Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

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15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 16, 2014

Technoport 2014: Dimension10 develops 3D scanner

At Technoport 2014’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment, the first of its kind in Norway, three promising young tech startups will pitch their company to a crowd of investors. This week we hear from each of the startups in turn. We’ve heard about AssiStep and Rom & Tonik, now we hear from Krister Fagerslepp of Dimension10, developers of a 3D scanner.

What challenge does your product solve, and how is your solution innovative?

Our solution solves the difficulty of scanning living objects by scanning the entire subject at the same time within mililseconds. Our solution is innovative because it’s purpose built down to the software that controls it. Our innovation also lies in the areas of use, and how easily we can achieve an automatic process from scan to result.

Why did you decide to develop this company?

The origin for my project is my interest for immersive technology/Virtual Reality. I developed software for Oculus Rift as well as building my own unit before the developer kit hit the market. The 3D scanner is a result of experiments I did to create characters/avatars for this system. I would say the seed for this project was planted around 24 months ago. However, serious work was not initiated until a while after this.

What have you achieved so far?

Our 3D scanner is working and stable, with generally decent quality. We have developed the software and hardware to control the rig ourselves. However, the quality of scans still need improvement in our opinion. This means mainly that we need to add more cameras and flashes, to get more angles covered.

Where has your funding come from before?

Funding has come mainly from our own pockets.

Why are you seeking equity crowdfunding?

In order to speed up development we need money for things such as more/better hardware and bigger office space. Selling equity seems like a good way to raise funds in this project.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

We see ourselves having a working scanner system that is simple enough to operate that we can hire almost anyone to operate it. Once this achieved, the only demanding job is occasional software updates and maintenance.  If we can achieve these goals, we have more than enough ideas to pursue in the field that will keep us occupied and plenty of IP to keep us going. We have no doubt that we will never a dull moment, and firmly believe that our companies ability to produce revenue extends far beyond  5 years.

Check out Dimension10’s FundedByMe campaign here!

Want to attend?

Learn more about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment and register for Technoport 2014.

Photo credit: Dimension10 

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15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 15, 2014

Technoport 2014: Rom & Tonik makes natural sound absorber

At Technoport 2014’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment, the first of its kind in Norway, three promising young tech startups will pitch their company to a crowd of investors. This week we hear from each of the startups in turn. First we heard about AssiStep, now up is Rom & Tonik, a company founded by Mats Solberg and Birgitte Røsvik.

What challenge does your product solve, and how is your solution innovative?

Our product is proven to be one of the most volume efficient sound absorption products on the market. We work towards reducing noise in office and public spaces to improve the working conditions. We are doing this through using natural rough wool as the actual absorbent. This is a whole different way to do it, and the unique felt that we produce in Mongolia is uniquely efficient. We have also developed a modular and very flexible system that allows the user a lot of freedom when configuring their FeltTile system.

Why did you decide to develop this company?

We wanted to start Rom & Tonik because we saw that there was a huge potential market in acoustic solutions for open offices and public spaces. We also saw the need to make use of the rough wool quality that the textile industry avoided in their products. Making use of a raw material that has a perfectly sustainable profile to solve a growing problem in the interior market made perfect sense. We decided to start Rom & Tonik after winning the regional finals of Venture Cup in Trondheim in the spring of 2012. The company was started in October 2012.

What have you achieved so far?

Since then, we have developed the profile of Rom & Tonik, worked intensely with developing our production and distribution line. We have been hard at work with finalizing our product design for FeltTile and finally we launched FeltTile and Rom & Tonik at Designers Saturday in Oslo Sept. 2013. In February this year, we were able to present FeltTile at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, the leading interior exhibition for the Scandinavian market. On a day-to-day basis we are hard at work with selling FeltTile and we have now sold more than 20 projects around Norway.

Where has your funding come from before?

We have received funding (etablérstipend) from Innovation Norway and Seed capital from Ålesund Kunnskapspark.

Why are you seeking equity crowdfunding?

After visiting Stockholm Furniture Fair we got interest from resellers all over the world. Now we want to start testing the Scandinavian market and establish our network beyond the Norwegian market. In parallel we are working with some very exciting new products with a very good supplementary potential to FeltTile. To be able to develop pilot projects with this new product, we will use some of the FundedByMe equity for product development as well.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In five years Rom & Tonik is substantial actor in the interior furnishing industry. The organisation has grown a lot, and we are the go-to company for acoustical solutions and soundproofing. We have our products installed in more than 20 countries in the world, and we have contributed to improve people’s working environment in every project we have participated in.

Check out the Rom & Tonik FundedByMe campaign here!

Want to attend?

Learn more about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment and register for Technoport 2014.

Photo credit: Mats Herding Solberg

AssiTech
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 14, 2014

Technoport 2014: AssiStep helps the elderly

At Technoport 2014’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment, the first of its kind in Norway, three promising young tech startups will pitch their company to a crowd of investors. This week we’ll hear from each of the startups in turn. First up, AssiStep – a company created by Eirik Gjelsvik Medbø, Halvor Wold, and Ingrid Lonar. 

What challenge does your product solve, and how is your solution innovative?

One of the biggest obstacles for the elderly and people with mobility issues is stair climbing. It’s one of the most common reasons that people need to move away from their home. At the same time, stair climbing is the most effective training method in your own home, but the consequences from falling can be dramatic, which is illustrated by the 50 casualties and 30,000 injuries from stair falling each year in Norway alone.

If we can solve this problem by adding increased support, increased safety and stimulate people to continue to use their stairs, our users will become more independent, get increased exercise, and continue to live in their own home for longer.

Why did you decide to develop this company?

Through a large number of interviews with users and therapists, we learned  how big the stair climbing problem actually is, and that there aren’t good enough solutions out there today. By creating AssiTech AS, we can make people more independent, and at the same time establish ourselves in a market with a big growth potential over the coming years.

What have you achieved so far?

We’ve established a passionate and ambitious team that really wants to make a difference by creating innovative and user-friendly products. We’ve raised over 2 million NOK in soft-funding. We’ve developed a lot of prototypes, and  at this point are ready to produce the first series of AssiStep. AssiStep is a trademarked and patent-pending product.

Where has your funding come from before?

We’ve raised over 2 million NOK in soft-funding to date, from Innovation Norway, NTNU Discovery, our biggest customer NAV, and the Tekna scholarship 2013, in addition to the equity we’ve put in ourselves. We’re now at a stage where we need to raise private capital, in order to initialise production of the first 60 products.

Why are you seeking equity funding?

Because we know that a lot of people out there really believe in AssiStep, and want to see it go into production. Equity funding makes it possible for ordinary people to make a difference, by becoming a shareholder in a company with growth potential. In order for us to start delivering value to users and customers, we need to raise capital for production of our first 60 products.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In 5 years our product portfolio have grown to something more than AssiStep, making use of our strategic distribution partners outside Norway. AssiStep is by then an established product also within markets outside Norway, and should be the natural choice for stair mobility. Our organisation consists of creative people that wants to make a difference by creating innovative products that solve big problems.

Check out the AssiStep Funded by Me campaign here!

Want to attend?

Learn more about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment and register for Technoport 2014.

Photo credit: AssiStep (from left to right, Eirik Gjelsvik Medbø, Ingrid Lonar, Halvor Wold)

Women of Technoport
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 11, 2014

Bridging the gender gap in entrepreneurship

Gender inequality at work is a global problem, despite undoubted progress in many areas over the last decades. Norway is an international leader in some aspects – not least for its paid maternity and paternity leave – but even in Norway there are fewer women in entrepreneurship. In today’s blog we hear from some of the inspiring female entrepreneurs in Norway working to promote innovation and break the gender divide.

A global challenge

Arguably every country and every sector has its own challenges when it comes to gender, but it’s a fact that around the world women are still more economically excluded. A 2013 report by the World Bank Group concludes that only half of women’s productive potential is being used globally, for reasons that can include “lack of mobility, time, and skills, exposure to violence, and the absence of basic legal rights”.

Women are similarly underrepresented in entrepreneurship. In the words of the 2013 Women’s Report by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM): “In nearly every economy there are fewer female than male entrepreneurs, and they appear to show reluctance to scale their businesses or to enter new and less tested markets”. In general, GEM found that women were more likely to:

  • start business as single founders with fewer employees,
  • start a business out of necessity than opportunity, and
  • struggle to maintain their business once started or to find enough financial support.

Women also had less faith in themselves as entrepreneurs, for instance: “women in Europe and the U.S. are much less likely to believe they have the capabilities for entrepreneurship compared to men in their economies.”

This is a problem that female entrepreneurs also observe on the ground. Aurora Klæboe Berg, VP of Business and Market at Norwegian success story Dirtybit, suggests that, “by stereotype, women have more self-awareness while men have more self-confidence. Women want to know that they will succeed before trying in fear of failing. Being an entrepreneur is high risk, and requires a mix of both self-awareness and self-confidence – independent of gender.”

Tanja Holmen, Project Manager at NxtMedia, a Technoport 2014 conference partner, makes a similar case. “I think part of the solution lies in the need for security, financial resources, and ambition. The fact that so many female entrepreneurs become self-employed or start small enterprises says something about the need to encourage certain attitudes – especially a willingness to gamble with one’s own finances. Entrepreneurship involves a lot of gambling…not to mention madness and fun!”

So what’s happening in Norway?

According to GEM’s report, in Norway half as many women as men are involved in entrepreneurial activity, and half as many own an established business.

In 2008 the Norwegian government set out the target that 40% of entrepreneurs would be women by 2013. In fact, that percentage is decreasing – from 32.6% in 2007 to 25.8% in 2012. This puts Norway third from bottom in Europe, and fourth from bottom in GEM’s list of 24 innovation-driven countries.

“I don’t think quotas and things help very much,” says Stina Nysæther, Co-Founder of Startup Norway. “It’s more about highlighting the good female entrepreneurs that are out there and the work that they’re doing – and not so much focus on them being women, but to create role models for girls. Our focus at Startup Norway is to get people interested in entrepreneurship.”

Aurora Klæboe Berg agrees. “I don’t think that the focus should be on specific initiatives for women, but rather improving the mind-set of our nation. In Norway people are not encouraging each other to succeed the same way as in the US. Everybody expects you to fail, and when you do, they say: ‘I could have told you so. Why’d you bother even trying?’ While in the US the mentality is: ‘That sucks, but what’s your next entrepreneurial adventure?’

“Just a few people are successful at their first attempt. That means we have to be strong to try again several times. In Norway we need more innovation and crazy entrepreneurs so our economy can rely on more than just oil in the future. So if we for some reason fail with Dirtybit, I urge you to encourage us to continue!”

Moving towards a more equal future 

“In Norway we need more funding and more programs, it’s true,” says Stina Nysæther, “but we also need more entrepreneurs – people need to be inspired to start a business.

“What we see that helps in Norway is not about focusing on women but focusing on health, or fashion – picking the topics that potential future female entrepreneurs would be interested in.

“The women and men that show up to our events don’t have differences in ambition or knowledge, but they do see problems in different places,” explains Stina. “For example the winning app at our Startup Weekend in October was Weather Ware, an app designed by a female preschool teacher to help parents make sure their children are dressed for the weather.”  

“I believe that with more success stories, more entrepreneurial attempts will occur,” concurs Aurora Klæboe Berg. “We all need role models, and I hope I can encourage others (both male and female) to follow the entrepreneurial path by being one.”

Tanja Holmen is also optimistic: “I think a lot will happen in the innovation scene in Norway in the future, both for female and male entrepreneurs. Advances in technology are bringing better ways to produce, establish, distribute and communicate. Hubs and flexible workspaces are also increasing with record speed. These are very welcome arenas for innovation, and vital supplements to the more established, traditional incubators that we’ve been using so far.

Perhaps even just this change in entrepreneurial culture in Norway will encourage more women to take the plunge.”

 

Women of Technoport 2014

Successful female entrepreneurs and innovators sharing their expertise at Technoport 2014 include Leila Janah, founder of Samasource; Liz Wald, Head of International at Indiegogo, Lauren Anderson, Community Director at Collaborative Consumption, and Siri Skøien, founder of Comlight. To find out more about these and other speakers or to register, head over to the Technoport 2014 website.

FluorescentTobacco
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesFebruary 17, 2014

10 Exciting Crowdfunded… Gadgets

With crowdfunding, anyone can help turn the craziest of dreams into a fully functional reality. From the innovative to the sustainable to the just plain wacky, these 10 successful campaigns give a taste of the great new tech coming out of crowdfunding.

1. WakaWaka Light and Power

WakaWaka Power

Image: WakaWaka

This lamp is solar powered and super efficient, lasting for up to 80 hours. It can stand up on its own or attached to a bottle top. The WakaWaka Power, released in 2013, can also be used to charge a smartphone, MP3 player or tablet.

Even better, the profits from sales in the West are used to give WakaWakas to some of the 1.2 billion people without access to electricity. Replacing kerosene lamps with solar light cuts down on CO2 emissions, reduces health problems like burns, and saves families money. That makes WakaWakas a win-win!

These nifty gadgets have had three crowdfunding campaigns – Kickstart and Symbid for the WakaWaka Light, and again on Kickstarter for WakaWaka Power. Or you can check out the website to buy the gadget yourself.

2. Glowing Plant

Image: WIRED

The boundaries between technology and nature are sometimes hard to define. No more so than with this crowdfunding project, which caused quite a stir last summer when campaigners offered to give away free glowing plants to their Kickstarter backers.

The project seeks to develop sustainable, natural lighting by genetically modifying plants to glow in the dark – but its wild popularity comes from its wacky, science fiction appeal.

The founders describe their crowdfunding success as an exciting new development for synthetic biology, but critics worry about the environmental risks when GMOs are freely distributed. In the wake of this controversy Kickstarter has banned GMOs as rewards, alongside guns and alcohol. Interested people in the US can still pre-order glow-in-the-dark seeds or plants on the Glowing Plant website, but distribution to Europe is illegal under EU law.

3. Wood. Head. Phones.

Image: Inhabitat

Except for the wire inside them, these headphones are made entirely of wood. The inventor, a 19-year-old product designer from Oslo, named them after the Norwegian word “treskalle” – literally meaning “wood head”, or “stupid” – because, as he says in his crowdfunding video, “this is, in a lot of ways, a stupid product”.

In spite of this modesty, the headphones supposedly have a sweet sound and are custom-made for each person in ash, oak, cherry, or walnut. It’s not clear if you can still buy your own Wood. Head. Phones., but the Facebook page is a good place to start looking.

4. Kano

Image: Kano

If you’ve ever wanted the satisfaction of building your own computer, then look no further than Kano. For geeks and newbies of all ages, this cool kit comes with 11 components – including how-to guides – and is cute enough to give mainstream laptops a run for their money.

With Kano you can make games and learn code, and it’s open source, so using it can only get more fun. The smash hit Kickstarter campaign raised 15 times the original goal, and you can find out more or pre-order your own at the Kano website.

5. Morpher

Image: Indiegogo

Do you use a helmet when you cycle? Many people don’t, and this British inventor thinks he’s found one reason why: helmets are too bulky, especially for people using a bike rental scheme. The solution? A folding helmet.

Morpher folds in half, making it easy to slip it into a rucksack or laptop bag. It should be as safe as an ordinary helmet – most of the crowdfunded money will be used to meet international safety standards – and even comes in pretty colours. Check out the Indiegogo campaign or Morpher website for more info.

6. BUILD

Image: Indiegogo

Tired of boring furniture? Well, designers in Germany have developed modular shelving that is non-toxic, long lasting and completely recyclable. Beneath its funky shape lies a high-tech structure of polypropylene plastic foam that also makes it lightweight and shock-absorbent.

With BUILD you decide what shape you want, and can put it on a wall or use it to divide up a room. Plus if you move house or need an extra few chairs for that big dinner party, each block doubles up as a box, a seat, or even a cooler. Check out the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, or go straight for the product.

7. ThePresent

Image: thepresent

OMMMMMMMMM.

Relaxed yet? No? Well maybe it’s time to welcome ThePresent into your life. Its New York inventor touts this as the first 365-day clock – in one year the hand only rotates once around the face. With its colourful display to evoke the changing seasons, this clock is a reminder to stop and smell the roses.

The Kickstarter campaign has a great video about how the clock was made. Check out ThePresent website to learn more or get your own.

8. JACK

Image: autoevolution

Between walking and cycling lies a third choice for the eco-friendly commuter: the electric, folding scooter. JACK, as this Dutch prototype is called, weighs less than 20kg, can be charged in a car or home, and fits easily in a car boot or on public transport.

JACK can travel at speeds up to 25kph (15mph), but with a full battery it only lasts 20k (12.5 miles) so it’s more suited to a city spin than a road trip. All the specs are on the Symbid campaign page or the JACK website.

9. Tellspec

Image: Tellspec

If you’re human, you’ve probably worried about what’s in your food at least once. Does that apple have pesticides on it? Are there nasty additives in my pre-packaged sandwich? How many calories are in that slice of cake?

Tellspec hopes to answer these questions. Through spectrometry, Tellspec uses a laser to scan the chemicals inside a piece of food, and then wirelessly sends the results to your smartphone. For anyone with a food allergy, watching their weight or just keen on good food, this is definitely a product to watch. The Indiegogo campaign finished in November, so stay tuned on the website for launch as early as August.

10. Emotiv Insight

Image: Kickstarter

It’s not a jetpack, but it comes pretty close. The Emotiv Insight will allow you to move objects with your mind. With previous models, people have used their thoughts to create music, drive a car, manipulate a robot, type on a keyboard, and operate a wheelchair. This new model, crowdfunded on Kickstart, should also be able to record emotions, stress levels, physical fitness and facial expressions.

Emotiv Insight works through electroencephalography (EEG) to interpret the neuron signals  in the user’s brain. To make it more accessible, designers are making this gadget lightweight and cheaper, and adding dry sensors (so you don’t need to smear gel on your head every time you use it). Whether it’s helping people recover from injury, manage a disability, or just try out something awesome, this gadget screams “watch out, world”.

 

Is there a gadget we’ve left out? Which one would you choose?

NTNU Success Stories
3Eirik Gjelsvik Medbø

Eirik Gjelsvik MedbøFebruary 7, 2014

From NTNU to the World – Entrepreneurs Reveal All

Last month Technoport kicked off the semester for the cooperating villages in Experts in Teamwork, with inspirational talks from three young entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs shared how they have built up companies or organisations, starting as students or recent graduates, and what they have learned from that experience. The feedback from the audience after the talks was really good, so we thought we would share two of the talks with you.

Dynamic Rock Support

Gisle Østereng started and headed one of the most successful companies from NTNU to date, Dynamic Rock Support. He began the work having only a few years of experience after he finished his NTNU studies, when he met a professor at NTNU who had developed a new, more solid rock bolt for the mining industry.

Gisle shares how he and his colleagues, after a few difficult years, “cracked the code” and became the fastest­growing company in Mid­Norway in 2012. He talks about how they got investors, how they initially tried to sell the bolt, and the fact that “you don’t have to be smart to become an entrepreneur”, as he puts it. He also surprises by emphasizing that it was their least experienced salesmen who got the best results.

Engineers Without Borders

When Line Magnussen did a field trip to Bangladesh during her Developing studies at the University of Oslo, she discovered the need for small technical solutions to simplify the lives in developing countries. She then decided to study mechanical engineering at NTNU, with the long­term goal to develop a stove to be used in developing countries, and then start a Norwegian department of Engineers Without Borders. Along with several others, she managed to start Engineers Without Borders in Norway in 2011, but somewhat ironically, she still hasn’t developed the stove!

In this talk, Line tells the story of how this plan played out, and what she has learned from starting a national humanitarian organization for engineers. She explains how her passion for the cause more than compensated for her lack of experience as a student, and the importance of talking about your goals and dreams when you try to get attention and help from others.

Do you have any feedback or questions? Don’t hesitate to comment below!

Photo credit: NTNU Engineering

Multiple car households
60David Nikel

David NikelFebruary 3, 2014

Do you really need two cars?

Second in our series on sustainable driving is the growing trend of car collectives.

A recent study suggests car use across America is declining.

At the same time, membership in car-sharing schemes is on the up:

Global growth in car sharing

Global growth of car-sharing. Graphic by EMBARQ.

Car collectives provide a membership-based system of access to private vehicles, only when members need them, thus rendering the purchase of a car unnecessary. It began as an idealist notion but has rapidly evolved into a thriving global industry, albeit one with a long journey still to take.

Car sharing in Trondheim

There’s a car collective right here in Trondheim, so I headed down to their Sandgata office to meet the Director, Leif Tore Anderssen. Of most interest for me was discovering the biggest market for Trondheim Bilkollektiv isn’t those without a car, it’s actually multi-car families.

“People living in inner cities don’t need two cars. It’s expensive for them. Many of our members join specifically so they can sell one of their own cars”, says Anderssen.

The popularity of car sharing is growing in Trondheim. The number of available cars has increased from 10 to 50 in the last five years, located at 16 strategic locations in the city centre and suburbs. Membership in the collective now standing at a record 700.

That’s less than half of one percent of the city’s population, but this looks set to increase. The collective is targeting local businesses to join up, and talking to the owners of new residential developments about partnerships. The impressive new Grilstad Marina is a perfect example, a development of 800 brand new homes that will soon host a couple of the collective’s cars.

Interestingly, electric cars are not yet part of the car collective strategy in Trondheim.

“In the future we could have more in the collective, but for now we think until a greater percentage of our members understand how to use them and the infrastructure for charging them develops. Perhaps people could own an electric car, then use our cars for longer trips”, says Anderssen.

Because they require a critical mass of members to be economically viable, car collectives only tend to be found in urban centres. Elsewhere in Norway, schemes exist in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Tromsø.

So, over to you.

Does your family really need two cars?

Photo credit: Michael Greene

HOOK
60David Nikel

David NikelJanuary 24, 2014

Crowdfunding Success Stories – HOOK

Last year I reported on the success of the Norwegian crowd-funded project HOOK:

Whether it’s due to the funky design, the clever copywriting (strong as an ant, smart as an elephant), the successful $20,000 crowdfunding project, its sheer simplicity, or the fact the inventor spent months researching the idea in public restrooms around Europe, I’m not too sure. I’m not the only one impressed by Hook, a shockingly simple product that fits between a door and doorframe to provide you with a place for your jacket, and slips neatly away in your wallet. (Arctic Startup)

Following the product’s launch and an appearance at the Tokyo Designers Week, I asked creator Bjørn Bye to reflect on the crowdfunding approach.

What inspired you to try crowdfunding?

I have known about crowdfunding from the start of Kickstarter and Indiegogo and have been fascinated by the concept since then. In 2012 my brother and a friend of mine launched a project, and I followed the process from the sideline. The decision to launch HOOK on Indiegogo was both scary and fun. Still, just looking at five or ten project videos on any crowdfunding platform is inspiring and a push to just go ahead.

What was the waiting experience like?

The waiting is an ongoing thrill for the whole duration of the campaign. Not only do you check the progress yourself four times a day, you also know that a lot of your friends and family stop by regularly to see if they have put their money on a good horse. In the case of HOOK there was a quite rapid climb to about 50% of the funding. Then there was a long nerve-wracking quiet period. The campaign went through the Norwegian summer holiday, and I guess that was the reason for the halt. At the end of July I got a few good articles in the right media, and the funding started moving again.

Would you do crowdfunding again, or would you look to investors in the future?

I think it depends on the project or product. In the case of HOOK I had a confirmation on my patent application both for Norway and abroad. I would not have launched HOOK without the patent. The good thing about crowdfunding is that if you succeed you don’t have to sell out shares at an early stage. Instead you build value (if you succeed) and you build your first market and sales statistics. Investors can be a good and necessary stage in an entrepreneurial business, but they sure know what they want for their money.

Finally, any tips for those considering a campaign?

Yes, put effort into making a fun, inspiring and personal film. Pull as many favours as you can from people you know to make it as good as possible. Work on the marketing of your campaign prior to launch. Some successful projects have worked on PR and information months before the launch. I started working on the promotion after the launch and to get attention in the web-jungle is not easy!

Set your goal to what you really need and perhaps even a bit less. The psychology of the community is that if it doesn’t look like you will reach your goal, people wait and see. If you reach your goal early (due to a lower target) more people might back your project since it is a success. There are several blogs with good tips on how to work on a crowdfunding campaign. Search and read a few of these, and if you find tips that strike you as good ideas for your campaign, they probably are.

See the original HOOK crowdfunding project here!

Ocean Forrest
11Annette Hovdal

Annette HovdalSeptember 16, 2013

Future prospects in aquaculture: the challenges in making aqaculture sustainable

15 August, Technoport visited Aqua Nor at Trondheim Spektrum, the world’s biggest aquaculture exhibition. Our day at Aqua Nor were exciting, and we learned about the future prospects in aquaculture, the challenges in making aquaculture sustainable, but also on how to solve these challenges.

Future prospects in Aquaculture
- Expressed in human consumption, we obtain 98 % from land-based production, and only 2 % from the sea, and there lies great business opportunities in the bio marine sector, said Karl A. Almås (CEO, SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture), when welcoming to the SINTEF seminar, “Future Prospects in Aquaculture Technology”. The seminar, happening during Aqua Nor, gathered industrial leaders in the Norwegian aquaculture industry, to speak about the possibilities and limitations for future growth in aquaculture.

Karl A. Almås, CEO at SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, says there are great business opportunities in the bio marine sector Photo by: Thor Nielsen

The industrial leaders agreed that there are great possibilities for future growth in aquaculture; the carbon footprint of salmon is 8 times less than of beef, and is therefore more sustainable. However, the industry is also facing challenges. The speakers pointed to different challenges, saying that one for example needs to solve the sustainability issues.

One of the sustainability challenges is linked to the fish meal for farmed salmon. For the salmon to be a healthy product, it has to contain omega-3 fatty acids, in other words; fish oil. The problem is that the price and demand for fish oil increases, but the access of fish oil is not growing. Einar Wathne (CEO, EWOS), said there is a need to find alternatives to the fish oil in the fish meal. Another sustainability problem is sea lice. Farmed salmon with sea lice that runs away is a threat for the wild fish. Diseases the farmed salmon get is also a problem, and means production loss. Development of new vaccination is important here, Edel Anne Norderhuus, Research director in Pharmaq, said.

Trond Giske, the Minister of Trade and Industry, held a speech about Norway’s interests in the marin- and maritim sector under the seminar. Photo by: Thor Nielsen

To realise the possibilities in Aquaculture, one needs to solve the challenges, said Alf-Helge Aarskog (CEO, Marine Harvest). Several elements were mentioned to solve the problems, for example new technology, a closer tie between the operators and the technologists,  development of new vaccination, more researchers from Europe working on the challenges, and more recruitment of people to the aquaculture industry. The leaders also called for more agriculture area around the coast of Norway.

Ocean Forest – a project to make aquaculture sustainable

At Aqua Nor the environmental foundation, Bellona, and the fish farming company, Lerøy Seafood Group, presented the new company, Ocean Forest.  Later this fall, the new company will establish a test facility at Sotra in Hordaland, to test integrated aquaculture on a large scale.

Ocean Forest med vindmøller

An illustration of how Ocean Forrest might look like. Photo: Bellona

-The goal with Ocean Forest is to address aquaculture environmental challenges, help removing CO2 from the atmosphere, at the same time as creating economic value, said Fredric Hauge (president, Bellona) in a press release, during Aqua Nor. The company will do research on how ecological interactions between species can help to solve the environmental problems that farming operations create, and at the same time seek economic value by being in the driver’s seat when it comes to finding new sources of biomass and bioenergy.

Technoport is confident that aquaculture is one of the solutions to the worlds growing need for food, provided it is done in a sustainable way. Ocean Forest is an exciting initiative. We hope the collaboration between Bellona and Lerøy will contribute to solve the sustainability challenges that the aquaculture industry is facing, and make fish farming a green alternative to meat.

There were 480 different exhibitors at Aqua Nor, and 18 500 visitors, from 65 countries visited Aqua Nor 2013.

Photo by: Bellona (illustration of how the Ocean Forrest facilities migh look like)


ola og connie hånd i hånd
11Annette Hovdal

Annette HovdalSeptember 13, 2013

Ola Borten Moe and Connie Hedegaard discuss renewable energy at Technoport Talks

“How can Norway play a role in a renewable energy Europe?”  This was the topic discussed  at Technoport Talks earlier this summer. At the panel debate, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe, met with EU Commissioner on Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard. Borten Moe stated that the EU should stop subsidizing renewable energy.

During the panel debate between the two, and Professor Asgeir Tomasgard, Director at Centre for Sustainable Energy Studies,  Borten Moe claimed that the EU should not subsidize renewable energy, and rather use public money to develop new technology, like carbon capture and storage technology. This controversial statement was then published in several Norwegian newspapers, and criticized by many. The problem today is not the subsidizing of renewables, but the subsidizing of fossil fuels, some of the critics argued. Hedegaard also pointed out that the subsidization of fossil fuels can be problematic. “Every time the world is spending 1 dollar subsidizing renewables, we are spending 7 dollars subsidizing fossil fuels”, Hedegaard said. Watch the panel debate bellow:

The background for the panel debate was this question: How can Norway play a role in a renewable energy Europe? The EU has high ambitions on energy and climate change. The EU wants to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 % by 2020. However, due to the variability of wind and solar power, there will be variations in power generation, and the EU therefore needs more balancing capacity to ensure a stable and reliable power supply. Norway with its hydropower and natural gas can play a role here.

Click here to hear our speakers from research and industry talk about Norway’s role in the EU’s energy mix.

The topic, “Norway’s role in a renewable energy Europe”, is  highly discussed nowadays. In Oslo, there will be a mini-conference (25 September) on this.

However, what is the popular view on Norway as a “green battery” to Europe? If you haven’t already –  do read Henrik Karlstrøm’s guest blog post on the subject. Henrik is presenting new research on people in Norway’s view on the subject.