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Opened Innovation House

Today, His Royal Highness The Crown Prince opened Innovation Norway’s “Innovation House” in Palo Alto, California. The house offers temporary office space to Norwegian companies seeking to establish operations in the Silicon Valley.
24.10.2011

Innovation House, a signature building in the centre of Palo Alto, offers Norwegian companies the opportunity to rent fully equipped office space or a “virtual office” in their start-up phase of operations. They share the building with other companies and the local Innovation Norway staff. In addition, Innovation Norway provides a network of mentors, advisers and quality-assured service providers – valuable contacts that help the companies to succeed with their business endeavours in the US.

With this tweet, I hereby declare …

Today’s official opening was a far cry from the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Instead the new building was opened by tweet:

“In high-tech Silicon Valley, traditional ribbon-cutting seems rather obsolete. Without further ado, I will therefore declare Innovation House open on Twitter,” said Crown Prince Haakon before sending a message out on @InnovasjonNorge.

Among those present was Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske, who followed up the message with a re-tweet.

Reception

Directly after the opening, a reception was hosted by Innovation Norway and the Norwegian consulate. Some 100 guests were in attendance, including many representatives of Norwegian companies in the area and their US partners. Nine Norwegian firms, either in the field of or based on information technology, were given an opportunity to present their activities.

In his speech, Crown Prince Haakon emphasised the importance of a facility such as Innovation House:

If Norwegian companies are to keep track with the “changing times” and understand the technological trends that will influence the world in the years to come, a permanent presence here in Silicon Valley is vital. The opening of Innovation House reflects Norway’s desire to take an active part in exploring new research and technology frontiers.
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As a tiny community that has had disproportionate impact in relation to its size, Silicon Valley has become a buzzword for technological innovation. A presence here will enable Norwegian start-ups and small companies to innovate, network, and explore new business opportunities with technology experts, investors and other entrepreneurs.

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