Outside the office building in Kristiansand that will house smart people with good ideas. From left: Sven Eidjord (Lumber AS), Kamilla Sharma (Innoventus Sør), Fabian Aaberg (Innoventus Sør), Aud Skeie (Skeie Group), Christian Strat (Innoventus Sør), Dag Nordbø (National Oilwell Varco Norway), Anne-Grete Ellingsen (GCE NODE), Bjarne Skeie (Skeie Group), Tore Askildsen (Vest-Agder County), Kenneth Andresen (Vest-Agder County), Carl Dversnes (Sparebanken Sør), Tom Fidjeland (Cameron), Andreas Eriksen (DNB) and Per Ivar Moen (Skeie Property). Photo: Kjell Inge Søreide

Bjarne Skeie and GCE NODE are behind a new initiative for supporting smart people with great ideas.

“This will be a house for innovation! Some of those who move in here may have just lost their jobs in the oil sector, but this is a house for anyone with a good idea”, says Kamilla Sharma.

She is the managing director of the innovation company Innoventus Sør, which is responsible for the greenhouse, formally defined as a pre-incubator.

The initiative for the greenhouse, with approximately 1,200 square meters of office space, comes from oil entrepreneur Bjarne Skeie and technology cluster GCE NODE. The idea is backed by the largest industrial companies and banks in southern Norway, in addition to Vest-Agder County and Kristiansand Municipality.

“We cannot sit idly by and watch as companies let talented people go. We must try to keep the expertise in the region. Some of those who are now laid off have ideas we should help develop and grow. This is a house for competent people with great ideas. We will provide them with professional and practical support and connect them to funding sources that will help them create new jobs in our region”, says Bjarne Skeie, serial entrepreneur in the oil & gas industry.

CEO Anne-Grete Ellingsen at GCE NODE praises both public and private partners for their contributions in a difficult time.

“I am glad to find broad support for this initiative. I look forward to seeing this house filled with innovative people who can create new products, services and jobs”, says Ellingsen.