Oslo - The Big Small

Oliver cole a S3ft VZ Lr VI unsplash

Published by Oslo Business Region, 18 August 2020

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Oslo is, in a word, compact. Here you will find everything you need within easy reach. At the same time, we do have a lot of room: plenty of room for new ideas, for study & research, for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Photo: Oliver Cole

As for being small, we also have short distances – from urban centers to quiet forests, from ski slopes to the waterfront, from the place you work to the place you live. In our informal, egalitarian society other distances are short as well – from people to power and from words to action.

Finally, Oslo is geared for the future. We are early adopters of new technology, we have a hot startup scene, and we are Europe’s fastest growing capital, with a high and increasing ratio of young, well-educated people.

We happily admit that our city is small. But it is small in a very big way.

The Oslo region is Norway’s largest competence and industry region with 245,000 companies and 2.5 million inhabitants. The region has a large proportion of the country’s knowledge-intensive industries, and is otherwise an area with a very versatile combination of business and knowledge environments. This represents large resources and opportunities for innovation and new business development in several future-oriented areas. The services sectors take home a dominant share of value creation and employment.

The Oslo region has over 50 formal clusters or network organizations. Most of them operate in the fields of environmental and energy technology, bio economy, life sciences, and ICT systems. The region also has a large number of universities, colleges, and research institutes that conduct research which is of high relevance for businesses and the public sector. Several other innovation environments are also of importance, including the public enterprise SIVA, a co-owner of 32 innovation companies across the region.

The most innovative industries (measured in proportion of innovative companies) are found within knowledge intensive business services and in some industry sectors (chemical/pharmaceutical, computers/electronics, plastic products and metals). The majority of new establishments and net growth can be found within culture and experience industries, other private services, and knowledge intensive business services. This is largely due to new private establishments in the health care and educational sectors.

Based on international framework conditions and the Oslo region’s advantages, seven competence- and technology fields are especially relevant for the future competitiveness of the region:

  1. Bio economy and circular economy
  2. Life sciences, health- and welfare technology
  3. ICT products and services for new applications in other industries / sectors / markets
  4. Environmental technology, renewable energy and low-emission transport, sustainable construction
  5. Sustainable experience industries and creative industries
  6. Smart cities and regions
  7. Sustainable processing industry