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Nordic Innovation Houses set to establish in Singapore and Hong Kong

Local market in Hong Kong. Photo: Nikita Andreev /
  • Published 20/04/2018
Building on the success of the Nordic Innovation Houses in Silicon Valley and New York government agencies from four Nordic countries have joined forces to open soft landing incubators in both Singapore and Hong Kong. Nordic Innovation has now decided to grant the Nordic part of the financing.

Nordic Innovation House is a soft-landing concept for Nordic entrepreneurs and small and medium sized companies who are new to a specific market or who see the benefits of a being part of a Nordic community. Nordic companies can get access to a Nordic community in important international hubs and the services offered will be complementary to what already exists through the different national trade organizations in the Nordic countries.



Why Singapore and Hong Kong?


Singapore's geographical position makes the city a gateway for Nordic businesses to all Southeast Asia. Interest from Nordic companies is great, for example, in health and ICT, these are also areas that are in demand in the market. Singapore is ranked No. 2 (out of 190) in the "Ease of doing business" index.


Hong Kong ranks as number 5 (out of 190) on the "Ease of doing business" index. Hong Kong is "next door" with the Chinese mainland market. The city is also very close to Shenzhen, which builds on market attractiveness. Investors in Hong Kong are very interested in Nordic companies in life science, clean tech and Edtech.


Svein Berg, Managing Director of Nordic Innovation, emphasizes that there are several practical issues concerning for example exact location and opening date yet to be decided, but Nordic Innovations financial contribution of mill. 10,8 NOK, which is 50% of the projects total budget, is now granted.


“The ambition is that each of the NIH shall be economically self-sustained after the project period. The total grant is for 3-years”, says Mr. Berg.



For ambitious startups and established SMEs

 “The incubators are meant to be a service for new and established Nordic companies with the high potential for international growth and success. They need to see the Asian markets as a good target market for their products and services and as a place to find important partners, they need to be ready to go global, tackle international markets and competition”, says Mr. Berg.



A strong Nordic initiative

The concept is based on close cooperation with the different trade and national innovation organizations in the Nordics. A strong consortium consisting of government agencies working with innovation and business from four Nordic countries have developed the project and are now ready to go ahead securing additional financing for the incubators.


In Singapore Business Sweden is coordinating the project in partnership with Innovation Norway, the Finnish and Swedish embassies in Singapore, and the Icelandic Embassy in Japan. In Hong Kong Business Sweden is also in the lead together with partners Innovation Norway, the Swedish Consulate, the Finnish Consulate, the Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong, and the Icelandic Embassy in Beijing.


“Asia has quickly become a disruptive innovation leader, transforming the global business landscape. The Nordic platforms will enable companies to tap into Asia’s flourishing innovation and startup ecosystems, while combining the capabilities of cutting-edge partnerships and by doing so grow their global sales. Nordic cooperation allows the forming of complementary offerings and increase our strategic advantage”, says Tobias Glitterstam, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Business Sweden.


Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, is pleased to see that Nordic cooperation can lead to concrete examples of initiatives that will enable Nordic companies to go abroad and contribute to sustainable growth in the Nordic countries.


 “The co-operation program for industry and innovation policy (2018-2021), which has been decided by both the Nordic Council of Ministers for Business and the Nordic Council, emphasizes "Nordic cooperation in international markets" as one of six priority areas. Nordic Innovation House is explicitly mentioned. I am very happy that we are following up on political ambitions and strengthening the Nordic business cooperation with this concrete step. By building a solid common Nordic platform for entrepreneurs and startups, new doors open for closer cooperation between the Nordic countries”, says Mr. Høybråten. 


Visit the website of the Nordic Innovation Houses in Silicon Valley and New York.





Kristin Bergersen
+47 975 23 111
Head of Communications
Nordic Innovation

Svein Berg
+47 415 07 256
Managing Director
Nordic Innovation

Elisabeth Somp
+46 70 594 82 00 / + 46 72 540 93 38
Head of PR
Business Sweden