“The counties of Agder are characterized by high competence, surplus of clean energy and a central location in relation to the continent. We believe these advantages make the region attractive to investors, but we have to go out and sell the region”, says adviser Trond S. Kristiansen in Vest-Agder County.
Through the joint project Invest in Agder, the region will be marketed nationally and internationally. The counties plan to include the main regional players in the effort.
“We seek cooperation with GCE NODE, Eyde Cluster and – not least – Innovation Norway. The intention is to create growth through new companies that recognize the value of the Agder counties’ comparative advantages”, says Kristiansen.
He visited oil expo ONS in Stavanger to meet companies already established in Agder and companies that are looking for a new location.
SURPLUS OF CLEAN ENERGY
It is particularly production of renewable energy, which can be alluring for energy-intensive industries. Agder can offer a greener profile than any other region or country.
“More than half of the Norwegian electricity surplus will be found in our region. Agder is simply the world’s largest renewable power hub. It provides opportunities that can be exploited to green growth in the region”, says Kristiansen.
LOOK TO LULEÅ
He refers to how green energy and expertise led Facebook to build a new data storage center in Swedish town Luleå five years ago, and how that has spurred growth for an entire region.
“Today, there are 10 new data centers in the Luleå region, all of them established after Facebook moved there in 2011. The number of professors at the technical university in Luleå has increased from 1 to 18. In 2020, it is envisaged 3,000 to 4,000 jobs related to a new data center cluster in Luleå region”, says Kristiansen.