Nordic Edge has been granted Arena Pro-status in the national programme for business and innovation clusters. With that Norway is strengthening innovation, business development and internationalisation within the smart city market.
For Nordic Edge, Arena Pro means a strengthened commitment towards innovation, co-creation, knowledge development and competence transfer. The cluster is now in a position to accelerate the development and export of smart city solutions and services.
The Norwegian cluster programme consists of Norwegian business and innovation clusters at three levels: Arena, Arena Pro and GCE. The programme is a state-funded collaboration between Innovation Norway, the Research Council of Norway and SIVA. Arena Pro means NOK 6 million a year for a period of five years. The funds will go to projects and the development of expertise for enhanced innovation capacity, and international growth in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Enthusiasm from partners
Anne Woie, Head of Economic Development and International Affairs for the City of Stavanger kommune, praises Nordic Edge for their long-term work with developing new business, both regionally and on a national level.
– When Nordic Edge now gets Arena Pro-status is goes to show the very good and solid job they have done for many years. It is important for Stavanger municipality, but it is fantastic for the whole region. With more funds coming in, it will contribute to accelerating the transformation to new industries that we are now entering, says Woie.
– Nordic Edge with its initiatives will be a hub and not least a magnet for new, innovative companies, so this is very good, Woie adds.
Vidar Aksland, head of innovation at Sparebank 1 SR-Bank echoes her sentiment:
– The smart city sector is not defined, but I have no doubt that it will provide a new basis for life and new jobs in the region, he says.
– This will stimulate the region to accelerate winning, global companies that deliver products and services that will be relevant in the future, Aksland says.
The renewed and improved commitment from the national cluster programme means Nordic Edge will have more strength to be a catalyst for development, testing and export of smart city services and solutions on behalf of our cluster members. It is the result of long-term efforts to build an ecosystem and market for smart cities in the Nordics.
– Ever since our foundation in 2015 Nordic Edge has built opportunities for our partners step by step. We laid the groundworks with Nordic Edge Expo, have facilitated the National Roadmap for Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities, which is currently being lifted to a Nordic level. We have hosted events in Asia, Europe and have facilitated ample match-making opportunities between sectors and companies of different sizes. These initiatives and more will now accelerate not least through our new innovation hub, Nordic Edge Innoasis, says Stig Finnesand, CEO of Nordic Edge.