Oslo Science City is the first innovation district in Norway with the ambition to contribute to research excellence, jobs creation, the green shift and sustainable economic development.
“We intend to develop a vibrant city area where people meet to innovate and explore what we still don’t understand,” says Christine Wergeland Sørbye, CEO of Oslo Science City.
Oslo Science City’s strategy is to facilitate cooperation between leading research groups, students, businesses and the public sector. Key actors in the district, including the City of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo, are now working together to facilitate the development of the area.
“Developing such an area could be described more as an art than science,” says Wergeland Sørbye. “However, research highlights the need for certain key functions. For example, you need strong anchor institutions that attract other actors, such as a university or university hospital, and you need to facilitate the cooperation based on trust between the different organizations and stakeholders in the area. Many do this by establishing a joint membership organization, which is what we did with Oslo Science City.”
Adapting to the local context
It is also essential to develop a multifunctional area with a critical mass of knowledge-intensive businesses, describes Wergeland Sørbye. The ideal innovation district is a vibrant place where people can “live, work and play”, with services and cultural functions. It must also be easy to move around in the area, on foot, bike or public transportation. “A key lesson from other innovation districts is the importance of adapting to the local context,” she says.
Some innovation districts that have provided inspiration are Stockholm Science City, Copenhagen Science City, White City in London and Kendal Square in Boston.
Oslo Cancer Cluster joined Oslo Science City in June 2020 to contribute to boosting innovation in this knowledge-intensive area.
”Innovation thrives where there are hard problems that need to be solved,” says Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster. “Cancer is one of the major societal challenges we face today. For over a decade, Oslo Cancer Cluster has worked tirelessly to enable researchers and investors, private companies and public hospitals to work closer together to solve this challenge. We have succeeded in some first steps, now is the time to get to the next level. Utilizing the potential in immunology and digitalization with Oslo Science City will be key to achieve this.”
Photo of Ketil Widerberg, General Manager, Oslo Cancer Cluster: Stig Jarnes
Source: Oslo Cancer Cluster