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Green cooperation

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess accompanied His Excellency the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and the Italian First Lady on their visit in Trondheim today. The focus was Norwegian-Italian cooperation on green energy development.


Yesterday’s electric ferry trip on the Oslo Fjord set the tone for the second day of the state visit of President Mattarella and First Lady Laura Mattarella. Friday’s programme was dedicated entirely to the green transition. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim is a leader in green technology research. His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Regent and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess took their Italian guests to visit the university and its Energy Lab.

The Crown Prince Regent and Crown Princess accompanied President Mattarella and Laura Mattarella in Trondheim today. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

Green energy

The transition to green energy requires the introduction of new technology. Scientists at the energy laboratory are carrying out research and development activities on a power system of the future, including grid technology, offshore wind power production and solutions for providing power to offshore installations located in deep water.

Visiting the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Photo: The Royal Court

Italy is a large importer of energy and has set ambitious targets for renewable energy production. Norway has a great deal to offer as a potential partner, and Norwegian companies have expressed interest in the many opportunities relating to Italy’s offshore and land-based wind as well as solar energy projects.

Norway and Italy have the two largest ferry fleets in Europe. In recent years Norway has invested heavily in renewing its fleet and adopting low-emissions technologies. This has provided Norwegian companies with expertise and insight that could prove useful to Italy as it upgrades its ferries.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology attracts international staff and students. President Mattarella greets some of the students from Italy. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

Energy seminar

After the lab tour, the visitors turned their attention to a seminar, Greening the Future, ­in the university’s main auditorium. They took part in the seminar’s final session, entitled “North Sea and Central Mediterranean – Perfect Hubs for Green Industries”. Crown Prince Haakon and President Mattarella each delivered remarks.

The Crown Prince Regent underscored the importance of cooperating across national borders to achieve green transition targets. He highlighted the Polytechnic University of Milan’s impressive green transition programmes and pointed to today’s collaboration between the universities in Milan and Trondheim as an example to be followed:

- For sure, the transition from green innovation to green implementation can be challenging. To succeed, we must invest in human capital and knowledge. And we must collaborate. Industry and universities must continue to work together. They must join forces across national borders.

Kronprins Haakon understrekte også håp om fortsatt utvikling av det gode samarbeidet mellom Italia og Norge for å fremme innovative, grønne løsninger:

- I am convinced that our cooperation will develop further. Both Italy and Norway are in a good position to promote innovative green solutions. We are coastal states with strong maritime sectors. Both the North Sea and the Central Mediterranean will be key to the production and transit of green energy in Europe in the years to come. 

After the seminar, Trondheim Mayor Rita Ottervik invited the guests to a luncheon at the Archbishop’s Palace. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

Concert at Nidaros Cathedral

The state visit concluded in the afternoon with a concert inside the world’s northernmost medieval cathedral, Nidaros Cathedral.

The Crown Prince Regent, the Crown Princess, President Mattarella and Italy’s First Lady joined representatives of the Norwegian-Italian community for the concert, which was divided into two parts. First to perform was the Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir, accompanied by organist Petra Bjørkhaug. The Italian organist Ismaele Gatti then played works by Bernardo Pasquini, Johann Sebastian Bach and others on the renowned baroque organ built for the cathedral by Joachim Wagner. 

 The Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir sang again as the guests departed from the cathedral. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court




Facts about Italy

Capital: Rome
Largest cities: Rome, Milan, Naples

Size: 301 338 km² (Norway: 385 203 km²)
Population: about 59 million (2022)
Language: Italian

System of government: Parliamentary republic
Republic founded: 18 June 1946
Head of State 2023: Sergio Mattarella

Norway and Italy enjoy good bilateral relations and are close NATO allies and partners in the EU’s internal market. The green transition is an excellent opportunity to expand business and research cooperation between Italy and Norway.

Norway’s exports to Italy centre on gas, oil and fish. Key imports to Norway from Italy include industrial machinery and motor vehicles as well as metals, beverages, food products, clothing and furniture.

King Harald and Queen Sonja have paid state visits to Italy in 2001 and 2016. The previous state visit from Italy to Norway was in 2004 by President Carlo A. Ciampi in the company of his wife, Franca Ciampi.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The King and Queen were given a guided tour of the the Roman Forum. Photo: Lise Åserud, NTB scanpix

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