“Our goal is to provide a quicker, cheaper and better way to the market for Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises,” says Lars Petter Maltby, acting General Manager of FutureMat.
A broad industrial group, which includes Mechatronics Innovation Lab, Eyde Cluster, Elkem, Resitec and Arendal Fossekompani, is part of the new center, which also includes the University of Agder.
The ambition is to establish a world-class technology center, and a low-threshold offer for the many small and medium-sized Norwegian businesses.
FutureMat will cover pilot production for the entire value chain from metal manufacturing to the production of nano particles. Mechatronics Innovation Lab (MIL) at the University of Agder in Grimstad will be one of three key testing locations. The other two will be at Elkem and at Resitec.
EXPANDING THE ECOSYSTEM FOR INNOVATION
“GCE NODE companies will benefit from the expertise and test facilities provided by FutureMat. The center expands the ecosystem for innovation in Southern Norway, and fits well with the industry, the university and MIL,” says Marianne Engvoll, RD&I Manager at GCE NODE.
38 industrial groups applied for a catapult center in the first ever call for applications. Only two were awarded such a status and public funding: FutureMat and Raufoss.
“The catapult centers provide the Norwegian business sector a unique opportunity to test new technology and smart solutions. The centers will be important building blocks for Norwegian industry and technology, in the face of the green shift and stronger global competition. With their testing facilities, networks and high level of competence, the catapult centers will play an important role for industrial development throughout the country,“ says Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of Local Government and Modernization.
Catapult centers are funded by SIVA, The Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway.