Intervju

Oslo, the European Green Capital 2019: An attractive ecosystem for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Oslo is unique internationally due to our commitment to environment and climate. Oslo has strong and competitive industry clusters in areas such as energy, smart mobility, maritime and life sciences. Sustainability and green solutions are main drivers for all sectors.

CCFN: Oslo is the European green capital 2019. This is a unique opportunity to promote Oslo internationally and a great recognition of all the work accomplished. But what will happen now? What are your next climate ambitions for Oslo?

Raymond Johansen. To me, the European Green Capital title is a recognition from the European Commission showing that we take the challenges we are facing seriously. We are trying to turn the risks into opportunities for green investments through our procurement strategy and by leading the way in many areas:

  • Oslo has one of the world’s most ambitious climate strategies, with goals in accordance with The Paris agreement.
  • Oslo is the first city in the world to introduce a climate budget, where we count CO2 in the same way that we count money.
  • Oslo has become the EV capital of the world. Oslo is also first in the world to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) from waste facilities.
  • Oslo is a pioneer within circular waste management, where for instance food waste is transformed into biogas for the city’s buses and waste trucks.
  • Oslo is also using its purchasing power to enhance the green transition, for instance by creating a market for green inventions when we demand fossil free construction sites from entrepreneurs who build our new schools, elderly homes and sport arenas.
  • Oslo is in the process of implementing all-time high investments in public transport.

 

CCFN: When it comes to industry and business, what are the main strengths and ambitions of Oslo today to compete with other Nordic cities as an attractive and innovative hub for foreign investments and talents?

Raymond Johansen. Oslo is unique internationally due to our commitment to environment and climate. Oslo has strong and competitive industry clusters in areas such as energy, smart mobility, maritime and life sciences. Sustainability and green solutions are main drivers for all sectors.

Oslo has developed an ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation that is attractive for international investors and companies. In the life science sector, Oslo has internationally competitive clusters such as cancer cluster and med tech cluster with a mix of established companies and a growing number of start-ups. I am happy to see that international investments in Oslo are increasing.

 

CCFN. You have recently renewed and extended the agreement with Toulouse Metropole. What are the objectives of this cooperation?

Raymond Johansen. Toulouse Metropole’s strong economic performance and status as global capital of aeronautics and European capital of space research makes it a very interesting partner for bilateral cooperation. The way Toulouse Metropole is capitalising on the urban growth and their policies on urban development and branding inspires new fields of cooperation between our cities.

The first agreement was signed in 2015, and since then we have initiated cooperation between several industry clusters, such as intelligent transport systems and green mobility.

We have now expanded the scope of the cooperation with an emphasis on city-to-city exchange.

CCFN: In which areas do you see potential for bilateral cooperation with French institutions and companies?

Raymond Johansen. The new memorandum of understanding with Toulouse Metropole emphasizes green urban development and sustainable business development. In particular, the new cooperation agreement states that we will collaborate on the following topics:

  • Green and Smart city, including mobility and transport, Smart City approach, waste management, circular economy, renewable energy
  • Safe and inclusive cities, including social inclusion, integration of migrants, urban safety
  • Promotion and business support, to support internationalisation and branding of business and leisure and business tourism
  • Facilitation of cooperation between academia and research laboratories

We have had a collaborative agreement with Toulouse for the past three years and have valuable experiences to further strengthen industrial and economic alliances with French partners.

France is one of Norway’s most important trading partners and the two countries have since long established cooperation within research, education and culture. Toulouse and Paris are two cities where we have cooperation on a city-to-city level, but we see potential for future cooperation with additional French partners, in particular within research and innovation and in the areas of energy, mobility and health.

 

CCFN: The French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, created in Christiania by     Norwegian and French businessmen in 1919, will celebrate its 100 years anniversary in Oslo on the 19th of September on the topic “Let’s build a sustainable future together”. Will you join us for this unique event to strengthen and initiate new bilateral cooperation?

Raymond Johansen. The French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce’s role, past and present, is of great importance for the safeguarding and development of our two countries economic relations.

The topic of your centenary celebration event complements the mission of the European Green Capital year, and The City of Oslo will take part in the celebration in September.

I wish to take the opportunity to congratulate the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce with the centenary!

Source: Newsletter France-Norway Express #12, May 2019

Events on the same topic:

> French-Norwegian Forum: Sustainable Future / 19th of September / BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo

> Mission Cleantech & Smart city / 19th-20th of September, Oslo

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