The Nordic Edge Arena Pro Cluster had a good year in 2021 and delivered well towards its goals for the year. Cluster members are creating jobs, innovation, new products, and services. As a result of this, the activity level at the beginning of this year is good and this bodes well for the rest of 2022.
At the beginning of 2022, there were 102 companies in the cluster, up more than 30 percent from the previous year. All the members, of which 55 are in the category startups, work together in various constellations to bring about the creative new products, and services. The cluster network now consists of more than 150 established companies – big and small, more than 120 municipalities, more than 20 Norwegian and international educational and research institutions, more than 60 Norwegian and international clusters in various fields, plus international organizations.
As a result of the great network, and the many connections between the cluster members, the activity levels manifest itself in other aspects such as funding applications. The members raised a total of 163 million kroner for various projects from Innovation Norway, The Norwegian Research Council and Enova during the year. This was up from 70 million in 2020.
In addition, the cluster was involved in several EU applications last year, with more to come this year. Recently, the cluster was part of an application for New European Bauhaus funding together with cluster members such as Smedvig and Veni, Stavanger Kommune and NTNU. The cluster is also working on an application for a European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) with the name EDIH Oceanopolis (www.dihoceanopolis.com). This will be sent to the EU in February.
The cluster has some 30 large and small projects funded through its annual grant from Innovation Norway. These projects build up under the collaborative muscle that is Nordic Edge through increasing the innovative capacity in the cluster, priming the market for smart city technology, and securing financing for future growth for the cluster members.
Our ongoing work on the innovation center, Nordic Edge Innoasis, is also in full swing. The building is set to be completed in September 2022 and more than 15 companies, with a total of 300 employees, are making plans to move into the building together with Nordic Edge. This creates a formidable innovation force in the Stavanger region in the years to come.
Pandemic Expo Success
In 2021, the cluster members were also active participants at the Nordic Edge Expo. Some hosted tours within our focus themes of energy, mobility, and spaces & places. Other showcased solutions and services in various setting such as a nightly event with municipalities or along the Stavanger harbor. All in all, the Stavanger event reached more than 8 500 people through its broadcasts and physical events during the Expo-week in September. In addition, Nordic Edge held online events in North America, China, and the UK, reaching more than 30 000 people with the broadcasts.
This year, the Expo is planning to go back to a more physical format in the town-center of Stavanger during the second week of May. See https://nordicedge.org/expo/ more information about the event. The cluster members will again be active in showcasing their products and solutions and setting the agenda for tomorrows cities – smarter and more sustainable – as we all more towards a greener future. Get in touch with us if you want to be part of Nordic Edge Expo 2022.
Jobs and Equity
As the cluster members continue their contribution towards the green shift, they are creating new jobs as a result. Last year, the smaller members created more then 250 new jobs, according to our calculations. These came in everything from software-as-a service to hardware production.
None of their growth would be possible without proper financing, and the cluster has worked hard on creating an international finance network of everything from seed capital firms to venture capital and banks. This finance network now consists of more than 35 financial Institutions, and we know from anecdotal evidence that they have contributed to more than 10 equity transactions.
All this bodes well for 2022.