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The Crown Prince in the US

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon concluded a four-day visit to the US Thursday. The visit went to the states of California and Washington, and several hundred Norwegian business actors accompanied him on the journey.


The Crown prince was also accompanied by the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre and Minister of Digitalisation and Public Governance Karianne Tung. One of the most important topics was how technology and artificial intelligence can be used to achieve the goals of a green transition and a reduced climate footprint. 

The Crown Prince with the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Minister of Digitalisation and Public Governance on their way to a meeting with representatives of the American authorities and the business community to discuss how to increase investments that contribute to the green transition. Photo: Tom Hansen / Innovation Norway

California and Washington are important partners for Norwegian companies in the fields of energy, green transport and new technology. Several American-Norwegian business seminars and conferences took place during the visit, and agreements on co-operation vere signed in a number of areas.

One of the seminars were held out on San Francisco Bay where the authorities plan to electrify the extensive ferry traffic. Norway has experience with the electrification of ferries and other vessels, and the boat trip created an opportunity for Norwegian and Californian actors to connect.

The authorities have plans for the electrification of the ferries on San Francisco Bay. Photo: Tom Hansen / Innovation Norway

Back at Berkeley

On his second day in San Francisco, The Crown Prince had the opportunity to visit his old university, UC Berkeley. Crown Prince Haakon studied here when he took a bachelor's degree in political science in the years 1996-1999. Now the Crown Prince was able to meet representatives from UC Berkeley's management and academic staff, as well as Norwegian students studying at Berkeley today.

Back at Berkeley, the Crown Prince met Norwegian students studying at the university here today. Photo: Tom Hansen / Innovation Norway

UC Berkeley collaborates with several Norwegian educational institutions. The Norwegian-American Peder Sæter was one of the founders of UC Berkeley in the 1850s.

San Quentin

Since 2023 California Governor Gavin Newsom has aimed to change the state's prison service by introducing a rehabilitation program as well as by improving conditions for the inmates in general. Much of the inspiration is taken from the Norwegian penitentiary system. The Crown Prince therefore visited San Quentin prison outside San Francisco, together with Governor Newsom and Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre. 

Crown Prince Haakon was given a tour of San Quentin prison outside San Francisco. Photo: Anders Tvegård, NRK

Representatives from San Quentin have been on several visits to Norway, and the Norwegian Correctional Service has so far trained several hundred of its American colleagues in Norwegian methods.

Meetings with tech giants

Some of the worlds most advanced companies in the fields of technology and artificial intelligence - as well as universities and research communities - are to be found in California and Washington.

Crown Prince Haakon and the Norwegian delegation met with Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and Amazon - leading companies in the fields of digitisation. Artificial intelligence, sustainability, carbon capture and technological solutions to achieve the green shift were central topics during the meetings.

"The Spheres" are part of Amazon's office complex in Seattle - three greenhouses that give employees the opportunity to experience nature in the middle of the city. Photo: Tom Hansen, Innovation Norway

Norwegian roots

Almost one million Norwegians have emigrated to North America since 1825, and the many Norwegian-Americans living in the US are much of the foundation for the close relationship between Norway and the USA today.

The state of Washington has particularly many residents of Norwegian descent, so the visit to Seattle began at the National Nordic Museum. The museum is the only institution in the USA that presents the history and culture of the entire Nordic region.

Many have Norwegian roots in Seattle, and the Crown Prince received a warm welcome. Photo: Tom Hansen, Innovation Norway

On the last day of the visit, there was a meeting with Washington's governor Jay Inslee, before the signing of a declaration of cooperation between Norway and the state of Washington in areas such as the maritime industry, ocean economy, offshore wind and space technology.

An event to promote Norwegian space technology and cooperation on the use of space technology in ocean management concluded the Crown Prince's visit to the US west coast.



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