In close cooperation with business, the new research center will contribute to the green shift. In front of politicians, partners, colleagues and guests, the rector of Høgskolen i Innlandet, Peer Jacob Svenkerud, had the honor of welcoming.
- The center is a powerful investment in the region, and an example of how we as a university wish to contribute. We want to be relevant and work on issues that matter to society, and we want this to happen in close cooperation with business and others in our outside world, Svenkerud said at the opening.
The Center for Digitization and Sustainability (CREDS) is a joint venture between business, municipalities and the University College in Innlandet. The aim of the new center is to work closely with business to contribute to a sustainable and digital transition.
- This is an incredibly important investment for the Kongsvinger region. Through the research centre, we hope to increase the amount of research-driven innovation in business. In addition, as part of the investment, we will further strengthen cooperation with various R&D players and exciting companies nationally and internationally, which will contribute expertise, ideas, technology and capital in the region, says Lars Gillund, general manager of Klosser Innovation Kongsvinger .
Klosser has been involved in the entire establishment, from the idea stage via the strategy for establishment to realization.
-Together with the university center, we have also contributed with raising capital, which has been a prerequisite for the realization. We have already put in place several research projects together with CREDS, and have more on the way, adds Gillund.
Head of the centre, Professor Bård Tronvoll, wants the center to be a regional, national and international knowledge driver in understanding the green shift.
- We will help businesses in a restructuring process with a goal of being more sustainable. We will try to understand and help businesses to change. In a green transition, we see that digitization is one of the keys to achieving this, says Tronvoll.
Kongsvinger's mayor, Eli Wathne talked about "From the global to the local! The Kongsvinger region as host for CREDS". She emphasized the importance the center has for the region, and announced that the Kongsvinger region feels a strong sense of ownership of the centre, which has come about after a close collaboration between Høgskolen i Innlandet, Høgskolesenteret i Kongsvinger, business, Klosser innovation, municipalities and the county council.
Wathne also particularly highlighted the importance of the efforts that general manager Vegard Herlyng at the University Center in Kongsvinger and general manager Lars Gillund from Klosser Innovation have put in to realize the research centre.
- Their countless meetings and conversations with representatives of academia, business and political leadership over a long period of time have made it possible for us to now have a research center for the Kongsvinger region, says Eli Wathne.
CREDS will help companies to change to using less resources, or to use them better. Links must be established between companies, students and researchers to ensure industry-oriented R&D projects, master's theses and internships. The center will have 18 employees, of whom 6 are doctoral students.