While 2021 has been impacted by the global pandemic in many ways, the members of the Nordic Edge Smart City Innovation Cluster have largely developed well and generated new innovations, jobs, and increased their annual sales during the past 12 months.
More focus on smart and resilient cities
The members of the cluster have, according to our calculations, in the past year added more than 250 new jobs, hiring both experienced employees and students to help facilitate the development and growth of new products and services. The members have also gathered more than 80 million kroner in soft funding and found new investors to aid their growth.
The reason for the good development is that smarter, more sustainable, and resilient cities have truly come into focus with the challenges that our societies are facing with the global pandemic. Municipalities, both in Norway and in other countries, have seen an increased need for more efficient, sustainable, and resilient cities. The solutions are often found in the use of the building blocks of smarter cities, which are within telecommunications networks, smartphones, sensors, big data, and AI computation to analyze the data and find solutions.
The cluster is growing and thriving
It is not only the members that have been busy and experienced a good year. The cluster has also had steady growth and developed well. There are now more 100 company members in the cluster, in addition to the academic institutions and the public sectors. Of the members more than half are upstarts or small. The cluster also has more than 35 big and small ongoing projects involving members and others. For more about existing projects, or suggestions for new projects, please contact us or see www.nordicege.org.
The international financial network, which the cluster is building to secure investor financing for cluster members, has been growing nicely during the year. It now counts more than 36 financial institutions, ranging from pre-seed via venture to banks. In the course of 2021, some of these have been part of as many as 10 investments in cluster members.
35 000 people from 75 different nationalities attended Nordic Edge events
The cluster has also showcased members, products, and solutions both during the Nordic Edge Expo conference in September, but also in other international events such as Nordic Edge Expo in China and USA. In addition, the cluster and some of its members have been present at the Norway-Aberdeen Gateway in Scotland and Verge 21 in California. During the year more than 35 000 people from more than 75 countries have been part of Nordic Edge events. Some of these people have contacted us afterwards and more possibilities will arise.
In conclusion, the year has been good both for the cluster and its members. The cluster has fulfilled its task of being a supportive factor and driver of economic activity in the form of innovation, new businesses, and increased job creation.