Enthusiastic Visit From the Research Council

"It's inspiring to see how research institutions, businesses, startups, and public actors collaborate in Oslo Science City," says Mari Sundli Tveit, CEO of the Research Council of Norway.

Published: 20. mars 2024

The full spectrum of Norway's first innovation district was showcased when Mari Sundli Tveit, CEO of the Research Council of Norway, brought her management team to Oslo Science City.

A range of leaders and prominent researchers from Oslo Science City's member institutions presented initiatives and collaborations spanning all the innovation district's four gravitational fields of excellence: Health and life sciences; Digitalization and computational science; Democracy and inclusion; and Climate, energy, and environment.

"To achieve our goals of a green transition and increased sustainable value creation, we must become even better at applying research fast. It's inspiring to witness the concerted efforts of research institutions, businesses, startups, and public entities within Oslo Science City, working together to develop research findings into innovative solutions and job creation," says Sundli Tveit.

Energy, climate adaptation, and emission-free mobility
Svein Stølen, Rector at the University of Oslo (UiO) and Chairman of the Board of Oslo Science City, gave a warm welcome to the visitors. Christine Wergeland Sørbye, CEO of Oslo Science City, then provided an introduction to the innovation district as a hub for collaboration and research-driven innovation. UiO Vice-Rector Per Morten Sandset and Director Idar Kreutzer from the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), who lead separate working groups within Oslo Science City, then discussed collaborative initiatives, research funding, and industry engagement.

Within the field of climate, energy, and environment, presentations were made on future energy systems, climate adaptation, and emission-free mobility by Vebjørn Bakken from UiO:Energy and Environment, Lars Andresen from The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), and Bjørne Grimsrud from the Institute of Transport Economics.

UiO Pro-Rector Åse Gornitzka delved into the work concerning democracy and inclusion within the innovation district.

Digitalization, artificial intelligence, and life sciences
Morten Dalsmo of SINTEF introduced the work on digitalization and computational science in the innovation district, followed by presentations on artificial intelligence by André Teigland from the Norwegian Computing Center, Solveig Kristensen from UiO, and Idar Kreutzer, who chairs the strategic council for the partner program of dScience, UiO's Centre for Computational and Data Science.

Quantum researcher Marianne Bathen presented on quantum technology, followed by discussions on materials technology, sensors, and microsystems by Alexandra Bech Gjørv from SINTEF and Bjørn Jamtveit from UiO.

Within the field of health and life sciences, Per Morten Sandset from UiO, Bjørn Atle Bjørnbeth from Oslo University Hospital, and Alexandra Bech Gjørv from SINTEF explored the opportunities associated with two major construction projects in the Oslo Science City area: The Life Science Building and the new university hospital. Jan Bjålie from UiO followed up with insights into the strategic focus areas of biomedicine and health data.

Exciting collaboration opportunities
Following introductory remarks by Mari Sundli Tveit, an engaging discussion ensued on the innovation district's role in developing robust and innovative ecosystems with international impact. Closer collaboration between the strong knowledge institutions, increased emphasis on innovative research funding, highlighting strengths, and enhanced interaction with startup environments, businesses, and the public sector were emphasized as critical contributions.

Participants also enjoyed a tour of MiNaLab, a laboratory for micro- and nanotechnology, operated in collaboration between SINTEF and the University of Oslo.

"I'm impressed by how SINTEF and the university have developed MiNaLab into an internationally leading hub for research on advanced sensor technology and sensor production for the international market. This field is becoming increasingly vital in our digital era, and here we already have top-tier expertise in Norway," says Mari Sundli Tveit.

Christine Wergeland Sørbye, CEO of Oslo Science City, sees significant potential for collaboration between the Research Council and the innovation district.

"Oslo Science City serves as an effective platform for collaboration on cutting-edge research and knowledge-based innovation. This facilitates the application of research to address societal challenges and foster sustainable value creation. We and the Research Council share common interests and numerous opportunities for fruitful collaboration," she adds.