Therefore Pia Keyser at Biotech Umeå went to Tromsö at the end of November. To make the trip more valuable the visit was combined with a conference,
The Circumpolar Conference on High North Entrepreneurship and Innovation
that took place in Tromsö November 26-27, 2012. This was the first conference on the subject and was organized by Handelshøyskolen in Tromsö. During two days, challenges and possible solutions to work in this part of the world was discussed by 135 participants from several different countries such as Norway, USA Canada, Greenland, Holland and India. This conference covered all type of business but with extra focus on biotech, oil, cleantech and gas, mining and mineral as well as information and communication technology and E-health.
The meeting was very inspiring, with intensive debates and sharing of experience. Everybody was convinced that the brain-drain needs to stop to be able to build up expanding business in these regions. New, innovative technology will be crucial for this, as well as good incentives to people to start and run companies. Someone said that the life situation is too good in Norway to make people interested in starting a risky project such as a biotech company. Why leave a well-paid job, maybe with 1 MNOK per year in the oil business, to start your own biotech company? But it would be a great waste of natural resources and basic research money if we do not make innovations of the results.
A separate meeting with Ernst Kloosterman at the cluster organization
was fruitful. We will keep close contact and look for future collaborations through the Molecules for the future-initiative for example. Both Umeå and Tromsö might have facilities that might be used by the other region, and we will also share information on what is going on in the two regions. With increased knowledge on each other’s organization there is a greater chance of finding interesting openings and collaborations.