“Collaboration between trade and industry, education and research is the best breeding ground for innovation and development. This equips us for the future,” says Marit Warncke, managing director of the Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Cluster programmes are the Government’s foremost tool for business development. In the Bergen region, we have seized the opportunity that this has given us. The Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry has, through all our strong industry groups, been active in helping to establish most of the clusters in Bergen and Hordaland, which currently have NCE and GCE status,” says Warncke.
“We have more clusters with national and global status than any other place in Norway. In all our most important industries, increasingly closer and better collaboration between the business sector, academia and the public sector has made this possible. Media, subsea technology, shipping, energy, seafood, travel and tourism and design are good examples.”
Fintech at the starting gate
The fintech cluster is currently at the starting gate.
“However, from the minute the idea was aired and we sent out invitations to the first meeting, the top leaders from our most important financial institutions, technology companies, colleges and universities came to the table. When so much power, willingness to change and expertise assembles, and everyone is prepared to collaborate and share knowledge, we can do anything. That’s why the fintech cluster was given Arena status and a new organisation in record time.”
It was also essential that the University of Bergen and the Norwegian School of Economics wholeheartedly supported the fintech cluster.
“Similar environments that have succeeded globally have all had close relationships with strong knowledge environments.” Bergen could not have become the leading Norwegian “cluster city” without an active contribution from our educational institutions in close cooperation with trade and industry. The universities and colleges assume a great deal of corporate social responsibility today and provide innovative educational courses in close cooperation with the clusters.
Inspired by the media cluster
Finance Innovation has been inspired by our other industry clusters, especially NCE Media. Our ambitions do not fall below the international successes the media players.
“It is amazing to see what is coming out of the media cluster. The major editorial offices and UiB have now been joined by more than a hundred media and entrepreneurial companies. There are 1,200 people who work there daily, including 200 bachelor’s and master’s degree students. They are establishing networks, collaborating on media development, and creating world-leading technology,” says Warncke.
The Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry considers supporting the city’s strong clusters as one of its main tasks. The Bergen region is large enough to develop and attract international expertise. We are at the same time small enough to establish close cooperation across academia, technical disciplines, industries and political leadership.
“I am tempted to quote our Minister of Culture from Trøndelag: ‘I am convinced that the Media City could only have happened in Bergen’,” says Warncke.
Facts / Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
- Trade and industry association with more than 3,000 members.
- Advocates and facilitates to ensure that trade and industry have a good regulatory framework.
- Driving force and bridge builder for collaboration between trade and industry, politics / public administration and academia (research/education).
- Have coordinated the work by establishing several clusters in the Bergen region.
- Facilitator and organiser when Finance Innovation was established as a project in the spring of 2017.