Full house for Cleantech Agder 2015

The Cleantech Agder 2015 conference was the first time stakeholders, inventors and businesses from all of the region met to learn about relevant buisness ideas, and discuss Agder's potential for Cleantech. Agder has the pillars to be a competitor in the Cleantech marked. The next step is to figure out how.

Full house for Cleantech Agder 2015

For two half days on September 24. and 25., a total of about 120 people including the speakers attended the new conference Cleantech Agder held at Grønt Senter, Kristiansand, Norway. The conference is an evolution of the highly successful Solar Conference from the past four years and activities put forth by Teknova's Cleantech Agder Project. The conference was sponsored by Kristiansand Kommune, Agder Counties, and VRI Agder.

At Cleantech Agder 2015 the aim was to gather the regions companies, stakeholders and innovators to share information and to build an economically and environmentally sustainable region for the future. The conference's key question was “What are the Cleantech opportunities for Agder?”. The program can be viewed here, where links to presentations are coming soon. A few pictures from the event can be viewed on Cleantech Agder's Instagram account. The picture in this article features local Cleanweb gründer Nicolai Løvdal during his dessert seminar at the conference dinner.

The solar day, hosted by Timothy C Lommasson, started with a welcome from Elkem Solar's Plant Manager Geir Ausland.  Two inspiring key note speakers, architect Professor Harald Røstvik and NCE Smart Energy Markets, Special Advisor Thor Moen, focused on the continuing Sunshine Revolution in Norway, particularly  in Hvaler Kommune!  Torgeir Ulset from Elkem Solar presented the remarkable contrast between 2 years ago and present.  In a scientific session, we heard about the latest in PV and BIPV solar research and development from local and national scientists: Bjørn Thorud, Anne Gerd Imenes and Rune Strandberg. The last session of the day focused on implementation projects in Norway.  Jürgen Kiedaisch (Multi-consult), Harald Grytten (Norsk Solenergi), Arne Kenneth Øvstebø (NorSolar) and Steinar Nilsen (Solenergi FUSen) presented interesting projects.  The new BIPV building, Solsmaragden in Drammen, is a good example of what we can do here in Norway.

Hege Indresand hosted the second day of the Cleantech Agder conference, which was the first of its kind in Agder.  Kristiansand Mayor, Arvid Grundekjøn welcomed the conference participants with encouragement for the importance of new business development in Agder.  The conference attendees were inspired and challenged by all the examples portrayed by regional business owners, R&D managers in the process industry and from the public sector.  One of invited the key note speakers, Erik Ianssen, from Trondheim, the man who built the worlds first electric fishing boat, challenged Agder to be an active part of the demand put on Norwegian businesses to meet Norway's climate goals.  However, the big hidden question of the conference leaned towards right now; how do we proceed from here?  Besides Agder businesses moving into the green shift, several institutions and pillars in Agder work with Cleantech strategies for the region.  So in the last session, in a type of Cleantech relay, several of the important stakeholders in Agder answered that question in 5 minutes each. We heard from Teknova, GCE Node, NCE Eyde, Klimapartnere Agder , NIVA Region Sør, Agderforskning, Kristiansand Kommune, Innoventus Sør, Digin, Viking Development Group, Innovasjon Norge Agder, Norges forskningsråd and Connect Sørlandet, who all had something to say about Cleantech. The conference was summarized by Peter Klemsdal, director of Sørlandets kompetansefond, and the bottom line is as he stated, to secure jobs in Agder. 

The competition "En Ren Idé" (A Clean Idea), managed by Innoventus Sør and Connect, hunted for the ideas that could be Agder's future in Cleantech.  The contest rules stated: a product or service that reduces negative environmental footprints. 22 ideas were entered prior to the deadline on September 14th.  5 finalists were selected for presentation at the conference.  The first day of the conference ended with a very fun and intense pitching session, where the five finalists were competing for the attendees’ investments.  All attendees received CleanTech Agder cash for investment in the ideas of their choice. The finalists, Svein Kenneth Krossli, Jan Skoland, Per Arne Kyrkjeeide, Rune Strandberg, and Knut Henriksen had to answer to the variety of questions and discussions coming from the audience. We had to wait until the last minutes of the conference for the outcome.  Rune Strandberg, a UiA Assistant professor, was announced as the winner of the 50 000 NOK prize, sponsored by DNB and Sørlandets Kompetansefond. His idea was a new tandem PV solar module, an “Area de-coupled tandem module”, which have all the advantages of both two terminal and four terminal tandem modules, including high efficiency.

Cleantech Agder 2015 was a success and forms a foundation and network for Teknova and Kristiansand Kommune. together with all other stakeholders to form a strategy on shaping Cleantech Agder to aid in creating and safeguarding regional jobs and competency in this exciting emerging marked.