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Tourism and innovation

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit had a busy programme in San Francisco on the third day of their official visit to the US. Their activities focused on tourism, technology and innovation.


After having started the day with a breakfast meeting on tourism, Crown Prince Haakon gave a lecture at a seminar on tourism hosted by Innovation Norway at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. The Crown Prince presented Norway as a tourist destination to representatives of the US tourism industry, illustrating his lecture with film clips and photographs of his own experiences of Norwegian nature. He also spoke of Queen Sonja’s fondness for skiing and hiking in the Norwegian wilderness.

Technology and innovation

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess shifted their attention to technological development when Crown Princess Mette-Marit undertook the formal opening of the seminar Advanced Technology and Innovation at Stanford University. The seminar was held at Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford which amalgamates different fields and methods across traditional disciplines and faculties. The Crown Princess pointed out how important this interdisciplinarity is for new development and innovation:

“You tear down hurdles by combining methods from engineering and design with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world.
By combining expertise from different fields, finds solutions to complex, real life challenges. Two concrete results of this way of working are now deeply appreciated in the developing world: The Embrace Blanket, which is a low cost incubator, and the solar powered LED light called D.Light, which is used in rural areas with lack of electricity.”  

Reception at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) was the first museum on the West Coast of the US devoted entirely to modern and contemporary art. Since its opening in 1935, SFMOMA has exhibited some of the most innovative and challenging art of its time. For the next several years, however, the museum’s large collection will be displayed at alternative sites, as the museum building will be closed for expansion. The Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has designed the new expansion, which will double the museum’s current gallery space and public space.

This evening, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will attend a reception at SFMOMA, which is the last to be held before the museum is closed on 3 June. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess will have the opportunity to view a 3D model of the new building, and from the rooftop see where the expansion is planned.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess will conclude the day by attending an official dinner for 250 guests at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel.

Tomorrow, on the final day of their official visit, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be meeting with the Norwegian software company ForgeRock, as well as nine smaller companies that have recently established themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley.

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