The new oil industry

“Oil Capital” Stavanger aims to become Northern Europe’s smart technology leader

Photo courtesy of Nordic Edge Expo / Shutterstock The goal of this September’s expo is to put Stavanger on the sustainable technology map.

Photo courtesy of Nordic Edge Expo / Shutterstock
The goal of this September’s expo is to put Stavanger on the sustainable technology map.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

The Stavanger region, next to the North Sea, is Norway’s third-largest urban region with almost 350,000 people. The region is famous for its close proximity between the urban center and wild, unspoiled nature. People call it the “20-minute region”: 20 minutes from the mountains to the beaches and 20 minutes from the city to the airport.

The region is the energy capital of Northern Europe, with around 40 oilfield operations having their international or Norwegian headquarters here. Nearly 40 percent of all Norwegian oil service companies are based in the region, so Stavanger can be called the country’s oil capital. The oil and gas industry here thrives on an innovative spirit and offers exciting and diverse job opportunities for both locals and a large number of ex-patriots.

Up to now Stavanger has been the oil capital, and the ONS NORWAY has gathered everybody in the oil industry. But this year the Norwegian exhibition has been canceled due to the downturn in the industry. The region is in the starting block to make smarter cities and smarter homes an additional industry for the region. Last year the Stavanger region was named as European Lighthouse for smart cities, together with Manchester and Eindhoven.

Now Stavanger, with the Nordic Edge Expo 2015 in September, wants to become Northern Europe’s most important arena for knowledge exchange and inspiration for creators of smarter cities and smarter homes. They are lining up a world-class collection of speakers from smart cities, change-making companies, forward-thinking universities, and dynamic organizations. Among the speakers is Frauenhofer Innovation Network/City of the future project leader Allanus von Radecki. He is working with developing solutions for integrating smart city systems on a business and stakeholder level, leading to new approaches of collaboration between public and private institutions.

Another speaker is Henk Kok from the Bureau International Co-ordination City of Eindhoven. How can the massive growth of data in this digital age be used for the benefits of city citizens? Will we succeed in using data to increase the quality of our cities? More and more the elements of mobility, energy, and IT become interlinked to provide the motorist or traveler with seamless transport connections, and the consumer with innovative energy solutions. The provision of data to the public creates chances for innovators to make life more sustainable with smart technologies and services.

The third speaker I would like to mention is Steve Turner. He is the head of future cities on the Manchester City Council, where he is responsible for designing and coordinating the delivery of the Manchester City’s program in collaboration with a range of key private and public sector delivery partners. These speakers will be joined by smart city experts from Barcelona, San Francisco, and the Nordic countries.

This year Stavanger wants to establish the expo. Next year they want to grow to something larger. The goal is to take the position as Europe’s most important arena for smart technology!

This article originally appeared in the July 3, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.