Eight regions participate in this edition of MIT REAP.

Several NODE companies are involved in the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which kick-started in Kristiansand last week.

“Competitiveness has two dimensions: productivity and innovation. Both are too weak in Norway today. We must mobilize forces within innovation and entrepreneurship and reduce our dependence on oil”, says Professor Torger Reve at BI Business School, who is the champion of the MIT REAP South West Norway Project Team.

Eight regions around the world participate in this third edition of MIT REAP. The Norwegian region stretches from Agder to Møre and includes business clusters GCE NODE, Greater Stavanger, GCE Subsea and GCE Blue Maritime.

Other regions participating in the program are Santiago (Chile), Wales (UK), Ashdod (Israel), Al Madinah (Saudi Arabia), Bangkok (Thailand), Beijing (China) and Tokyo (Japan).

“Our goal is to develop an innovation and transition agenda for South West Norway”, says Reve.

A transition agenda could look like this:

  • Re-innovate traditional industries
  • Innovate into related industries
  • Innovate new industries
  • Introduce new business models
  • Apply game changing technology
  • Find new ownership partners

“Transitions in the maritime-offshore industries include transitions to lower costs, to new work practices and new ways of interaction, as well as transitions to new markets, new products and new business models”, says Reve.

The program will also look at transitions into new ocean industries like offshore renewables, offshore aquaculture, offshore environment, offshore arctic and offshore mining.

Entrepreneur Tom Fedog represents the Agder region at the national level of the program. CEO Anne-Grete Ellingsen at GCE NODE is on the steering committee. Peter Klemsdal at the Regional Research Council of Agder is assisting Professor Reve and Kjell O. Johannessen is the project manager.

At the regional level (Agder), the following people are contributing:

Capital: Stein Hannevik (Sparebanken Sør), Erik Tønnessen (Skagerak Venture Capital)

Industry: Øyvind Berntsen (Mandals), Mette Harv (National Oilwell Varco), Gro Eide (Elkem Technology)

Academia: Arne Isaksen (University of Agder), Morten Bak (Mechatronics Innovation Lab)

Entrepreneurs: Kjell Arild Grønås (Qmatec), Kamilla Sharma (Innoventus Sør), Birger Eckhoff (Connect Norge).

Government: Kenneth Andresen (Vest-Agder County), Wenche Fresvik (Aust-Agder County).