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Full steam ahead for a vast industrial innovation centre at Herøya

Gotaas og Aasland med aktuell tomt for bygging av innovasjonssenter i bakgrunnen

Playing an active part: The management at Herøya Industripark AS are playing an active part in the voluntary industrial innovation initiative. From left: CEO Sverre Gotaas and Skjalg Aasland, Vice President Facilities and Development at Herøya Industripark AS. Photo: Ole Bjørn Ulsnæs

Herøya Industripark AS is now arranging for the Research Park at Herøya to be extended within a year or so to form an innovation hub with a large number of people who are working with industrial innovation both nationally and internationally.

“It is full steam ahead for a number of development projects here,” explains Skjalg Aasland, Vice President Facilities and Development at Herøya Industripark AS.

Off to a great start

“We are off to a great start now,” says Aasland. “We are noticing that there is a great deal of interest, and innovation projects are more relevant than ever. Public authorities in both Norway and the EU are signalling that they are loosening their grip on the purse strings in order to accelerate innovation in industry and the business community,” he says.

Taking the lead

“It is particularly important, more now than ever, to build around entrepreneurs and innovators,” says Sverre Gotaas, CEO at Herøya Industripark AS. “And it is absolutely crucial for someone to take the lead. That is what we are doing. Together with Sintef, which also considers Herøya to be an important place for an innovation centre, the University of South-Eastern Norway, Proventia, industry cluster IGT and researchers at the Research Park are all important stakeholders in a centre of this kind. We are working along those lines in order to persuade people to see that they should come here if they have a good idea or a difficult problem to be resolved.

It is particularly important, more now than ever, to build around entrepreneurs and innovators

The industrial park company is taking an active position as a host and as a property company by constructing, running and letting property.” “At the same time, we are getting involved in helping to bring about the green shift through development. We are active all the way along the line in order to find out more about what people need, and to challenge ourselves and the industry to come up with the best solutions needed by industry and society going forward,” says Gotaas.

Take up a position nobody else has 

“Herøya is the biggest process industry centre in Norway. This means that with the major industrial corporations and the supplier industry, it is natural for us to take up a position together that no one else has taken up. Nobody in this country, other than ourselves here at Herøya, is closer to implementing a good, robust competence centre working with the industry of the future,” says Gotaas.

Means something to entire industries and society

Gotaas and Aasland, lot in background

Sverre Gotaas (right) and Skjalg Aasland in front of the site where the competence centre is to be built. Photo: Ole Bjørn Usnæs

“We are envisaging a competence centre with innovation environments that mean something to entire industries society, not just to individual companies,” says Aasland. “Together with a number of industrial companies and Bouvet, we are now involved in the final phase of concretising the content of a digitisation centre which is part of this competence centre that we are currently envisaging,” he explains.

Building a development engine

“The competence centre is for anyone who is interested in helping to drive industry and society going forward, say the managers at Herøya Industrial Park. “Our ambition is to make sure that when people talk about Herøya in future, they are talking about the development engine. When people talk about innovation in industry, this should be synonymous with the environment at Herøya Industrial Park.

“We are now looking forward to inviting researchers, entrepreneurs, industry representatives and suppliers to view the options for becoming part of the development of Norwegian industry from the innovation environment at Herøya,” say Gotaas and Aasland.  

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