Christian Democrats (KrF) and Liberals (Venstre) are determined to fight for Mechatronics Innovation Lab and seed funding in Agder when the national budget negotiations start.

Both parties have found room for both MIL and seed funding in their alternative budgets and have promised to give these matters high priority in the negotiations with the Conservative Party (Høyre) and the Progress Party (FrP).

“MIL and seed funding are very important for our region. Both are missing pieces in a comprehensive ecosystem for innovation in Agder. Going into the negotiations, I am optimistic and hopeful that there will be a broader political understanding of just how important these measures are”, says CEO Anne-Grete Ellingsen at GCE NODE.

Private investors are willing to put MNOK 150 into seed funding for the Agder region, and are hoping the government will match the number.

“We were disappointed that seed funding was not part of the national budget for 2016. This would be an important restructuring measure for our region, which is the only one in Norway without public seed funding. As for MIL, we were disappointed that the government did not provide additional funds for equipment to this national laboratory. A number of companies are committed to supporting the lab, but the government failed to contribute”, says Ellingsen.