Global scaling of Norwegian technology and industry

BI Norwegian Business School becomes co-owner of Kongsberg Innovation and academic partner in a new joint initiative to help Norwegian technology companies realize growth ambitions in China, U.S, and Europe.

– We see a market need in supporting Norwegian tech companies that want to scale internationally. This collaboration connects the leading academic expertise within scaling with Norway’s leading industrial cluster. Together with BI, we look forward to scale Norwegian technology companies into the global market, says Svein-Olav Torø, managing director at Kongsberg Innovation.

Kongsberg Innovation will build an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship to strengthen international scaling of Norwegian technology and industry.

– This is an important investment that strengthens the interaction with Norwegian industry and industrial innovation hubs in Norway and internationally. Together, we will establish a leading business community that effectively creates value for Norwegian startups and scaleups for the future, says Inge Jan Henjesand, President at BI Norwegian Business School.

An export boost

The initiative, aims to connect technology-based companies to industrial projects of national and international interest.

– Going forward, Norway is dependent on strengthening exports from established industries and building new ones. Our ability to export products and services is crucial for the development of a competitive and sustainable Norwegian business community, says Håkon Haugli, Chief Executive Officer at Innovation Norway.

– BI and Kongsberg Innovation’s joint collaboration, where they connect important players in an ecosystem onto large international industrial projects, is a very important initiative to get more Norwegian companies to grow internationally, Haugli adds.

Going global

BI is an important partner, and has for several years worked to scale Norwegian tech companies through its 100Scaleups program and existing collaborations with Tsinghua University in China and MIT in the U.S. Kongsberg Innovation has a strong position in the industrial environment and collaborates with a number of European companies through the innovation platform Landing Pad, with partners in 20 countries.

– Siva is looking forward to having BI Norwegian Business School as a shareholder in Kongsberg Innovation. This will complement the strategic ownership of the company, which is an important player for development in Norway. There are great opportunities in the international innovation collaboration BI brings into Kongsberg. We want to contribute to realize the potential in this initiative, says Ingrid Lorange, Chief Executive Officer at Siva.

Siva is the largest owner of Kongsberg Innovation and manage the incubator program where Kongsberg Innovation is one of 33 program operators.

Creating new jobs

In the new, joint scaleup initiative, selected companies will receive tailored frameworks and follow-up from industry experts, academia, and the investment industry. An overarching goal is to prepare companies and the Norwegian economy for the future by creating new jobs in export-oriented knowledge industries.

– Norway has an ambition to increase export by 50 percent over the next decade. In order to achieve this, we must seek new approaches which secures profitability, competitiveness and growth. We consider it to be very positive that BI and Kongsberg Innovation will actively work with Norwegian industry to contribute to develop markets and the next generations` solutions. It’s positive that BI takes an important step towards strengthening its cooperation with the industry and technology communities, says Stein Lier Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of Norsk Industri.

World class collaboration

The initiative is based on Kongsberg Innovation and BI’s existing collaboration and relationships with the world’s leading institutions and innovation hubs in Europe, China, and the U.S.

– Many Norwegian tech companies stagnate and fail when they’re facing international competition from customers and market shares in order to grow further. Norway needs a national ecosystem with a focus on exports and industry that is able to connect with the best expertise in the world, and has a position in the international scaling industry to promote and scale up companies, says Professor Per Ingvar Olsen at BI Norwegian Business School.

Facts about BI:
  • BI Norwegian Business School is a self-owned foundation whose sole purpose is teaching and research in areas such as finance, economics, management, strategy, and marketing.
  • Since its establishment in 1943, BI has grown to become one of Europe’s largest business schools with approx. 20,000 students.
  • BI has arranged scaling programs for 28 Norwegian SMEs and 20 Chinese high-tech companies in collaboration with Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Facts about Kongsberg Innovation:
  • Kongsberg Innovation is an industry-based incubator, investor and an innovation company that operates throughout Norway. Kongsberg Innovation offers a unique industrial collaboration and works with growth for technology companies, from startups and scaleups, to well-established companies.
  • Since its establishment in 2003, Kongsberg Innovation has grown and gained a strong position in the industrial environment, both nationally and in Europe.
  • Kongsberg Innovation is owned by a number of Norway’s leading industrial companies, such as Kongsberg Gruppen, TechnipFMC, Kongsberg Automotive, Equinor and Siemens.

New environmentally friendly technology

Funzionano is a spin-off from SINTEF, one of Europe’s Largest independent research organizations. The company has offices in the research park at Herøya in Porsgrunn, with a total of 7 employees. Funzionano AS was established in 2015 and is owned by Sintef Venture, Skagerak Maturo, Investinor and its employees. Morten Eikenes is the CEO of Fuzionano.

International growth potential

Funzionano develops and delivers new and sustainable flame retardant technology for plasticized PVC. The tech-company is excited to work in a close cooperation with Kongsberg Innovation to bring their technology out in the international market. Kongsberg Innovation got to know Funzionano during their participance in KongsbergHOW this autumn. The relationship developed and in January, Funzionano were connected to PoliHUB’s network, which is Kongsberg Innovation’s international cooperation partner in Milan, Italy. This resulted in meetings with potential customers and partners abroad.

 

– We have developed our technology over several phases and is now ready to promote our sustainable solution internationally, Says Morten Eikenes, CEO of Funzionano. – It is of great value to us to be a part of Kongsberg Innovation and their network and we are grateful for the opportunities we have been given so far, concludes Eikenes.

A solution with several use cases

Funzionano’s technology is based on polysiloxane cores with a specific property where the cores are given new properties through chemical processes. I this way, the new molecules can change and improve other materials and make them more environmentally friendly. Funzionano have several references to applications and projects, including a collaboration with Jotun, where the technology was used in Drygolin Extreme to reduce the use of solvent and improve the paint and its properties.

Receives pre-seed funding and resources for further technology development

Funzionano is an exiting company with great international growth potential within sustainable technology. Kongsberg Innovation will therefore invest in the company with a combination of pre-seed funding and other resources. A contribution that will support further development of the company. Funzionano is now part of Kongsberg Innovation’s investment portfolio.

Read more about investments and funding here.

– Funzionano is a unique technology company and their competence has developed over several years, says Einar Eilertsen, Director – Investments and Incubation at Kongsberg Innovation. – Kongsberg Innovation are looking forward to further cooperation with this exciting growth company, Eilertsen highlights.