Smart Cognition landed NOK 100,000 in design support


The country NOK 100,000 in design support:

- Means that the platform we develop gets a real boost

The start-up company Smart Cognition is one of two among a total of 68 applicants who have been awarded support from the Norwegian Design and Architecture Foundation (DOGA) for their project "Active leisure with the help of organized information and inclusive communication".

By Mari Kristine Buckholm , 30 June 2020

- We have received NOK 100,000 in so-called design support, all of which goes to a professional design partner. We have already entered into an agreement with the design agency Halogen, and the work will start in August, says a happy Sven Erik Tønnesen, founder and general manager of Smart Cognition.

At the beginning of June, the news came that the company, which is a cluster partner in the Cluster for Applied AI, had come through the eye of the needle in competition with 67 other companies. The application was prepared in collaboration with Sunnaas hospital and the support is awarded by the foundation Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA).

- DOGA is genuinely concerned with inclusion. They look for projects that can contribute to a more inclusive society in an innovative way through the development of a new everyday product, service or digital solution for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone, regardless of functional ability, age, cultural or linguistic background, explains Tønnesen.

Clear focus on inclusion

Smart Cognition delivers an innovative interaction platform for sharing information about culture and leisure activities between municipalities, voluntary organisations, teams/associations, private individuals or others who have an activity offer they wish to convey information about, and people with and without disabilities. The platform transforms an organizer's information about leisure activities into content adapted to the individual user of a specially developed app, so that everyone can understand – regardless of functional level.

The allocated design funds from DOGA are earmarked for the project "Active leisure time with the help of organized information and inclusive communication".

- The project has many good qualities and potential in it which DOGA would like to see further into an inclusive solution for a large diversity of people. According to the foundation, we stood out because of our clear focus on inclusion. Involving people with disabilities permeates everything we do. For us, it is completely natural, almost automatic, to think how the work we do can benefit absolutely everyone, says Tønnesen.

Will contribute to a change in attitude

DOGA is part of the Norwegian policy apparatus for creating new products and services and is a driving force for sustainable value creation through design and architecture. The Smart Cognition founder sees the award as solid recognition of both the work the company does and their focus on inclusion.

- The support means that the platform we are developing gets a real boost. Design is a separate subject area in which we do not have our own expertise, and getting professional help to design, for example, user interfaces is something we have long wanted, Tønnesen points out. He adds:

- But the most important thing is that increased attention about us means increased attention about people with functional impairments and their situation. In addition to developing good solutions, we must also contribute to raising awareness and changing attitudes in society about people with disabilities and the resources they actually possess.

Contentful autumn ahead

The next step for the start-up is, alongside the collaboration with Sunnaas, Halogen and DOGA, to further develop its Active Leisure platform to include the leisure card scheme together with Halden municipality.

- The municipality recently received NOK 10 million from Bufdir for the leisure card, a subsidy scheme from the government which will help more children and young people participate in leisure activities. We believe that Halden municipality's clear focus on inclusion was instrumental in Halden being chosen as one of twelve out of 193 municipalities that applied, says Tønnesen.

He is looking forward to an exciting and hectic autumn, and appreciates Halden municipality's efforts to get everyone involved.

- We will do our utmost to make the leisure card a success story. Increased activity is important for everyone, regardless of functional ability, and we must contribute to that, asserts Tønnesen.

About DOGA

  • Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA) is a foundation under the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries that works to strengthen the role of design and architecture in shaping the Norway of tomorrow.
  • As part of the public policy apparatus for increased innovation, DOGA works for renewal and value creation in Norwegian business and the public sector.
  • The foundation's aim is for Norway to use design and architecture expertise to create economic, social and environmental values, and equip business and the public sector for restructuring.


About Smart Cognition

  • Based on artificial intelligence, Smart Cognition offers individually adapted information and support for communication.
  • This is done via the interaction platform Aktiv Fritid, which provides understandable information about leisure activities to several people and contributes to increased participation.
  • Active Leisure should contribute to increased inclusion, increased self-determination and increased quality of life.
  • Smart Cognition is a non-profit business - social entrepreneur.
  • The profit remains in the company or is given to projects or organizations that promote the living conditions of people with disabilities.