International Collaboration to Strengthen the Nordic ICT Region

International Collaboration to Strengthen the Nordic ICT Region

Press release, 15 March, 2018

Recent figures show that the tech industry in the Nordic region is outpacing the rest of Europe when it comes to attracting investments. Under the name TechNordic, the three Nordic information and communications technology (ICT) clusters BrainsBusiness, Business Region Göteborg and ICT Norway will collaborate to further strengthen the Nordic ICT sector across the Skagerrak.

The tech industry of the Nordic region constitutes one of the world’s most attractive tech markets for private investors. According to the 2016 Nordic Tech Exit Analysis from Creandum, an international venture capital fund, the tech industry of the Nordic region attracted 16 % of all venture capital in Europe, which comprise far more investments than what can normally be expected of a market this size. Additionally, with an average exit value of about USD 4.1 billion from 2010 to 2015, the Nordic tech industry is a great investment with high return rates for private investors, while the Nordic region has also accounted for 50 % of all Europe’s billion-dollar exits from 2005 to 2015.

In order to actively support this favourable development and seize the opportunities to grow the Nordic tech industry even further, the three Nordic ICT clusters BrainsBusiness (Denmark), Business Region Göteborg (Sweden) and ICT Norway (Norway) have initiated a close collaboration:

- Under the name TechNordic, we will seek to position and brand the inter-Scandinavian ICT region for the benefit of both business and research. Together we are in the top three in the world with unique competencies within some of the areas that both the industrial sector and consumers demand most of all. This includes areas such as Internet of Things, embedded systems and wireless technology, Helena Peyron, Co-Cluster Manager at BrainsBusiness, explains.

- More specifically, we will render visible both companies and research across the Skagerrak with a view to increasing the many potentials for establishing co-operations. Put simply, the objective is to make the companies see the opportunities that lie right in front of them to an even greater extent. The inter-Scandinavian culture, language and mentality incentivise that we all should increase our market scope to – at the very least – encompass the entire Nordic region as a home market with about 25 million people, Helena Peyron continues.

TechNordic originates from BrainsBusiness, the ICT cluster of North Denmark that counts 150 member companies and a strong partnership with Aalborg University, Business Region Göteborg, which works to promote business development in Gothenburg and 13 municipalities in western Sweden, and ICT Norway, which represents the entire Norwegian ICT industry. Collectively, the three clusters represent about 9,000 companies and 120,000 employees within the ICT sector. By enhancing collaboration across the Skagerrak, TechNordic will contribute to realising the region’s growth potential.

The Nordic region is home to both market-leading companies and some of the world’s most prominent researchers within the fields of, for instance, Internet of Things, telecommunication, wireless systems, cloud solutions, IT systems, automation, fintech and embedded systems. According to Business Region Göteborg, ICT-related research constitutes an area that could benefit particularly from an enhanced inter-Scandinavian collaboration:

- Our collaboration has already shown that a wide range of strong points exist across the three countries. But there are also many areas in which we can learn from each other. There is, for instance, a huge potential in strengthening our ability to commercialise research and create more start-ups within the ICT sector. This is also an area where we stand significantly stronger when we look beyond our normal geographical areas, Erik-Wilhelm Graef Behm, Area & Investment Manager ICT at Business Region Göteborg, emphasises.

At ICT Norway, the new opportunities that arise from establishing TechNordic are also expected to bring about significant benefits for the entire ICT sector in the Nordic region.

- The companies yearn for having their horizons broadened. We are always told that we should not count on the domestic market alone but export our knowledge and products. The first national border is often the hardest one to cross, and that will now become easier under the auspices of TechNordic, Fredrik Syversen, Director of Industry Development at ICT Norway, explains.

MapsPeople, a Danish company established in 1897 that now develops Google Maps-based navigation solutions, are among the companies that are already engaged in TechNordic. During the first 100 years of its lifetime, MapsPeople worked with traditional, physical maps. Today, the company is a modern ICT business with a global potential. However, the company will begin its global adventure by expanding its business activities to the rest of Scandinavia:

- By means of TechNordic, we have already established contact with many Scandinavian companies, which we will now commence collaborating with. It is a big step, yet nonetheless a step that has turned out to be far easier than expected, Toni Selvli-Buch, Area Sales Manager at MapsPeople, says.

According to BrainsBusiness in Denmark, there are many Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ICT companies with a global potential similar to MapsPeople. Hence, the most important task right now is to generate awareness about the possibilities and establish as many co-operations across Scandinavia as possible:

- We are situated close to each other and we are well-connected to the rest of the world with some of Scandinavia’s leading airports and ferry ports in the immediate area. For this reason, the region is also a much-coveted place to establish new departments when foreign groups look for new locations in dynamic environments with subcontractors and research partners right around the corner. We see a very big potential in this, Helena Peyron concludes.

Helena Peyron, BrainsBusiness, Denmark

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