It is with great pleasure that I present you with the third edition of Tech List! a
n case you are new to the scene, Trondheim is the it-place for largescale technology development, a venture that Technoport helps to foster each and every day. That’s also why Technoport's annual conference has become one of Europe's top innovation events and meeting grounds. These efforts have contributed to an increasing eagerness in business relations over the last years, while also strengthening new national and international networks. The conference highlights technology successes and creates new models for innovation platforms. All of this compounded makes Technoport a great catalyst for continually building the awareness of Trondheim as one of the top technology cities in Europe. Our strength lies in the active membership in our organisation, from key players in our business sector such as Sparebank1 and Statoil, to Norway's largest University NTNU, to our local government, the City of Trondheim. Through these relationships we help to support our thriving startup community. There is also an urgent need to “open up”
THE GOLDEN AGE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
traditional companies and the public sector and make them more attractive to innovative competencies outside of their traditional boundaries. Technoport aims to establish the necessary structures and platforms required to accelerate cooperation with external talent, innovators, entrepreneurs, subcontractors and the wider community. Over the last six years Trondheim has built a strong eco-system for entrepreneurs in growth. Technoport's annual conference has become the primary breeding ground for connections forged between traditional industry, the public sector, and capital; inviting them to meet the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Today’s hyper-competitive, überconnected global economy necessitates that companies and governments
develop and launch new products and services faster than you can say “silo-based research-and-development!” The innovation resources required to achieve this, to successfully renew and adapt their businesses, do not exist within the enterprise itself, or in the public administration for that matter, but outside of their organisation. It is not only the case that large multi-national companies must find new strategies for opening up and learning to collaborate with a wider variety of organisations and entrepreneurs (by providing access to their data, established brands, distribution channels, subcontractor relations, CRM databases, premises, attorneys, and more) but they must also learn how to work as if they really are entrepreneurs themselves.
The new generation of labour and talent are increasingly dissatisfied with the rather dismal prospect of becoming a passive employee in one of the classical multinationals. Largely because of the limits that this entails – limited freedom, zero ownership, partial opportunities for participation in strategy and little gain from the added value they stand for. They simply demand more. Fortunately for big businesses, startups crave what they don’t have in order to quickly scale up – financial strength, industry connections, distribution channels, strong brands and the administrative muscles needed for mass sales. This is where the combination of talent and resources can be truly successful and may well be the best option for the opening up the old “dinosaurs” and enable them to remain relevant. Trondheim is a new powerhouse of innovation in the Nordics with unique strengths when it comes to accessing talents, expertise, markets and capital. In Trondheim we aim to change the way big corporates, academia and public sector interact with startups, talents and new technology in order to help bring new products and services to the market and create new industries. We are constantly helping to build an eco-system for entrepreneurs to scale up the new companies, services and products that will fill the innovation gap in both the public and the private sectors of the future. We believe that technology entrepreneurs can bring needed change to all industries, and we’re lowering the barriers for them to succeed. Innovation tends to flourish when knowledge, entrepreneurship and capital are combined in effective cooperation models. Technoport is a hotbed for such cooperation and we look forward to see you in Trondheim to join us in building the next industries and meet the people commercialising their knowledge, for a better world! a
THE HUMAN FACTOR TECHNOPORT, 8-9 MARCH 2017 CLARION HOTEL & CONGRESS TRONDHEIM
ew things have shaped the history of humans the way technology development has. It’s changed the way we live, how long we live and even how many of us that get to live. There have certainly been challenges along the way, from horrible working conditions in the factories of the First Industrial Revolution, to smog suffocating modern metropolises. But a lot of these issues are solved over time, with new technology combating the negatives of the old. And if you look at the big picture, one could argue that new technology has in general made living conditions better and increased prosperity for a lot of people. That might all be about to change. Technology development is going faster and faster, making things that seemed impossible only a couple of years ago not only possible but probable. This
accelerated speed leaves little time for us as a society to adjust, fix the possible bad side effects, or even stop and consider the consequences before it’s too late. In a world where money and being first and biggest rules, where fake news can get presidents elected, where apps can kill love and where the economic benefits of automation might end up in the hands of a only a lucky few….it’s time to consider prioritizing more human factors in our tech development. Whether you’re one of those who’s confident innovation will solve all our problems, or you have this lingering fear of machines soon running the world, just remember this: our future is not preordained by machines, it’s created by us humans. Technology is just a tool. So let’s make sure we use it the right way and build the world we want for ourselves. a THE PROGRAMME INCLUDES →
ASTRONAUT AND PIONEER
Chris Hadfield is a former military test pilot-turned-astronaut. He was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station (ISS). He became famous for his use of social media whilst aboard the ISS, sending back videos and images from the mission, including posting his performance of David Bowie’s Space Oddity on YouTube.
Belinda Parmar, OBE is CEO of The Empathy Business and pioneer of the world’s first empathy index, launched in the Harvard Business Review. Belinda’s vision is to make the business world a more empathic place and deliver ‘empathy at scale’ in large organisations. She is also the founder of the Little Miss Geek campaign, which inspires girls to become technology pioneers.
Karin Knox leads Palantir’s Philanthropy team, which partners with organisations to help them take a data-driven approach to solve hard social problems. Karin previously managed health behaviour change programs in Africa and co-founded a strategic communications and campaigns firm in South Africa, specialising in social issues. Karin graduated from LLM and LLB cum laude at Utrecht University in The Netherlands and now lives in California.
Frank Salzgeber is Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office at the European Space Agency (ESA). He is responsible for dealing with businesses that contribute to the space program and businesses which seek to adapt and build on ESA’s technology, including tech startups. Frank tells organisations how they can foster a space agency sense of creativity and ambition, as well as look at broader technology trends, entrepreneurship, and disruptive forces in industry.
THE QUEEN OF SHITTY ROBOTS
Known worldwide as the “Queen of Shitty Robots”, Simone Giertz is an inventor, public speaker and renowned comedic YouTuber. Simone’s videos have seen her featured on the Ellen Show, The Late Show, Mashable, Business Insider, Wired, Conan O’Brien and many more.
Wiebe is one of the great minds in Science, Technology and Society (STS). He firmly believes that recognising the human factor not only leads to more successful innovation and design but also calls for a rethinking of our democracies. He formulated the social construction of technology (SCOT) heuristics and theory.
08 / 09 HEAD OF EVENTS
Hermann Vidarsson INTERVIEWS
David Nikel & The List
echnoport’s Event Manager, Hermann, has previously worked with concerts, theatre and corporates: “I always find events with narratives, where you are using an event to tell a story,” he says. "That's what fascinates me." Hermann’s devotion now lies with innovation and entrepreneurship. Born in Iceland, raised in Norway and educated in Denmark (with a Swedish love affair chucked in for good measure), Hermann is the original Blandinavian, who brings a human touch to the proceedings. “I think we need to show that we develop quality technology,” says Hermann who believes Trondheim excels at finding technological solutions to difficult problems, but could be better at selling these solutions. “Big companies should come to Trondheim and share their problems. People here are committed problem solvers. That’s what I love about Trondheim.” The theme “The Human Factor” is close to Hermann's heart. “Is technology development just a train that runs on its own, full steam ahead and you can only jump onboard and get driven, or is it something we, as a society, affect?” Herman is certain that the creative role people play in technology development will still be a huge factor, and has put on a programme at this year’s Technoport to demonstrate the fact. Read more in the following interviews with a selection of this year’s speakers. A longer version of this interview is available at thelist.no/techlist
the human factor Humans Who Factor at this year's Conference
Virtual reality is here… almost. JOHN BERLAND
A Norwegian project investigates the potential impact on healthcare of mixed reality, a technology that blends digital content with the real world.
ecently the iPhone celebrated its 10th birthday. Although not the first smartphone, the Apple device set the future direction of the industry and transformed the way we interact with the digital world. But cast your mind back to the launch. The first iteration of the iPhone couldn’t connect to 3G. There was no AppStore, no 3G connectivity, and you couldn’t even copy-and-paste text. Their advertising slogan at the time said it all: "This is only the beginning." It was one of the greatest examples of a minimum viable product, whereby a company releases a product for early adopters, refines it out in public and releases updated versions before it hits the mainstream.
HEAD OF DIGILAB SCANDINAVIA INNOVATION AT SOPRA STERIA
We are now a similar point with virtual reality technology. Fast-forward ten years and it feels pretty certain that some form of virtual reality is going to be commonplace. What form it takes is largely down to research work going on right now by developers who are paying Microsoft USD $3,000 for access to their ‘mixed reality’ HoloLens technology. A step between augmented reality and virtual reality, mixed reality merges objects from your physical and virtual worlds together. Interacting with holograms enables you to visualize and work with digital content as part of your everyday environment. “The Hololens is much more than a piece of technology. It represents the first product that enables users to see the consequences of the fourth industrial revolution,” says John Berland, Head of DigiLab Scandinavia at Sopra Steria. DigiLab is one of 11 spaces around the world that his company has setup to be centred on information sharing, collaboration and co-creation. One of the first projects to take place in DigiLab Scandinavia is a collaboration with Oslo MedTech and the Intervention Centre at Oslo University Hospital. The project aims to see if and how the Microsoft HoloLens can be used
With over 38,000 employees in more than 20 countries, Sopra Steria has one of the most extensive portfolios of end to end service offerings in the market and had revenue of €3.6 billion in 2015.
Info Tech and Services HEADQUARTERS
Paris, France FOUNDED
as a preoperative surgical planning system. “The team have been working on an algorithm for a 3D model of a CT scan. Just seconds after the scan, the hospital now has a detailed view of a cancer-infected liver,” explains Berland. “A hologram of the 3D model can be placed on a virtual operating table. Several surgeons and consultants, all wearing a HoloLens, can discuss the situation and plan the surgery simultaneously.” Other potential applications for mixed reality include retail, military, transportation, training, finance, and smart city planning. Which ones take off remains to be seen, but unlike Apple, they have built an AppStore into the HoloLens from day one. “I’m most excited to see what will happen when we connect the HoloLens with machine learning and artificial intelligence. By doing that we should be able to provide some really exciting, disruptive services,” says Berland. a
Are humans being forgotten? MIKKEL B RASMUSSEN
CO-FOUNDER OF RED ASSOCIATES
MIKKEL B RASMUSSEN ABOUT
Through human science ReD Associates, a strategy consulting company, is putting people back at the centre of making business decisions.
Copenhagen, Denmark FOUNDED
As technology continues to develop at an astonishing pace, one human science consultant fears we are losing the human experience.
f you’ve not yet watched the third season of Black Mirror, put down this magazine and load up Netflix immediately! The British dark satire show touches on various near-future scenarios where technology has infiltrated our lives – nearly always to the detriment of what we might call humanity. While Star Wars and Firefly are pure fantasy, Black Mirror feels like a genuine - and chilling glimpse into our future, one where our social media ranking determines whether we get a job, and where the line between virtual reality and the ‘real’ world becomes blurred. Preserving human interactions in a connected world is something that Mikkel B Rasmussen, a founder at human science consultancy Red Associates, feels strongly about.
He believes companies are in danger of what he calls tech blindness. “The risk for companies is that they copy what others are doing. There are more than eight million apps in the AppStore and many are very similar. How many Tetris games are there? How many personal assistant apps are there? How many social media platforms are there? Because we think anything mobile or digital is new, we think that any idea is new. But if you look at it through a critical lens, there are actually very few new ideas.” There’s a good example of this happening within Norway right now with the flood of mobile payment apps. DNB’s Vipps, Danske Bank’s MobilePay and Sparebank1’s mCASH all claim to be innovative, when they are all essentially offering the same service. And do they actually make our lives any easier? Paying
for your groceries with MobilePay in Rema1000 doesn’t save any time at all over using your debit card and tapping in a PIN – and debit cards never run out of battery. Indeed, Rasmussen believes banking in the broader sense gives a good example of tech blindness. “Banks across the world are investing heavily in digital technologies while removing the human interface, but humans are still needed to help you plan your financial future, understand your insurance requirements, and most of all to listen. Yet many small towns are now without the physical presence of a bank. When banks start to behave like technology companies, the impact on our society could be massive,” he says. While Rasmussen accepts that data science has a huge role to play in our connected future, he passionately believes that human science is just as important. “Consider the difference between how a scientist and a poet would describe love. For a human to understand love it must be experienced, not explained,” he says. “The danger is we end up with a world full of technology but low on human interactions. The question to ask ourselves is, how can we use technology to create meaningful human experiences, rather than just functional ones?” a
Because empathy makes a difference to the bottom line A British business has observed that companies perform better when they show empathy.
lobal companies are now creating new ‘empathy departments’ and one of Europe’s largest banks is the first to implement revolutionary metrics. These departments are distinct from financial and marketing departments, and performance is not rated by sales or social media metrics. The newly implemented empathy metrics are measurements of how the quality of human interaction, both for customers and for staff, affects performance. What does this have to do with business? Empathy is, in fact, not that different from a muscle: it can be trained, strengthened and wisely used. By understanding what one’s impact on others is, employees can impact on business operation and effectiveness. As the aptly-named The
Empathy Business points out, there is a correlation between the level of empathy found in an organization and its performance. The top ten companies in their empathy index increased in market capitalisation more than twice as much as the bottom ten and generated 50% more earnings. According to Belinda Parmar, the CEO of The Empathy Business, never has business and politics needed empathy more than now. The roots of the company started in 2010, following a strong feeling of disappointment that technology sector is dominated CEO OF THE EMPATHY BUSINESS by men making BELINDA PARMAR women almost a niche market. ABOUT What detriment Specialising INDUSTRY does that feeling in measuring Consultancy empathy levhave upon the el, The EmpaHEADQUARTERS effectiveness of thy Business, is London, UK women in the proving that top workplace? ten companies FOUNDED “The problem listed in the first 2010 and only Global is that many of Empathy BusiWEB the people creness are increas- theempathy ating our teching in value. business.com nological future,
whether that is machine learning or virtual reality, are men. We need women to be part of the creation of technology not just the consumption of technology. Our future is too important to be designed by only half of the population!” Belinda started up Lady Geek, a company aiming to make the technology sector more accessible to women. Then the realization came: it was not gender politics per se which had the most severe effect on performance, it was empathy, and the lack thereof, which has the biggest impact. Men want empathy too, men want more empathic, more purposeful cultures. Male customers want a more empathic treatment from the companies they deal with. Gender can be misleading. Belinda also created Little Miss Geek, a social enterprise, which inspired girls to get their education in technology and become pioneers. The campaign itself was supported by 40 members of British Parliament, and Belinda was awarded an OBE for services to the UK’s technology industry in 2014. She was also appointed as a Young Global Leader 2014 by the World Economic Forum. The Empathy Business is also responsible for the first ever ‘empathy index’ published in the Harvard Business Review, which ranks 170 companies in accordance with data based on an analysis of internal culture, CEO performance, ethics and social media presence. The companies which can be found on the index are selected from major financial indexes. Interestingly, six tech companies are ranked in the top ten for their empathy performance. Overall it seems that the higher the empathy score, the higher the productivity, earnings, and growth observed in a company. The report is prepared annually so keep your eyes open in March 2017 and check if Facebook is still the most empathic company with a score of 100/100. a
WEIBE E BIJKER
Responsible research requires human input
A University professor believes a focus on the human factor as early as possible in research projects will help to solve the world’s biggest challenges.
estled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Punjab region of India is home to more than 28 million people. It’s also the leading food producer for the entire subcontinent. So much rice is being produced in the fields on Punjab that when the rice straw is burned following harvesting, a thick smog descends on nearby Delhi, which can bring the metropolitan area of more than 20 million people to a standstill. The University of Maastricht became involved in a research project to help find a solution. A chemical company had developed a new chemical process to pre-treat the rice straw that would enable it to be used in a biogas plant, so instead of simply burning
the byproduct, it could be turned into energy for the region while reducing pollution. But as University of Maastricht professor Wiebe Bijker explains, when the team sought input from the farmers, their entire perspective changed. “Although policy-makers saw burning as a problem, the farmers viewed it as a solution. As the main food producer for the entire country due to the fertile ground, they were forced to produce up to four different crops every year. The only way they could achieve that was to clear the soil in three weeks in readiness to start again with a different crop. Burning the rice straw was the only solution they had to this problem. We then talked to a small group of farmers PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MAASTRICHT who focused on organic farming. WEIBE E BIJKER They knew that ABOUT INDUSTRY although burnAn engineer, Education ing the rice straw philosopher, hiswas a quick soluHEADQUARTERS torian and sociMaastricht, ologist. The tion, it removed Netherlands author of The important nuSocial Constructrients from FOUNDED tion of Techthe soil. They 1976 nological Syswere developing tems, which was selected one of WEB all manner of 50 most influen- maastricht solutions, both tial books. university.nl high-tech and
low-tech but on a small scale,” he says. Although biogas production seems currently not yet commercially viable, potential solutions can be found by adapting the business plan. By changing the ownership model of the plants, or by creating more outputs than just gas. In addition to gas, a plant could also produce waste sludge, which can be processed into fertiliser to help return nutrients to the soil and benefit the farmers. Such an idea has the potential to become a profitable solution for all. The ground-level conversations shifted the research agenda from biomass to a broader definition, which involved the farmers in much more detail to help find not just new solutions, but even new definitions of what the problem actually is. Bijker believes there are lessons to be learned for anyone involved in a research project. “I think many research projects would benefit from rethinking their problem definition - often by broadening it - and the best way to do this is to bring in more people, very early in the project. No-one in our original project team considered that agricultural policies were part of the problem in Punjab. When this group of farmers told us, it immediately shifted our thinking,” he says. a
BETALINGSFORMIDLING 7th-8th of March in Trondheim betalingsformidling.no
Hear about players desperately trying out new ways of collaboration while being challenged by a wave of startups and regulations.
the technoport human INFOGRAPHIC
How we cracked the code
W HY D I D Y O U A TTE ND
P IT C H C O M PET IT ION
Technoport surveyed 198 of attendees at last year's conference (where we set about 'cracking the code'). Here are some of our findings...
T H E L IV E CR O W D F UN D IN G E X P ER IEN C E
TECHNOPORTâ€™S GROWING ATTENDANCE P R EV IOUSL Y A T TEN D ED A N D EN JOYED
800 700 6 00
O T HER A T TEN D EES
R E P UT AT ION
300 2 00
A T TE ND E E S I N 2 0 16 W E R E
20 1 6 A T T E N D A N C E
S T U D EN T 0
SPEAK ER L IN EUP
750 T OT A L ATTENDANCE
OT H ER IN V EST OR P UB L IC S E C T OR
COR POR AT E
R E S EAR C H
THE CROWD FUNDING EVENT
INVESTORS IN ATTENDANCE
T O TA L A MO UNT O F I NV E S TME NT A T CFX
P E OP L E IN V E S T E D ON T H E N IG H T
15.3% O F AL L AT T E N D E E S IN V E S T E D
ST AR T UP
GOOD V AL UE
the majority of technoport attendees are very satisfied
our attendees are a range of tech savy business people
O V E R A LL I M P R E S S I O N ? 100
most of our attendees find the programme to be inspirational
Very Satisfied Satisfied dissatisfied very dissatisfied
COUNTRIES IN ATTENDANCE
and, let’s not forget, we also have pretty good food too!
134 I N 2 0 16 W E W E L CO ME D
22% 23 different startups 62% 67% 33% 40 16% DID YOU ENJOY CFX?
lol’ed the whole night
A ND A BI T A BO UT O UR A TTE ND E E S
NUMBER OF SPEAKERS
had a great time
CO ME BE FO R E ?
A G E G R O UPS 2015
programme was okay
W A S T H E P R O G R A M I N S P I R A T I O N A L? I'M AS UNINSPIRED A S I W A S L A S T W EEK MEH..
31.84% S O M EW H A T
0.5% 2.2% HELL Y E A H!
60 30 0
HOW MANY ATTENDEES WERE SUPPORTERS OF LIVERPOOL?
IMAGE: WELLCOME LIBRARY, LONDON. WELLCOME IMAGES ANATOMICAL ILLUSTRATIONS SHOWING THE MUSCLES OF THE HEAD AND FACE 1681 A COMPLEAT TREATISE OF THE MUSCLES : JOHN BROWNE PUBLISHED: 1681.
crowdfunding amounts raised at technoport CFX
The state of startup funding in Norway STATE OF THE UNION
As Norway gradually moves towards a post-oil economy, access to startup funding will be a key enabler of new businesses. After lagging behind Sweden and Finland for years, funding for such enterprise is finally becoming available.
common complaint from budding entrepreneurs here in Trondheim and beyond is the difficulty of sourcing money to implement their big idea. The Norwegian government’s Innovation Norway organisation supports startup creation with soft funding to allow entrepreneurs to explore the viability of their business ideas, but support for the next step has been
more difficult for many to obtain. Beyond a couple of major venture firms, there’s been very few visible places for startups to turn to secure the funding to turn their successful prototype into a reality. It’s a problem that’s caused several successful startups to head to the USA or UK to secure their funding, meaning Norway has missed out on future employment opportunities and tax income. But times, they are a changing. “The rise in private capital investments in Norway over the last 18 months is staggering,” says Neil Murray, founder of thenordicweb.com, which reports on the region’s startup investments. “In fact, it's actually the fastest growing investment ecosystem in the Nordics right now, even outstripping Sweden. Of course, it is starting from a lower base from the others - bar Iceland - but even still, this rate of growth is showing no signs of slowing down, with investments likely to break the 100 mark for the first time in 2017. This is particularly impressive when you consider that there were just nine in the whole of 2014,” he adds. But while Norway’s market for venture capital still needs time to mature, the country’s entrepreneurs can - and are - turning to the power of the crowd. Crowdfunding has grabbed the headlines in recent years thanks to several high-profile projects raising huge sums of money from lots of people on platforms such as Kickstarter. Using this method has helped the serious – two Pebble Smartwatch campaigns raised over $32m – and less serious – the Exploding Kittens card game from the Oatmeal raised $8.7m – come to life. While such reward-based crowdfunding, where backers are essentially pre-ordering something before it’s made, has grabbed the headlines, there is another option for more serious funding. Equity crowdfunding applies the same concepts as its reward-based sister, except backers are buying shares
More than 5,000 backers from around the world pledged more than 11 million krone.
pledge in this case is reserving shares to buy once the proper paperwork has been processed. That’s something Nilsen and Folkeinvest hopes will change in the future, as the idea of private investing and equity crowdfunding catches on in Norway. “Our vision is to make a platform whereby the funding process is totally automatic. This means a startup can list their company details and sell shares directly.” GET A TASTE OF CROWDFUNDING AT TECHNOPORT
instead of pre-ordering a product. One new Norwegian company hopes the idea will catch on fast among the general public. “One of our main goals is to turn around the Norwegian opinion from being interested in playing the lottery, which is a sure-fire way of losing it, to making savvy investments,” says Sverre K Nilsen, founder of Trondheim’s Folkeinvest AS. “We will do this by lowering the barrier for the general public to make serious investments.” “Our product makes it easier for ordinary people to invest in startup companies and build a portfolio of investments and follow its progress all from one platform. In the long term they have the potential to earn so much more money than with gambling. Such a scenario will benefit the Norwegian startup scene by generating more interest, which in turn should lead to more traditional investment,” he adds. Buying shares has typically been the remit of the wealthy. Although the software tool resembles a regular crowdfunding campaign, there is one key difference. Norwegian law prohibits equity investments online, so a
quity crowdfunding is on the radar of many in Trondheim thanks to Technoport. Over the past three years, their Live Crowdfunding Experience has brought together hundreds of potential investors to listen to pitches from the cream of local technology startups. In 2016, 2.3 million kroner was pledged to four startups, with FlowMotion Technologies alone receiving 1.1 million of that. Such was the positive experience of equity crowdfw unding, they have since gone on to launch a reward-based crowdfunding campaign to support their first product, a smartphone stabliliser for action video. More than 5,000 backers from around the world pledged more than 11 million kroner, a crowdfunding record for Norway. Each funding method has its benefits. While reward-based crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for a specific product, it’s most important benefit is to verify demand. It’s clear that the demand is there for Flow-Motion’s debut product, which should make those who invested in the company through last year’s equity crowdfunding campaign very happy indeed. It seems unlikely equity crowdfunding will ever replace traditional venture capital, but it opens up a whole new set of possibilities for the keen Norwegian entrepreneur. a
Startups looking for your support AbleOn
Developing new innovative medical devices. Ableon develop a showering aid that safely assists elders and people with disabilities throughout the entire shower routine. The idea is based on our founder’s grandpa who strongly disliked the violation of privacy that came with human assisted showering and wished to live independently. With user centered design methods AbleOn has created a system that will improve conditions for healthcare workers, meet societal challenges and most important: help people to live and age with dignity. www.ableon.com
Measure change in stamina with the next generation heart rate chest strap. Sweetzpot introduces the next generation heart rate chest strap sensor with the Sweetzpot Breath Technology. Understanding how your exercising affects a change in physical stamina gives the strongest type of motivation to continue or to improve the way you work out. Measuring breath also gives more accurate measurements on VO2max and lactate threshold. www.sweetzpot.com
DAY 01 Talks & Expo
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE PROGRAMME MARCH 08 / 09 2017
HUMAN BUILT WORLD • Chris Hadfield Astronaut NASA / CSA (CA) • Frank Salzgeber Head of Tech Transfer at European Space Agency • Wiebe Bijker Professor in Science & Technology Maastricht University (NL)
AUGMENTING HUMANS • Simone Giertz Queen of Shitty Robots (SE) • Tom Arnøy CEO & Co-founder of Zedge • John Berland Head of DigiLab Scandinavia “Hololens & Health” • Karin Knox Philantrophy Lead at Palantir (US) “Humanizing Data”
FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR 2017 NORWAY • Award ceremony with pitch • Anita Krohn Traaseth CEO Innovation Norway • Maria Noel Vaeza Director Programme Division UNWomen
PANEL: DESTINATION DYSTOPIA? More info coming soon!
SUPER HUMAN POWERS • Belinda Parmar The Empathy Business (UK) “Empathy: Increasing employee & customer satisfaction” • Mads Bruun Høy Æra Strategiv Innovation “Holistic view & Collaboration: Key to solving the big problems” • Joelle Emerson Paradigm “Diversity: Eliminating unconscious bias for better results • Mikkel B. Rasmussen Red Associates (DK) “Social Sciences: Everyone has a blind spot: their own perspective”
ALL DAY: INNOVATION EXPO with research & tech innovation - Including exoskeleton (SINTEF), mindcontrolled drones (NTNU), hololens (UIO), Multiguide, (NTNU/TTO), Education robots (Blue Ocean), Neurostimulation (Plato)
DAY 02 Parallel Tracks
FACILITATING INNOVATION TRACK
For those interested in tech transfer, spaces for innovation, building tech cities, and more importantly: What and how we can do better to facilitate innovation.
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE PROGRAMME MARCH 08 / 09 2017
WHAT’S NEXT IN TECH TRACK
A track filled with tech updates and looking to the future. Sessions will include Health, Enhancing Humans and more!
STARTUP & INVESTOR TRACK
A special track made up of activities tailored ro meet the needs of startups and investors, including scale-up pitch competition, startup exhibit and match-making. More info coming soon!
This year Technoport gives you 6 very special “Human Factor” workshops to choose from, each lasting between 2 and 3 hours. They have a limited amount of seats available, so remember to look out for that sign up email that will be coming soon! • “Design Thinking Deep Dive” with Federico Lozano (Pracedemy) • “Boosting creativity using Neuroscience” with Copenhagen Institute for Neurocreativity (DK) • “The Mobility Challenge” with Floke & Æra Stategic Innovation • “Empathy for business success” with Belinda Parmar (The Empathy Business, UK) • “Everyone has a blind spot: Their own perspective” with Mikkel B. Rasmussen (ReD Associates, DK)
TECHNOPORT 2017 • Full program with favorite (starred) feature + possibilites to review & rate sessions & speakers • All types of practical info (maps, wifi & drinks) • Direct message to other attendees (you can opt out of this) • A social wall for the event (share posts, photos, have discussions, and more).
ALL DAY: Startup Expo
Technoport Trondheim 2017 08.03–09.03
‘innovation’ ‘startups’ At the Innovation Expo we will explore how new technology is changing the way we live, work and learn. For one day only a mix of innovative research, startups and industry will give us a unique glimpse of our potential future. It will be a hands-on and fun experience with the chance to discuss this future technology with the very people that is creating it. The Innovation Expo will only be open on Wednesday the 8th of March. Each project is hand-picked for their human factor, impact potential and interactivity, so get to Technoport early to make sure you have time to experience them all.
While technology development is one crucial part of innovation, startups is definitely another. That’s why Technoport has dedicated the whole Expo on day two to showcasing some of the most exciting tech startups out there. So whether you are looking for an update on the startup scene, investment opportunities or just want real life demos of tomorrow’s solutions, this is the place to be. Few things can match the energy and drive of great startups, so you can expect an electric atmosphere, pitching mayhem and a lot of fun. The Start-Up Expo will only be open on Thursday the 9th of March.
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TRY HOLOLENS IN THE OPERATION ROOM
BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY WITH NEUROSTIMULATION
LEARN FROM EDUCATIONAL ROBOTS
SEE NEW TECH IN THE HUMAN MANUFACTURING WORKPLACE
Come see new instruments and tech that are making surgery less invasive, safer and faster. And how tele-presence, wearables, lab-on-a-chip and digital solutions are making it possible to do more and more for our health safely in our own homes. Will this ensure a future where everyone gets the care they need and there is more time for human interaction and genuine caring? a
Not everything is about technology replacing humans, as we will see in this part of the Expo tech can also do amazing stuff in terms of enhancing human capacity. While we might not be full on cyborgs yet, we’re way past the basic hearing aids and prosthetics. Now it’s possible to see sound, use our minds to control drones or even enhance our brains performance by stimulation. a
Technology is changing the way we can learn in more ways than just replacing our books with ipads and apps or flipping the classroom. Telepresence robots is making it possible for more people to participate, and robots designed for learning might provide the extra support teachers need to take good care of individual students in big classes. But can the robots do it all? a
Here we’ll see examples of how tech can make our work safer and more productive. This includes simulations, big data analysis, automation and much more. Finding the best way for tech and humans to work together to achieve bigger things is an important challenge for our future, and like many times before this might have to include us humans reinventing what “work” means. a
ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR PLATOSCIENCE
ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR BLUE OCEAN ROBOTICS
ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR SINTEF
ne DAY xt 02 pa ge
ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR SOPRA STERIA & SLO UNI. HOSPITAL
WINTER BIKING MADE EASY!
THE ANSWER IS IN YOUR DATA
On a constant mission to help industry make better use of technology and transform the way they collect, use and share data, the startup Searis is now launching Clarify. It’s a new collaboration tool and data platform for industrial use - making it easy to collect, organise and monetise on machine and process data. Clarify makes it easier for humans and machines to collaborate. a
BUILT FOR NORDIC CONDITIONS
From oil capital Stavanger comes this green startup, hoping to get more of us out of our cars and on to electrical bikes, even when the weather is terrible. Their velomobile has four wheels, amazing weather protection and even a clean air filter. And there’s room for a kid in the back. All this while still qualifying as a bike, and taking up minimal space when you have to park it. a MAIN PICTURE
Technium is a creative startup eager to solve problems and create new and smart solutions. They offer consulting services within prototyping & product development, and inspiring part time work for students at the university, NTNU. Their flagship is their own invention reTyre, the first functional modular bicycle tire that utilizes zippers to adapt the tire surface to specific needs. a
FROM THE SEAS TO THE STARS
From Kristiansand you’ll meet Ripple Aerospace, a startup designing, manufacturing and launching oceanic rockets. They are leveraging Norway’s long history of seafaring, shipbuilding, and maritime technology to make a system that’s mobile, reusable and scalable.This new rocket class can be built, launched and recovered at sea, using a low-cost and accessible launch system. a
”CONNECT TRØNDELAG IS A networking service of mentors that help companies build strategic and commercial connections to improve their go-to-market strategy and maximize success. They foster exchange between established players and new startups, increasing the ﬂow of knowledge in both directions.” Unlike many incubators, CONNECT Norway and its subsidiary CONNECT Trøndelag do not seek to carry their portfolio companies to any predetermined outcome. As an international engine for growth, CONNECT networks throughout Scandinavia and Baltic Region. Its primary aim is to be the broker; a comprehensive
network of competency, experts, investors and mentors both locally and internationally. Based off the original CONNECT San Diego, founded in 1986 at the University of California San Diego, CONNECT came to Bergen in 2000 and later Trondheim in 2004. Founded as a way to address challenges faced by the defense industry near the end of the Cold War, it aimed to facilitate the appropriation of a highly skilled workforce in transition. The Nordic model takes this motivation and turns it into an open innovation process for new and established companies looking to capitalize on the potential of networking. All of their
1. ALWAYS START WITH THE MARKET Ask if an idea is creating an opportunity and addressing a challenge the market already has. This is the focus of CONNECT’s Springboard process.
2. WHILE RESEARCHING, DON’T ASK GOOGLE. Go out and ask the industry directly! Talk to and meet with potential customers and assess how to move forward.
3. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD MENTOR. Preferably one with market competence, but always ﬁnd mentors that have talents you lack. The right mentor is someone who challenges you and who asks the right questions.
4. SUCCESSES AND FAILURES ARE TO BE SHARED. This
means not taking your own approach at the outset, but rather one built from collective goals and experiences. Comprise your team of individuals sharing a passion for your vision, with strong values and an open mind.
5. BE OBSESSED WITH LEARNING, LISTENING AND OBSERVING KNOWLEDGE. Take this knowledge and turn it into something positive.
models and approaches aim to highlight these inherent values, and use them to ﬁnd the best connections among individuals, ideas and industries. CONNECT differentiates itself by maintaining its not-forproﬁt organizational structure. As a patchwork of networks, contacts and talents, it relies on its members and support from government initiatives to further its work. This allows the CONNECT network to remain an impartial actor within the innovation ecosystem, and thus a powerful force bringing together all of the other for-proﬁt players and innovative environments. This also means that it’s able to support diverse projects at different stages, from individuals with a well formulated thesis, to prototyping companies, to larger corporations trying to expand. A core component of their business is the Springboard Process, where companies work for three weeks with a network of six to eight experts in order to uncover the core challenges being faced, and prepare presentations, pitches and business summaries. In a world of rapidly shifting industry landscapes, CONNECT is an invaluable vehicle for bringing together the potentials of tomorrow. SEND APPLICATIONS TO Vibeke Selnes email@example.com WEBSITE connectnorge.no/trøndelag Facebook: ConnectNorge Twitter: @ConnectNorge
the human factor COLUMN
hat are the people behind Technoport doing?! It´s supposed to be about technology so why are they then inviting a bunch of fuzzy humanities-people as speakers? Isn’t technology about science and engineering and problem-solving and real things like that? And by the way - isn’t the "human factor" usually the culprit when things go haywire? It’s something we don’t want, right? Or? Maybe Technoport is trying to sneak-humanitize honest technologists and engineers? Anyway. Enough banter. Here is why I think this year`s theme Human Factor is exciting and important. I lead multidisciplinary strategic design projects at the global telecom giant Ericsson’s research department. The mission is to explore new opportunities and directions for technology research and
development and one important part of that work is to develop tangible prototypes and showcases that could be from the near future, concept studies that are techically, commercially and culturally plausible, but that are not yet technologically solved. Most people I know that work seriously with ideation agree that mixing perspectives and knowledge is good. On macro scale, city mayors across the world promotes diversity since they know it is good for innovation, which makes their city more attractive for people and for business in these globalised times. In short, starting with people makes good business. So what kind of different perspectives could we expect at this year`s human-themed Technoport? The divide between humanities and science is old news, perhaps most famously debated by C P Snow seventy years ago. But the two cultures remain to a certain degree. Generalizing massively, one could say that people within science & engineering and in arts & humanities tend to have two different primary focus planes as well as assumed approach to understanding the World. Over simplified, of course, but: scientists and engineers focus on facts, data and solutions while humanists focus on narratives, meaning and inquiry. These primary focal points are
probably affecting the way the different camps see the world too. The french philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour once wrote that "the world is not a continent of facts sprinkled by a few lakes of uncertainties, but a vast ocean of uncertainties speckled by a few islands of confidence". It`s a statement of his own view as well as an illustration of both ways to look at it all. The divide isn’t really true and in many cases it is a false dichotomy. It’s a sliding scale and many are in the overlap, bridging the two cultures, such as sociology, cognitive linguistics, anthropology, history, economics and design. Whichever is closest to your own view of the world is less important, and most of us are probably a mix of both, depending on situation and subject. The point is that it is the mutually respectful and constructive meeting between different views that is a spur to new and better ideas. I believe that we need more people in tech that are able to pull technology forward by reframing problems, by starting with people and by asking better or more complex questions — rather than pushing, i.e. developing something nifty and then try to find out what exactly it should be used for. To be successfully with that one have to be able to combine insights and skills from Arts & Humanities with knowledge and techniques from Science and Engineering. After a decade of idea-work in technology research I'm convinced that fusing cultural literacy and critical inquiry with technology development and business execution is instrumental for any organisation's capacity for innovation. That's why I`m happy that this years theme at Technoport is the human factor. a
27 +500 TECH COMPANIES IN THE REGION
regional brief INFOGRAPHIC
tech company growth in the Trondheim Region ‘76—‘16
60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25
The Trondheim Region has a total population of 250,000 and has more than 500 technology companies employing 11,000 people. The dominating technology secors are ICT and oil & gas.
70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20
A CCU MULAT ED NUMBE R OF LIMIT ED COMPANIES
STA RT-U PS PER YEA R
NUM BE R OF ST ART - UPS (5 YEAR M OVIN G AVE RA GE)
tech companies and sectors in the region M ARINE
35 38 42 42
LI FE SCI ENC E
IND USTR Y (GE NE RAL)
E NE RGY A ND E NVIRONME NTA L TE CHN OLOGY
ME CHA NI C AL PRO D U CTI ON AND PRODUCT
618 269 54 11,168 92 21.9bn 25 23
TEC H NOL OG Y CO MP A NI E S
STAR TUP S
OIL & GAS
20 1 6
20 1 4
20 1 2
20 1 0
trondheim tech sector in numbers (2015-2016)*
TE CH NICAL CONSU LTAN T S
M ARIT IME
1 9 78
1 9 76
NU M BER S C O U R TES Y OF I M P EL L O A NA L Y SI S 20 1 6
Nº OF COMPANIES
NO K R EV ENU E S ( 20 15 )
4.2% -3.7% -4.5% -0.9%
GRO W T H
GRO W T H
GRO W T H
GRO W T H ( 2 0 1 5)
*NUMBERS ACCORDING TO IMPELLO ANALYSIS’ REPORT 2016. TOTAL NUMBER OF TECHNOLOGY AND COMPANIES AND STARTUPS MAY INCREASE DUE TO THE FACT THAT THOSE WHICH REGISTERED LATE IN THE YEAR ARE POTENTIALLY NOT INCLUDED IN THIS REVIEW. THE FULL ANALYSIS CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM IMPELLO.NO
n this much anticipated list, our friends at DIGS have curated a few Norwegian names that you won’t want to miss. Norway is no longer a nation entirely dependent on oil & gas and fish-farming, and our new and booming startup scene isn’t just making “fun” and useless apps. Peruse this list and find some examples to
startups to look out for WORDS
boast to the world about. What was DIGS looking for? Early stage companies that have a unique service or product. Companies that DIGS and partners think have a strong consumer or industrial potential. Companies that have an interesting story, or just generally deserve some extra exposure. Ready? Start your review.
Courtesy of the Startups
Socius collects all the different stories from your social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, tumblr and so forth and merges them into something like a dynamic alternative or addition to your static webpage. Last year they got picked out to take part in Are Traasdahl’s Tapad Propeller Program in New York, and have already raised 3.5 million NOK in investment. Through their solution they’ve already covered events like the Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale, and the New York Fashion Week.
ParrotPlay is a Trondheim-based company that has basically created a legal version of PopcornTime. What does that mean? It means that you can funnel all your favourite TV-channels, ‘Netflixes' and all other online streaming services into one smooth-looking platform. So, when you sit down on your couch to meet your daily viewing needs, you can do so comfortably and seamlessly.
No Isolation, a company that has deservingly received a lot of positive attention lately, has been busy developing a truly heart-warming product -- a robot that aims to help kids with long term illnesses take part in their classrooms. They recently secured a 12 Million NOK sales deal with ATEA, ensuring that their product is available for the public educational sector.
If you’ve ever wanted to play the guitar or dreamed of being the lead singer in your favourite band…or maybe you just want to learn how to play some piano keys, MUSIT’s app, OIID can help. OIID is a software that lets you pick and choose each instrument recorded in the song you are listening to. It’s like being behind the mixer while an artist is in the studio recording. Great for both fun and musical education. They recently raised 20 Million NOK in funding and we are excited to see where this company is heading in the near future.
2016 was the real breakthrough year for Flowmotion. They had been developing a hand-held gimball (gyro stabilizer) for the GoPro market, but when they encountered heavy competition they did a super fast pivot and focused on making a stabilizer for smartphones. They then followed up with the most successful crowdfunding campaign (on Indiegogo) in Norwegian history, gathering 11 Million NOK, a whopping 4417% above their goal! We’re excited to see where Flowmotion will head next and wish them luck while they work towards shipping their final product, Flowmotion One.
Memoscale is an NTNU-born high-tech startup that is developing an algorithm honing the ability to reduce the required storage amount by up to 60%, while at the same time maintaining the necessary levels of backup protection. Imagine the cost savings for IT-giants like Facebook or Google if only they could reduce storage on their hard drives in their server parks by even a few small percent! Memoscale’s CEO, Per Simonsen, announced that Microsoft could experience savings of more than 500 Million NOK a year simply by implementing their technology. In other words, this technology has mind-blowing potential!
This exciting and idealistically motivated non-profit startup is aiming to facilitate anyone and everyone to make a greater effort to reduce their carbon footprint. By no means an easy task in normal circumstances, their belief is that macro effects can be achieved by encouraging individuals to get engaged by monitoring themselves through gamification. After receiving great responses from users and partnering up with major actors, they are now well on their way. Their most recent venture has been partnering up with a small Swedish company some may know as IKEA.
For many a year now this well-known startup has been working on developing a ROV for the masses. Their goal is to make the ocean and all of its beauty accessible for everyone by using their underwater drone, and hopefully inspiring them to become more engaged in ocean and sea preservation. Blueye has been supported by a number of Norwegian business angels and is now aiming towards shipping a limited edition of their product by 2017.
Yet another drone!? Yes, but with quite an alternative approach, aiming to serve a different market than most consumer-oriented drones. The team behind Sevendof has developed a unique hybrid-motor and wing tilt technology that gives their StormPetrel drone a range of up to 500 km, or stay airborn for 12 undivided hours. Sevendof is one of the few student startups to have received funding from the Norwegian Research Council’s student research program. They are working towards having an industrial prototype ready by April of this year.
The fast growing marine sector is deep need of key technical solutions to maintain their growth. One the main challenges for the fish farming industry is to continuously monitor and track the size of their biomass (meaning salmon). Optomar’s CEO, Sven J. Kolstø, says that this type of technology is the “holy grail” of technical challenges in this industry. Optomar is a company developing such a technology and has the team has shown a great ability to establish partnership with key companies such as Salmar. Recently they won the Newcomer of the Year award at Impello Analysis’ annual presentation in January.
tHE HISTORY OF TRUST FEATURE
“Trade cannot exist without trust, and it is difficult to trust strangers. The global trade network of today is based on our trust in such fictional entities as the dollar, the Federal Reserve Bank and the totemic trademarks of corporations. When two strangers in a tribal society want to trade, they will often establish trust by appealing to a common god, mythical ancestor or totem animal.” ‘SAPINES’, YUVAL NOAH HARARI
Trust has always been one of the most important tools in the evolution of humanity. How did this ambiguous concept empower a species, and what role does it play in modern development? Does Trondheim have a special relationship with trust? And what is ‘TrustTech’? Wil Lee-Wright takes a long view at the impact of trust on the region’s economy.
he first cognitive revolution, also known as ‘behavioral modernity’, occurred some 70,000 years ago and was the beginning of human history. Developments in thinking, technology and communication put the human race on a fast track to the top of the food chain, as our ancestors migrated from Africa and colonised the world. The pace of Homo sapiens’ evolution has increased exponentially ever since, to the extent that today man can see the future hurtling towards him, but has no more ability to stop it and shape his destiny than a Neanderthal has of avoiding an asteroid heading towards Earth. There are certain character traits which facilitated the speed of our ancestors’ development. According to historian Yuval Noah Harari, it was not our opposing thumbs, flint spears or gangly two-legged walk which enabled our predominance. It was in fact the ability to form cooperative societies through storytelling and belief. These networks were the very first establishment of trust; trust in a shared idea. Humans at the beginning of the Cognitive Revolution would have bound together through communication skills to form larger, more stable groups. But sociological research shows that these would have been limited to no more than 150 individuals; the number of people we can intimately know within any social group. “Even today, a critical threshold in human organisations falls somewhere around this magic number,” writes Harari. “Below this threshold, communities, businesses, social networks and military units can maintain themselves based mainly on intimate acquaintance and rumour-mongering. There is no need for formal ranks, titles and law books to keep order.” “But once the threshold of 150 individuals is crossed, things can no longer work in that way… How did Homo sapiens manage to cross this critical threshold, eventually founding cities comprising of tens of thousands of inhabitants and empires ruling millions? The secret was
probably the appearance of fiction. Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths,” writes Harari in his book Sapiens. So the basic foundations of modern society, and eventually a globalised economy, can be said to be based on a series of interminable networks of trust, either in fabricated concepts or manmade systems. Early tradesmen put faith in their trade partners, Vikings fought for one another because they trusted wholeheartedly in the lure of Valhalla, conquistadors took to the high seas because they believed in glory, and modern businesspeople take the existence of nation states, the financial system, laws, human rights and countless other human institutions, as gospel. Yes, these are largely positive human developments which enable millions of people to cooperate, but they are fabrics of collective imagination nonetheless, and the parameters of these beliefs are always in flux. TRUSTING TRONDHEIM / TRUST TECH
Modern Trondheim offers a particular set of socioeconomic circumstances in which trusting networks can flourish. There seems to be near universal acceptance, from residents and visitors alike, that business and community relations are more trustbased than in any other Norwegian city. This trust is evidenced by friendly relations between representatives of competing interests, responsibility sharing between employees, and the ease of doing business person to person. A consortium of interested parties in the city have now started developing the concept of ‘TrustTech’, which seeks to understand the circumstances and garner benefit for the region’s development. “What we are seeing is that in Trondheim it is easier to initiative a person-to-person business deal than in other cities,” says Save Asmerik, Department Director at Webstep and one of the founders of the TrustTech community. “I don’t have to know the person on the other side of the table. In Bergen for example, there is a stronger tradition of
having to know someone in order to do business together. Trondheim is a small town and if I don’t know you we probably at least know the some of the same people.” “We are finding it is extremely easy to collaborate in Trondheim,” continues Save, who's also leader of the programme committee for the Trondheim Developer Conference (TDC), a non-profit collaboration between developers and digital designers. “TDC is an excellent example of how competing companies are able to come together to create (an event), trusting each other in the process. Participation in collaborative events from the developer community is a much higher percent than in Olso, for example, where there are ten times the amount of developers but only three times as many conference attendees. No one is reaping the benefits over the others.” “When you combine the size with the tradition of dugnad (unpaid, orchestrated community work), you get the perfect storm. From football teams to skiing groups to the collaboration of Trondheim Playground (trondheimplayground.no). I don’t know where the trust comes from, maybe it is because there are a lot of small businesses in Trondheim, so there are less internal-only meetings, so we are compelled to spend more time collaborating with other businesses.” Trondheim does indeed boast some enviable numbers. According to the Norwegian Statistics Bureaux (SSB), Trondheim has the lowest levels of income inequality in all Norwegian cities (as reported by NRK, 2014). Furthermore, and perhaps even more compelling, is the fact that Trondheim has the lowest difference in life expectancy between groups with the lowest and highest levels of education: less than one year difference between the two groups (NTNU). In Oslo the difference is nine years and in London the gap between the life expectancy of the rich and poor is 25 years (Independent, 2014). Financial security and safety are trust’s natural bedfellows. Combined these with Trondheim’s population of fewer than 200,000 city residents, its
high levels of participation and its relative geographical isolation, and you have a self-serving economy where it is rarely in an individual’s best interests to screw anyone else over. “The world is small, especially in Trondheim,” Save repeats. “In Norway we have a saying ‘the only thing you own for ever is a bad reputation’.” SECURITY V AGILITY
Trusting economies breed confident, autonomous, self-motivated workers. They also give businesses the opportunity to work with less red tape and therefore make up for what they lack in size with speed. Many industries around the world have sought to adapt to the pace of change by turning to methods of agile development. Can Trondheim utilise its trusting economy and bring in investment by becoming a market leader in agile development? It is an opportunity which Lars Iversen, CEO of Technoport, calls the ‘Nordic flavour of impact investment’. Agile development is particularly applicable in the area of software development, an industry in which the Nordics already offer quality for low cost. Whereas traditional software development is carried out by large teams working in a hierarchy, hindered by countless bottlenecks of quality control and assurance, agile software development is all about collaborative, cross-functional teams, taking responsibility for bitesized pieces of the whole. It allows for products and services which are subject to high levels of change, to adapt and identify pitfalls rapidly. Each cell is responsible for its own functionality, so long as it fits the wider platform. If you are from a trust-based culture your employees are used to this kind of autonomy and more suited to working independently. Eirik Backer, Frontend Developer at NRK in Oslo, was brought up in Trondheim and only recognised Trondheim’s openness once he moved: “I must admit I didn't really think about the openness found in the region when living in Trondheim. The concept of ‘TrustTech’, was kind
of just how I was raised. My first job was at Klipp og Lim at the age of 15, and the first project I did was the website for the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Looking back, they gave me tremendous responsibility.” Proficiency in agile development will have positive reinforcement for many industries, though may pose some challenges for others. Trondheim has a strong environment in financial technologies (FinTech), and a lot of Norwegian credit card and insurance business comes out of the city. Development of new payment systems requires a high level of security and so agility is often scrutinised by users for whom trust is paramount. Save Asmervik questions why this is so: “Any qualified actor can ask for your permission to be your banking interface. So the question becomes - who do you trust? Sparebank1? Rema1000? Google?”
Trondheim is a city based on relationships, where you have to know people to get by.
There is always a transaction of trust in any relationship, trade or system and herein lies the challenge. We trust in the bank because they are the bank, and because they traditionally have a monopoly on financial security systems. As these systems become more readily available, and the borders between virtual and physical services blur, users in a trusting economy such as Trondheim may choose to place their trust in a nonconventional business or individual. Ultimately, functionality must transcend Trondheim’s borders and so conventional services are still in the driving seat. Do I trust my Rema100 banking interface to work
as well as my Sparebank1 card? And does a service which is developed in a trusting economy have security robust enough to survive in a more cutthroat environment? Trust, and agility by the same measure, are based on the principle that small elements can fail, pivot and restart, without affecting the greater picture. This is not the solution for all industry. Failing fast, as one commentator put it, is not desirable when building a nuclear reactor, “unless you are an idiot”. “When you compare the culture of Trondheim and Oslo, it is not so much a question of competition between companies, but rather a difference in the micro-dynamics between people,” comments Eirik Backer. “Trondheim can sometimes vary in quality and focus on competence, whereas the communities in Oslo tend to be more up-to-date, specialized and high quality. The standard in Oslo is good, but it also raises the bar to become part of the community, and even silences initiatives.” THE WORLD’S FRIENDLIEST TOWN
Marianne Danielsen, BureauLeader and Co-Founder of communications specialists Engasjert Byrå, moved back to Trondheim in 2007 after seven years in Oslo. She is a self-confessed project junkie: always with several activities on the go. With projects including the book Vennligheten Kommer: Trondheim, Verdens Vennligste By (Friendliness Comes: Trondheim, the World’s Friendliest Town) and the podcast Fine Folk (Good People), Marianne is well placed to speak about the potential benefits of a trusting economy. She contends that openness can sometimes be perceived as naivety: “There is a tendency to keep giving work to your old contacts, even when they are not giving you anything new,” discusses Marianne. “In the last ten years I have seen changes to do with trust and openness in Trondheim - we have become more curious about each other.” “That is a good thing, but sometimes it seems like there needs to be a burning platform, an urgency to get
going (among business) in Trondheim. And that is not good for innovation. For example, there is not a lot of small talk in meetings in Oslo, whereas the pace here is slower. You use 30-40 minutes to discuss other stuff before you get started. When I came back this was crazy to me, but then after a while I became part of it!” In 2012 Marianne launched Gi Bort Dagen (Give away a Day) in Trondheim, to encourage individuals and companies to give up 29th February during the leap year, to someone who was in need of their help or skills. The concept was based on establishing trust, a resource in abundance in Trondheim, and it went national following local success. Can such collaborative success be applicable in technology development as well as humanities? Well, take the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (Exynos model); a phone whose touchscreen technology was developed by Atmel, whose 3d tech is delivered by Falanx, whose foundations lie in Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), and on which the world’s then most popular app, Wordfeud, was developed by Haakon Berteheussen. All companies based in Trondheim. Whether this success is creditable to ‘TrustTech’ is debatable. The proficiency is clearly there, so is the willingness to collaborate. But there is no technology directly attached, in the same way as payment solutions exist in FinTech, and virtual reality headsets are utilised in health (MedTech). Perhaps a better terminology would be the ‘trusting economy’; a concept and a set of principles which are prevalent throughout all sectors in the region. This could be a big drive for investors considering doing business here. And the need is apparent too: with global dissatisfaction in the establishment at an all time low, and technological advancements outstripping our ability to adapt through conventional means. ‘Fake news’ just got a president elected, the banks behind the financial crash bullied their way out of prosecution and global industry is shifting the goalposts on environmental targets daily. Trust is suddenly a resource at a premium. a
comparing numbers with norway (no) and iceland (is)
POP. WORKING IN STARTUPS
comparing startups scenes WORDS
Wil Lee-Wright / Stock
NATIONWIDE COWORKING SPACES
STARTUP EVENTS HELD EACH YEAR
t all started when Hrana Flóki, a Norwegian sailor saw an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In accordance to tradition he threw a stake from a ship and settled down where it hit the ground. He called this place Reykjavik and remains the first one to start a permanent settlement in Iceland. What’s left from the Icelandic-Norwegian relationship established back then in 874? Trondheim and Reykjavik are now modern, developed cities, both home to numbers of amazing startups, with societies which nurture innovation. Despite 1,800 miles between the two, the cities in fact seem to be quite similar: let the photo above be an example. Both are taken from a roof of the highest church in town, the only difference is that the one to the left presents Trondheim, the old Norwegian capital, whereas the one to the right
VALUABLE EXIT. ALGETA BOUGHT BY BAYER (2014)
shows the current capital of Iceland. Are the similarities between the two architectural infrastructures reflected in startup scenes they host. What differs between the cities themselves and the two Nordic countries? Oddur Sturluson from Icelandic Startups proudly says “the startup scene punches way above its weight. There are three business accelerators in Iceland, six co-working spaces and more than 300 startup events held each year, several of which are held in cooperation with international partners such as Slush, GAN, #NordicMade.” The number of people working in startups in Reykjavik equals 20,000 or 6% of the entire population. Software, marine-tech, virtual reality, gaming, biotech and tourism dominate the scene. Let’s have a look at some numbers and graphics! See overleaf… a
UNRAVELLING THE UNMANNED May 3-5 in Trondheim Register at oceantechweek.org
Once a year brilliant minds meet in Norwayâ€™s technology capital to share and solve future challenges, technologies and possibilities in the ocean space
THE BIG NUMBERS REGIO N
iceland P ARLIAMENTARY REPUBLI C
184,000 4:07:06 213,619 21:08:31 CITY PO P.
REGIO NAL PO P.
One of the greenest European cities: hot water, electricy and heat come from hydropower
13 1 NATIONALITIES REPRESENTED IN T HE POPULATION
Only Western capital without a Starbuck’s and McDonald’s
× 93 , 8% OF THE IC E LAND IC POPULATION L IV E IN REYKJ AVIK AND IN 34 OTHER TOWNS
103,000 km LA N D A R E A
× VERY HIGH PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH
01 95 01
M AIN ROAD
TOWN & VILLAGES
B IG CITY
RANKED / EASE OF DOING BUSINESS (201 7)
Located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxa Bay Reykjavík the world's northernmost capital.
T H E B I G N U M BE R S
4:30:08 187,353 20:35:36 250,000 SHO RTEST DAY
LO NGEST DAY
I NTE R E S TI NG FA CTS
norway UNITARY MONARCHY
5,252,166 INHAB ITANTS
The norhernmost city with tramway system. Home to the first and only bicycle lift.
385 178 km
L A ND A R E A
138 NATIONALITIES REPRESENTED IN THE POPULATI ON
× 79% OF POPULATION LIVE IN CITIES, 11% IN OSLO
Trondheim lies on the south shore of Trondheim Fjord at the mouth of the river Nidelva.
VERY HIGH PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH
15 2 5
RANKED / EASE OF DOING B USINESS
in addition to conserving energy the building will also produce clean and renewable energy. The solar panel on the roof will have an effect of around 700 kW,” the CEO explains.
The first energy positive office building in Norway STORY
The much maligned Powerhouse project is about to see the light of day at Brattørkaia in Trondheim.
his is a concept we’ve been developing over several years, and it’s also the project we used to create our definition of what Powerhouse is and should be,” says Kim Robert Lisø, CEO of Powerhouse. Seven years have passed since the Powerhouse project was first introduced, during which time public opinion has oscillated. Powerhouse’s eponymous project it defined by Kim Robert as a building which, over the course of its lifetime, will “produce more renewable energy than it uses for materials, production, operation, renovation and demolition.”
A PROVED CONCEPT
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
“For us it’s a thrilling challenge to build an energy positive building this far north, and after thorough studies we have concluded that we’ll get the amount of energy we need from our solar panels, energy wells and the seawater to make it happen. The biggest challenge is all the time we’ve had to spend on the details of the construction,” continues Kim Robert. The details include making sure that the building is well enough insulated to keep the heat up during the cold winter months, while at the same time offering enough natural light and ventilation to limit the demands on electrical lighting during the dark periods and intensive cooling during the summer months. “The key is that the energy systems only deliver the amount of energy that is needed at any given point. And
Powerhouse is a cooperation between the entrepreneur Skanska, plot and the building owners Entra, the environmental organisation Zero, architects Snøhetta, aluminium manufacturers Sapa, and the project managers in Asplan Viak. Since Powerhouse started working on their flagship concept, they’ve also rehabilitated an office building in Kjørbo built in the 80’s, making it energy positive, and they’re also building a school in Drøbak, Norway, which will be finished next year. But the company, with its vision of an emissions free future, started with the plans to build energy positive offices at Trondheim’s seafront. “We’ve proved that the concept works with the rehabilitation. Two years after it was finished it now produces more energy than it expends. Our goal now is to build as many energy positive houses as possible, and we’re happy that we now are able to realise the one at Brattørkaia since it was the building that started it all. It’ll be a fantastic project to showcase how technology can help the climate and will therefore fit nicely in the Norwegian technology capital of Trondheim,” Kim Robert concludes. a
DNB supports innovation and technology • DNB NXT from start to growth • DNB NXT ideas meet capital
he business landscape in Norway is experiencing a seismic shift in the light of declining oil prices and investments. One million Norwegians are now nurturing dreams of starting their own business during a period of new entrepreneurship which has been called the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. Startup hubs and entrepreneurial networks have emerged all over the country, and 60,000 ideas become a reality every year. Some of these businesses will be identified as ‘startups’ with ambitions to be market leaders in Norway and beyond. Others will be small initiatives set up by carpenters, hairdressers, bakers etc. Regardless of ambition, capital is a prerequisite. Bank loans and bonds, however, are not often available until a company has a started to generate a cash flow. So DNB is now using its network and competence to facilitate the development of ideas beyond just a line of credit. “DNB is the bank with Norway’s largest network of entrepreneurs, start-up companies and investors,” explains Rigmor Bråthen, head of corporate banking in Trøndelag. “There is a tradition in Norway of being quite
reserved when it comes to investment, especially in Trondheim, where significantly less private capital is being invested in the early phase of development, especially compared with our Nordic neighbours. That is why we have established DNB NXT, which utilises our extensive network in order to connect entrepreneurs with competence and capital.” “NXT is a meeting place where you can meet investors, practice your pitch, make connections, receive mentoring and get the momentum you need to move your business forward, to the ‘next’ step,” continues Rigmor. “We want it to be like dugnad (Norwegian concept of communal work, everyone participating for the greater good), so that we can contribute to making Trondheim Norway’s capital of technology.” Crowdfunding, Innovation Norway support, business angles and venture capital all represent viable options for startups looking to finance their projects. Close to half of all new businesses decide to bank with DNB. Those who become successful can then provide support to those on their way up. That is why DNB hosts events and supports innovation hubs throughout the region (DIGS, NTNU Accel, WorkWork etc.). Rigmor’s colleague, Knut Kristensen, head of small corporates in Trondheim, agrees that local knowledge is essential. “We asked local entrepreneurs ‘What is important for
you? What type of support do you need?’. We found that practical solutions were necessary, so we provided them with the Oppstart (start-up) book, for example, and the hotline (tel: 04800) so that those who dream about starting for themselves can make it a reality.” “In Norway DNB have also taken responsibility for the business community at a national level by leading the call for tax incentives for investors to support high risk startups,” says Knut, citing NXT’s 2016 report Fra Oppstart til Vekst – idé møter kapital (From Start to Growth – Ideas meet Capital). “In order to stimulate more private venture capital, we recommend an incentive scheme similar to the UK’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), giving deductions in taxable income when capital is invested in eligible growth companies. An extension of such a scheme is a seed capital register to highlight growth companies. This can be the start of an entrepreneur stock exchange, as promised by the Norwegian coalition government in the Sundvolden Declaration. Another relevant instrument is a serial entrepreneur tax deduction where capital gains tax on realised capital is halved subject to reinvestment in new business activities.” Parliament is now considering what a Norwegian version of SEIS scheme should include and DNB hopes the proposal will be presented as soon as possible. DNB is proud to support and work with innovation and technology in Trondheim. a
TECHNOPORT - THE HUMAN FACTOR MARCH 8-9 TRONDHEIM
WHAT STANDS OUT THE MOST IS THE BRILLIANCE OF THE RESEARCHERS, ENTREPRENEURS AND STUDENTS THAT ARE HERE. - JENNIFER VESSELS, CEO NEXTSTEP
Tickets available at conference.technoport.no