Smart Innovation Norway at Arendalsuka 2021: - What we do is important for AS Norge

This week it is again Arendalsuka - Norway's largest democratic meeting place for everyone involved in the society we live in - and where knowledge and experiences are exchanged between citizens, politicians and business.

Around 1,000 events and 200 stands fill the center of Arendal for five days in August each year. Arendal Week is the arena for those who want to listen to, debate and solve today's and tomorrow's societal challenges.

This year, Smart Innovation Norway and the Cluster for Applied AI were present together with partner Institute for Energy Technology (IFE). During Monday and Tuesday, cluster leader Eli Haugerud and managing director Kjell Reidar Mydske participated in several events and activities with the aim of highlighting the strong technology environment in Halden.

- I would immediately say that what we are doing is completely spot-on in relation to what Norway needs. What everyone is talking about now is the shift to green industry and renewable power, and it is quite obvious that what we are working on, which is energy systems and artificial intelligence, is very important for everyone to succeed. What we do here is important for AS Norge, and it is important for others to succeed, comments Mydske.

Sharing experiences and opportunities

On Monday morning, his colleague Haugerud participated in a podcast/livestream together with IKT-Norge and Huawei with the theme "Artificial intelligence - real experiences". Here, the actors discussed the government's national strategy for artificial intelligence and how the technology can and should be utilized.

- We want more people to get to know us, our projects and what opportunities exist. In addition, it is important for us to be able to participate in other events, among other things to be updated on topics such as offshore wind, battery technology, digitalisation, internationalization and the green shift, Haugerud points out.

- When we take part in such arenas, it is to catch up with what is happening, so that we can do things that are relevant to our member companies. At the same time, through the dialogue with the companies, we know what they think is important, and we shall take that input to the decision-makers we meet in places like this, adds Mydske.

On stage with IFE

Arendal week 2021

On Tuesday, both Haugerud and Mydske were on stage in No1 Sportsbar during the lecture "Data-driven innovation - how to create both sustainable cities and business?", which Smart Innovation Norway and IFE organized together.

- Among other things, we presented the Halden venture My Digital City and how collaboration can provide new solutions. In addition, we introduced the AI clinic, a new initiative from the Cluster for Applied AI, which will be an important contributor to more people being able to solve their challenges using artificial intelligence through competence environments, says cluster leader Haugerud.

Fruitful cooperation

It was no coincidence that the research company IFE invited Smart Innovation Norway along to spread the word about their joint ventures and collaboration.

- We complement each other very well and we have the same interests. Smart Innovation Norway helps us get the research we do out to industry and municipalities. In addition, the company is good at EU applications, communication and incubator operations. At the same time, IFE is good at "hardcore" research when it comes to digitalisation, says Tomas Nordlander, director of research at IFE.

Arendal week 2021
Tomas Nordlander from IFE (tv) and Kjell Reidar Mydske from Smart Innovation Norway.

He points out that the collaboration is transparent and open as an important factor for success, and reveals that the parties talk to each other several times each week.

- Now we are in the process of investigating whether we can deploy researchers temporarily with each other to get to know each other better, and we have talked about having joint management meetings and workshops, says Nordlander.

Mydske agrees with its good partner and points in particular to the value that Smart Innovaton Norway's cluster members and incubator companies get through the collaboration.

- The application of this collaboration is that the companies in our network can be connected to top-notch expertise from researchers in IFE's system, he points out.


  • Arendalsuka will be an annual national arena where actors within politics, society and business meet each other and the people, for debate and the formulation of policy for the present and future.
  • Arendalsuka is independent of party politics, and aims to strengthen faith in politics and political debate. In this way, Arendalsuka will contribute to strengthening the power of our living democracy.

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