NORA.startup officially launched!
Reaching another milestone for NORA, the ambitious NORA.startup initiative was officially launched through a digital kick-off on 29th September. NORA.startup will be a gateway to greater cooperation between academia, incubators and startup companies in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics.
Watch the entire NORA.startup digital kick-off here:
The main goal of NORA.startup is to build a knowledge-based innovation arena that facilitates networking and collaboration opportunities across the research and the startup community in Norway within artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics.
- I am happy to see such a great turnout at NORA.startup’s official launch. This shows that there is a demand for a national innovation network to support startup companies in this field. NORA.startup will become a national, knowledge-intensive innovation environment, uniting Norway’s best forces from academia, startup companies and incubators, says NORA’s CEO, Klas H. Pettersen.
More than 65 people representing academia, incubators, startups and other companies, investors and government policy instruments joined the digital kick-off, which featured exciting keynotes and discussions on how to promote and strengthen Norwegian startups in AI, machine learning and robotics.
- AI is a transformative technology, it transforms markets, products, businesses and ultimately the society we live in. For that reason, the classical way of looking at innovation, where there is a transfer of innovation and ideas from academia to the industry with the government in the middle, is not the way this works. There are at least two important parts of the ecosystem that are missing in such a model, namely startups and investors, said NORA’s member of board and special adviser at OsloMet, Morten Irgens during his keynote.
The keynote speakers at the event were Morten Irgens (OsloMet), Morten Goodwin (UiA), Anita Schjøll Brede (iris.ai), Robert Jenssen (UiT) and Gro Dyrnes (Regional Director Innovation Norway). The speakers gave their perspectives on how to commercialize research and innovation results within this field. In the following discussion, there was a broad consensus on the need for a network like NORA.startup in order to build bridges between the startup community and the research community.
- Going forward I truly do not think we will talk about companies being based on AI, because it’s obvious. If you’re to bring value to the market, if you’re to solve the biggest challenges we face, we have to use AI, said Regional Director San Francisco & Silicon Valley for Innovation Norway, Gro Eirin Dyrnes. - You can ask why Silicon Valley is such a hot spot for technology and innovation. One of the reasons is that Silicon Valley is a complete ecosystem. Universities have an incredibly important role in this, because top universities recruit top talent from all over the world. The best talents interested in some specific topics come to the area. When they spend time at the universities, they find role models among professors, other students and companies that have spun out of the universities, such as Google. First the students have an ambition to go to the universities, then they have an ambition to work for Google, and then a couple of years later they have an ambition to start the next Google and a couple of years after that they want to invest in the next Google. So, the ecosystem fuels itself, and this is what we need to try to create in Norway and this is what I know NORA and NORA.startup is trying to achieve, Dyrnes continued.
The panel discussion in the kick-off focused on the possibilities and challenges facing the AI-community in Norway in the intersection between business and research. You can watch all the keynotes and discussions in the video above..
NORA.startup’s main target group is Norwegian start-up companies which develop technological solutions of their own in machine learning, artificial intelligence, or robotics and which also focus on research and development projects. In addition, researchers and students in this field who have innovative ideas, and are interested in start-up companies, collaboration with entrepreneurs and commercialization of technological solutions are welcome to join NORA.startup.
Incubators and clusters working with companies in this field, which have members with a high degree of expertise, and experience in research and development projects, can also contact NORA.startup. The same goes for businesses or investors concerned with technological solutions and collaboration within the mentioned fields. For more information about NORA.startup, target group and how you can apply, please visit NORA.startup’s webpage.