With TINC Fall 2016 taking up so much attention, it is easy to forget the range of other activities and happenings at Nordic Innovation House and with our partner organizations.
Earlier in November, eight Norwegian companies attended their final gathering as part of Innovation Norway’s program FRAM Internet of Things. The 15-month program was designed to enable and facilitate more efficient, successful and de-risked market access in the U.S. by leveraging leading local experts, networks and ecosystems.
“It’s a result driven ‘go to market’ project,” said Tom Albrigtsen, Chairman and Senior Partner of Advance and a driving force behind FRAM.
Through multiple meetings in the U.S. and Norway, FRAM contributes to help companies develop innovative growth and business strategies to speed up and de-risk their entry into new markets.
In particular, the focus has been on moving into the U.S. market, said Albrigtsen. In this case, FRAM has focused especially on education, networking and how to implement ideas.
“These are companies that have the potential to really make it big,” said Albrigtsen about the participants. “They can become significant employers in Norway.”
Choosing to focus this round of FRAM on the growing field loosely known as ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) was not accidental. This area of technological development and innovation is under rapid transformation and is expected grow significantly in the next few years.
Internet of Things
“We have just began developing new solutions and there are huge possibilities and market estimates,” said Albrigtsen. He pointed out how IoT will affect every arena of people’s lives and be a massive influence in both the professional and private sphere.
One such example is eSmart Systems’ solution for smarter energy systems. By using monitoring sensors, eSmart can help to significantly reduce power consumption and increase the efficiency of the system, said Intern Thomas Nergaard.
“It will optimize the use of energy,” said Knut E. Gustavsen, COO and Co-founder of eSmart. “It will be a revolution for the end user.” But he also emphasized how it will have a significant affect on infrastructure, governmental decisions and the power industry in particular.
“IoT is developing extremely fast without people really thinking about it,” continued Gustavsen who thinks the concept will become so engrained in society that it in many ways will become obsolete as a term.
Petter Quinsgaard, CEO at Abax agrees. “IoT is a trend not a market,” he said. “Everything we own will become interconnected. You won’t really have a choice about adopting this technology.”
Abax is the market-leader on Vehicle tracking and focuses on providing solutions to in Triplogs, GPS tracking, fleet management platforms and Equipment and Vehicle Control systems.
For Quinesgaard, IoT is best thought of as a social change rather than a market or technological development and even the term IoT does not sit easy with him.
Although Abax is already an international company with offices in numerous locations around Europe, Innovation Norway’s program and the time spent in Silicon Valley has been a valuable experience, said Abax’s Chief Project Officer Håkon Grønn-Weiss.
“We have learned how American companies think and received feedback on technical issues,” he said. He added, “There is a very special atmosphere here.”
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