The current close ties between the UK and Norway in many areas provide a basis for further cooperation, and Smart Innovation Norway's networks and areas of expertise are both interesting and relevant.
This was the conclusion of UK Trade Commissioner Chris Barton after visiting Smart Innovation Norway at Remmen.
He was in Norway to get to know and learn from companies, partners and projects that the British Embassy in Oslo works closely with and that are engaged in technology and innovation of interest to the UK.
Smart Innovation Norway, eSmart Systems, Batteriretur, Paxster and NORA (Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium) were among those visited by the Trade Commissioner and the Embassy's traveling party.
- Great potential for increased cooperation
- The work being done at Smart Innovation Norway is interesting to us in many different ways," said Barton.
The UK is among the world's leaders in innovation, tech and artificial intelligence (AI), but is looking for further growth to further contribute to the development of society both commercially and in terms of services in health, education and energy.
- What specific cooperation opportunities do you see between the UK and Smart Innovation Norway?
- Both parties are leading the way in reducing the carbon footprint, where artificial intelligence, technology and smart solutions are incredibly important. I am happy to say that we are already working together in these areas, but there is still a lot of potential," Barton said.
The Trade Commissioner also pointed to artificial intelligence as a hugely important factor in health.
- Artificial intelligence has great potential to increase the quality and reliability of healthcare services and make a difference from a preventive perspective," he said.
Decommissioning, CI and energy
The UK and Norway have for many years already had a good and broad cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, politics and society. One field that is new to Smart Innovation Norway is decommissioning.
- "We launched our DECOM cluster in April last year, and several of our cluster members and stakeholders are already collaborating with UK companies on decommissioning. This can clearly be expanded," says CEO Kjell Reidar Mydske.
Many of the companies in Smart Innovation Norway's incubator and three business clusters want to focus more on exports, and in this respect it is a positive signal that the UK Trade Commissioner for Europe is coming to Norway and prioritizing getting to know the Halden environment better.
- It shows that we are a leading player in our fields, and it is especially our expertise in artificial intelligence that makes us noticed internationally," says Mydske.
He used the visit to encourage the Trade Commissioner and the Embassy to participate in Smart Innovation Norway's arenas with the aim of increasing cooperation.
- And then we hope to take some companies on a study visit to the UK to look at the opportunities for export and learning. That would be very exciting," says Kjell Reidar Mydske.
- Much of the development is happening in the UK
Norway has several advantages when it comes to using artificial intelligence. Among other things, we have recognized research, innovation and education environments, a high degree of digitization in the public sector, and a large and good data base, which is a prerequisite for artificial intelligence.
NORA (Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium) is a gateway for international actors to these factors, and the UK is a priority partner for NORA.
- "A lot of the development in artificial intelligence is happening in the UK. They also have a lot of exciting companies that use artificial intelligence in many different areas," says Klas Pettersen, CEO.
He is keen to strengthen existing ties with the British, and an important partner is The Alan Touring Institute, a British organization similar to NORA.
- In December we are organizing a conference together, and we want to strengthen our ongoing student exchange. It is also important for us to establish new research collaborations and look at how we can use research results in industry for the benefit of societal development, business and industry," says Pettersen.