Ove Ronny Haraldsen
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KONGSBERG Innovation Center was officially opened in October. The honor of cutting the ribbon was given to CEO Geir Håøy. Beeing an innovation center in a digital age, the ceremony was performed in the virtual world by Geir Håøy wearing Virtual Reality headset and consoles.
The center is located in Kongsberg Teknologipark and contains 150 square meters of space with a variety of exiting equipment and facilities.
“This is a center where you first off all can take your idea and make it into something physical in form of a prototype. We have good equipment for mechanical work like laser cutting an 3D-printing so you can create boxes and encapsulations for things. We also have a very good electronics lab where you can make prototypes of electronics and so on”, says Jan Dyre Bjerknes, Senior Project Engineer in KONGSBERG.
“In addition we have a virtual reality lab where you can experiment with both games if you wish to come and have some fun, but you can also do this for more serious development of virtual reality visualisations of our products. Finally we have a 3D-tracking system that we can use to learn more and experiment with close loop control, quadcopters and other kind of autonomous platforms”, says Bjerknes.
“Who is going to use this center?”
“First of all it’s our employees on normal working hours. In the evenings it’s open for children, for family and for guests together with our employees to enjoy technology in this center. During the summer, the center will be the base of our student-projects”, says Jan Helge Strøm, Vice President IT in Kongsberg Defence Systems.
KONGSBERG is an international technology corporation that supplies reliable, advanced technological solutions that improve the reliability, safety and efficiency of complex operations and under extreme conditions. KONGSBERG consists of four business areas operating in very different markets. The KONGSBERG Innovation Center is part of a strategy to encourage increased collaboration within the company.
“I think the most important thing we`d like to achieve is to let people from different business areas of KONGSBERG to come together so we can collaborate and learn from each other. KONGSBERG is a large company where people have different backgrounds and experiences”, says Jan Dyre Bjerknes.
“I think that sometimes there is a tendency that people stay a little bit too much with things they know ore work with their closest colleagues every day. Having this center I think we are going to open up quite a bit to cross-talking between the different business areas”, says Bjerknes.
“One of our values is innovation. I think this center will further increase the enthusiasm within innovation”, says Chief Executive Officer Geir Håøy in KONGSBERG.
“KONGSBERG Innovation Center is a meeting place outside our defined working areas, where our employees can share knowledge and experiences and learn from each other. This is a place they can bring their friend and children to experiment with new and exciting technologies. So I think it will mean a lot for KONGSBERG but also for the bigger community in the city of Kongsberg”, conludes Geir Håøy.