Norwegian bigwigs head to Shoreditch to launch new innovation centre

Prince Andrew is shown around the Trampery

Prince Andrew is shown around the Trampery - Credit: Archant

Norwegian dignitaries and entrepreneurs visited Shoreditch on Friday for the opening of an international innovation centre.

The Oslo Innovation Centre, in Old Street, will provide space for startup companies wanting to go international and businesses collaborating between Britain and Norway.

The Norwegian ambassador and the governing mayor of Oslo attended a special networking event called Oslo Meets Hackney at the Trampery, where the embassy is based, celebrating Hackney’s links with the technology, fashion and music industries in Norway.

The Trampery also had a royal visit from Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who was given a tour by some of the embassy’s organisers on December 2.

Johan Brand, the CEO of Kahoot, an educational app based in the Trampery with more than 16 million users, said that what attracted him to Hackney was its “extreme creative culture”.

“There’s a very short time between having an idea and making it happen,” he said. “You can go down the road and see the biggest music producers, for example. That access to markets is very attractive to companies wanting to go global.”

Mr Brand, who is involved in running the embassy, also said that Hackney would benefit from the engineering talents of the Nordic market, and that the project “brings a different set of eyes to London”. He said the embassy will be dedicating the next year to curating events to initiate connections between the two countries.

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Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Events such as Oslo Meets Hackney provide a fantastic opportunity for business representatives to share their experiences, knowledge and learning that will help industries to grow and prosper in both locations.”