Norway wants international lead in AI, creates new fund

May 12, 2017 // By Julien Happich
At Katapult Future Fest, a tech event held in Oslo, Norwegian entrepreneurs have launched the investment fund “Norwegian.AI” with the goal to establish Norway as a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI).

The initial fund will be NOK 1 billion (just over 106 million Euros), and co-founders and a network have already committed NOK 100 million.

"Norwegian.AI will focus on creating financial rewards while contributing to solving big environmental and social problems. With exponential technology we can exponentially make our world a better place. NOK 100 million are already committed and we invite more people to join the fund,” says Anders H. Lier, co-founder of Norwegian.AI.

England is considered as the current AI leader in Europe but the new fund aims to ensure that Norway can compete, and eventually take a leading international position. 

"We will proactively ensure that Norway becomes a global knowledge centre on impact investments, AI and exponential technology. This is an incredible opportunity for Norway that will also create jobs in Norway. This is more effective than leaning back and passively waiting for the AI revolution," stated Kristoffer Roil, co-founder of Norwegian.AI.

"The world is changing quicker than we have ever experienced, and Norway can’t afford to be left behind. We have a highly educated population, we are early adopters of new technology, and as a nation we have access to an incredible capital base. We have to seize the opportunities we can and transition from a great but slumbering oil nation to an exponential technology nation," added Alexander Hagerup, another co-founder.

"Already today we have an AI accelerator and we educate people in AI. We invest in companies like Iris and we build companies like Vic.ai. We have over several years built competence, a wide network and an ecosystem," noted Roil.

Norwegian.AI is simultaneously launching a competition with a prize of NOK 10 million (just over one million Euros) for the best AI company in Norway. The winner receives NOK 8 million. The second and third prize will get NOK 1.5 million and NOK 0.5 million, respectively.

The initiators and founding partners behind Norwegian.AI are successful Norwegian