Finland invited to battery meeting
Finland hosted the first regional Nordic battery collaboration last week. How we can acquire the right battery expertise - and at the same time retain it, is the big challenge in the battery venture.
- There was broad agreement that we must market the Nordics as one. And that we must continue a closer collaboration that leads to further action, says Kristine Fuller-Gee, from the Eyde Cluster, who attended the meeting in Finland together with Pål Runde from Battery Norway.
Share insights and challenges
The point of the visit to Finland was to find potential new partners and customers across the Nordic borders, and to learn and share insights, challenges and solutions between the regions that are active in electrification and batteries. Visits to two companies - the Valmet Automotive gigafactory that assembles battery packs for vehicles, and the Sandvik factory that makes electric utility vehicles for underground mining, showed where Finland was in its battery investment.
Production and expertise
- It was about two things - battery production and expertise. We talked about the BattKOMP-project and what we have done in Norway. It is easier to have a dialogue about cooperation after we have met physically, says Pål Runde, head of Battery Norway, who believes it is better to promote the Nordics as a joint battery region in competition with other parts of the world, than to stand alone.
An important aspect, as noted by Runde and Fuller-Gee, is the national effort Finland is making to attract competent people. In Agder, we have the regional Welcome hub Agder (which was also involved in the visit to Finland), which will make Agder a more attractive region for international migrants. In Finland, this is not just a regional task, but a task that lies at a national level, named International House Helsinki.
Arranges meetings in Arendal
Innovation Norge, Business Sweden and Business Finland organized the meeting in Finland, as a physical extension of the already established Nordic Battery Thursdays platform, which was also part of the programme. The next meeting will be organized in October by Arendal municipality in collaboration with the Eyde Cluster and Battery Norway.