Stavanger Region, a new Arena Innovation Cluster:
Arena Smart City
With the new Arena status, Stavanger-based Smart City Cluster aims to be a driving force for the development of smarter cities and communities, and to become the leading player in the Nordic region by 2021.
The Arena Smart City Cluster comprises 11 core companies and 50 different partners. Amongst them are entrepreneurs, private companies, research and education institutions as well as public sector representatives.
Out of 48 applicants, 7 new entities have been included in the cluster programme ´Norwegian Innovation Clusters´. The Stavanger-based Arena Smart City is one of the new clusters, and is the first of its kind in Norway.
“This is very good news. It is an important recognition of the long-term efforts by Stavanger municipality and our partners. We are already a European Lighthouse on smart cities, and with this new cluster status now also acknowledged as the leading national player in the smart city sector”, says Christine Sagen Helgø, Mayor of Stavanger.
Recognition of the region
Over the last few years, the Stavanger region has built a position as Norway´s cluster on Smart City. The digital infrastructure that was established when the utility company Lyse built its extensive fibre network, was the beginning of the Stavanger region’s development to establish itself as the leading cluster on Smart City in Norway. The fibre network opened up for new ideas for services over the internet. This triggered a number of new projects and businesses.
“Becoming an official Arena Smart City cluster is a recognition that the region has achieved the position we have been working purposefully to establish the last 10 years”, says CEO, Eimund Nygaard in Lyse.
Arena Smart City is a collaboration between businesses, R&D environments and the public sector, to create value, encourage restructuring and innovation in the businesses, and to develop quality services and cost effective smart city solutions for, and with the cities.
The cluster cooperation will help connect the municipalities with the vendor side, and the municipalities on the other hand will become more accessible as coalition partners and buyers. Arena Smart City will be a business-oriented cluster where the players from across the different sectors will help draw the region together in a common direction.
More partners are welcome
The main group companies behind the application is comprised of: Lyse, Westcontrol, Delphi, Roxel, Systor Vest, Atea, Petrolink, Microsoft, Bolder and Offshore Systems. Around 50 more players from different industries, municipalities and institutions in the Stavanger region, as well as a few more external and international actors, are also included in the cluster. More partners are welcome – the cluster will aim to recruit more members as soon as the core organisation is up and running.
“The cluster status is a confirmation of the number of players in our region who want to provide solutions within the smart city sector. At the same time, the cluster status is just a small first step on a much longer journey. The members of the clusters will now start the hard work of developing a strong cluster with Nordic and international reach, that can help bring forward new projects, products and services”, says Herbjørn Tjeltveit, Managing Director of Nordic Edge.
Monica Mæland, Minister for Trade and Industry and Jan Tore Sanner, Municipal and Modernization Minister, announced the good news on Monday, 16th October, 2017.
“Norwegian businesses are world-class in many areas, but there is fierce competition. We need to be a step ahead of our competitors. Collaboration through the Norwegian innovation clusters shows that we have companies who can be in the forefront in an international market”, says Monica Mæland, Minister for Trade and Industry.
On average, the new Norwegian Centres of Expertise (NCE) clusters receive NOK 5 million a year in support, while the Arena projects receive approx. NOK 2.2 million. The Research Council, Innovation Norway and Siva are responsible for the schemes, with a budget of NOK 190 million this year.
The steering group has been led by Herbjørn Tjeltvedt, CEO of Nordic Edge, in close cooperation with the 11 core companies and selected other contributors.
MORE INFO: NORWEGIAN INNOVATION CLUSTERS
Norwegian Innovation Clusters is a government supported cluster programme. The programme aims to trigger and enhance collaborative development activities in clusters. The goal is to increase the cluster dynamics and attractiveness, the individual company’s innovativeness and competitiveness. The program is organized by Innovation Norway, in joint effort with Siva (The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway) and the Norwegian Research Council.
The Arena Programme is intended to promote more innovation in business and industry, through collaboration between businesses, knowledge and R&D institutions, and the public sector. The programme targets regional business communities that have a high concentration of companies within one industry, value chain or area of expertise, and that have relevant competence centres.