Conference of the month: Norway: A unique science hub in Oslo
TEXT: INGRID OPSTAD | PHOTOS © OSLO SCIENCE PARK
With the aim of being the best place to start and grow a business, Oslo Science Park has become a leading centre for innovation, research and development in Norway. This modern and unique hub is the home of many vibrant communities and clusters, and its specially designed infrastructure makes it the perfect venue for everything from international conferences to smaller meetings.
Centrally located between the university campus and the university hospitals, only ten minutes from Oslo city centre, Oslo Science Park is today a popular community and hub with a wide range of people, ideas and resources. Within the walls of the 57,000-square-metre-area, you will find offices, laboratories, incubators and conference spaces: a thriving environment for multiple fields, such as medtech, biotechnology, lifescience, ICT, media, materials research, electronics, social and environmental research.
300 companies, 3,000 people
Here at one of the first science parks in Europe, start-up companies are equipped with the best opportunities to succeed. “Since our start in 1989, we now have more than 300 companies and over 3,000 people using the science park as their daily workplace. It has become an important meeting point between research, techies and business,” conference manager Eli Aasen explains.
The hub is the home of many communities and clusters like Norway Health Tech, the health incubator Aleap, the lab-incubator for biotech start-ups ShareLab, and StartupLab, with more than 80 tech start-ups. “With a variety of new and exciting products created by up-and-coming companies, we are very proud of the vibrant environment created by all these innovative people,” says Aasen, who acknowledges this as being a big factor towards Oslo Science Park’s popularity as a conferences and meeting place on an international scale.
“All companies that are keen on innovation, digitisation and development should have their conference or event here, because it is exactly the place where all of this happens.”
A unique place to host your conference
With 25 conference rooms of different sizes, this modern, professional and exciting venue is perfect for everything from conferences, board meetings, team briefings, lectures and seminars, investor presentations, launches, trainings and networking events.
“When walking through the hallways to get to your conference, you can easily be inspired by all the creative work taking place around you. The community in Oslo Science Park creates an interesting and buzzing environment for everyone,” Aasen says. In addition to the conference rooms, Oslo Science Park also has an auditorium with seating for 160 people, and a top floor with a rooftop terrace with views over the capital and the surrounding fjord. “This is a stunning and exclusive space, and can be closed off for private events.”
To allow companies to focus on their core activities, Oslo Science Park also offers a range of services to their members, with everything from canteens and cafeterias, a daycare centre, fitness courses, parking and health care services. “Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for companies, by creating our own community to simplify their day. We make every effort possible to accommodate everything our members and guests might need, whether that is dry cleaning, somewhere to get their hair cut or local advice for international guests,” Aasen says.
Engage the brain power
As the host of a variety of events and initiatives in its large in-house conference centre, Oslo Science Park helps to bring together business, scientists, investors, entrepreneurs and students from different industries. The Cutting Edge Festival, which occurs every September, is part of Oslo Innovation Week: Europe’s largest innovation convention and one of its biggest events. With this year’s theme, the Toolbox, the latest breakthroughs in science, the most interesting innovations and exciting start-up companies to come out of the Norwegian research and tech communities were presented.
–Aleap – a health incubator with 44 start-up companies
–Norway Health Tech – a successful network with global ambitions
–Chipcon – developing computer chips, sold to Texas Instruments for 1.3 billion NOK in 2006
–Kahoot – a game-based learning platform with 50 million unique users
–Remarkable – tablets for people who prefer paper
–Huddly – a compact collaboration camera, sold to Cestron in 2018
–Attensi – gamified 3D simulations that make corporate training fun
–Vaccibody – a life science start-up developing a tailored vaccine therapy for cancer