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Press release 27 January 2022
Major investment in innovation in Kongsvinger
Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark merges with Høgskolesenteret i Kongsvinger and Høgskolen Eiendom
to build Innlandet Science Park in Kongsvinger.
Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark, Høgskolen Eiendom and Høgskolesenteret i Kongsvinger (HIK) are pooling their resources to build Innlandet Science Park in Kongsvinger. Together, they will erect a building of around 5.000 square meters in the college area where research and innovation will contribute to the development of new companies, as well as to develop established companies.
- We are now in the process of realizing Innlandet Science Park with the investment in Kongsvinger. Together, we will develop a nationally leading Science Park, with the goal of an international position within selected research and business areas. Kongsvinger is first on the trail followed by Hamar and eventually Elverum, says Tore Anstein Dobloug, director of the Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark.
A Science Park is an "ecosystem" where higher education and research are the hub of an integrated collaboration with entrepreneurs, knowledge companies, investors and public actors.
Dobloug points out that the concept is well-proven. The idea is that knowledgeable people from a variety of disciplines and industries come together, strengthen professional environments and create new links and ideas. In sum - and done right - experience from other countries shows that a Science Park strengthens the region's attractiveness and value creation.
Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark has since 2017 supported the University College initiative in Kongsvinger with NOK 34 million. Kristin Vitsø Bjørnstad, head of gifts and society at Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark, is impressed with what the Kongsvinger region has achieved in recent years, with the University College Center at the forefront.
- There has been very good work in the environment around the University College Center and there is simply impressive work behind the investment in sustainability and digitalisation where the research center is secured solid funding in the future, says Vitsø Bjørnstad.
Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark also plans to channel tens of millions of kroner annually, from its educational and research funds, to activities that take place in Innlandet Science Park - to strengthen the investment. In Innlandet Science Park, an interaction is planned between Kongsvinger, Hamar and Elverum.
- A solid foundation has been laid in Kongsvinger, which is very important for realizing the vision of Innlandet Science Park. Through close collaboration between the research centers, our region will be lifted up and able to compete with good environments both nationally and internationally, says Kristin Vitsø Bjørnstad.
To create this ecosystem, good meeting places and activities are arranged that enable people to meet and develop collaborations and ideas.
The new building is planned to be completed in the autumn of 2023.
- This will undoubtedly help to raise the level of activity around the college. We are incredibly proud and grateful that the Sparebankstiftelsen Hedmark sees the potential and contributes so heavily to the investment in Kongsvinger. This contributes to the further development of Kongsvinger as a college town, which in turn will lift the region and the business community to new heights, says Vegard Herlyng, general manager of HIK.
The innovation actor Klosser has already signed an agreement with the parties to move into the new building. Their role will be important in the work of making Innlandet Science Park a leading arena for innovation and entrepreneurship.
- For Klosser, it is important to co-locate with the university college and the new research center. With this, we want to be able to be an even stronger link between the business community and the competence of the future, says Lars Gillund, general manager of Klosser Innovation Kongsvinger.
Gillund says that the region is well on its way to building a nationally led ecosystem in Kongsvinger within sustainability and digitalisation, with research, education, innovation companies and more.
- This is a very important investment for the region. Good premises and facilities for innovation and knowledge sharing are very important for the business community and will contribute to increased value creation, Gillund adds.
Herlyng and Gillund are pleased that Science Park in Kongsvinger will also include Telenor's department with 100 employees.
- For companies, co-location in Innlandet Science Park could have many positive effects. For example, collaboration on recruitment, joint events and activities related to the study offers in, for example, digital management, business development and sustainability economics, says Herlyng.
Further expansions are also being arranged for the establishment of knowledge-based activities in future construction stages.