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Norway's Female Entrepreneur of the Year

Speech given by Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess at the presentation of Norway's Female Entrepreneur of the Year prize, New York City, 7 March 2018.

Ladies and gentlemen,
role models,
and supporters of the Nordic startup community in New York!

I am really glad to be here, to meet you and to feel the energy from the Nordic hub that you have built up in New York for Nordic entrepreneurs.

I hope more Norwegians will find their way to new markets and to inspiring communities like this one. This is part of the reason why Innovation Norway is awarding this year’s Female Entrepreneur prize to a woman in the tech industry.

Someone who has global ambitions and is working towards one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Norway would like to see even more female tech entrepreneurs with high ambitions. All three candidates presented tonight are impressive role models. I hope that all of you will continue to inspire more women to start their own companies.

The many people gathered here show that when you dare to take a big leap, you will find people who will support you.

I would now like to present the jury statement:

The winner of this year’s award has established a company based on groundbreaking technology in a field of vital importance to society. The company has good prospects for growth in an international market. The company has already carried out research and development and successfully tested a pilot facility for its concept. This technological solution can play an important role in efforts to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, which is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Nitrogen loss during storage of manure is a serious problem in modern agriculture. Worldwide, about 50 % of the original nitrogen content of the grass eaten by livestock is lost to the air. This has to be replaced using mineral fertilisers.

The winning company has developed a technology for nitrogen fixation. Using plasma reactors, nitrogen can be fixated directly from the air and used to enrich manure. The manure can then be applied to the farmer’s fields with virtually no loss of nitrogen. This will eliminate the need for mineral fertilisers.

The winner has demonstrated a unique ability to attract the necessary expertise both to the company itself and by forging partnerships with investors and developers outside the company.

I am pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s award is: Grete Sønsteby of N2 Agri.


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