The official inauguration of the Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong took place on 28 November. It was attended by the Finnish Minister for Nordic Co-operation, Anne Berner, the Swedish Minister for Trade, Ann Linde, the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høybråten, and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam.
The new Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong is the fourth of its kind around the world. The others, in Silicon Valley, New York and Singapore, have all been huge successes and the concept is the same.
Springboard for Nordic companies
Hong Kong is an important hub for innovation companies in Asia, and enjoys close links with Shenzhen, where 90% of the world's electronics are manufactured. The idea behind the Nordic Innovation House is to offer a springboard for Nordic start-up and growth companies, including helping them find suitable partners, investors and other stakeholders.
I’m convinced that Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong will play a key role for Nordic businesses.Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers
The Nordic region is internationally renowned for start-ups that have been real successes and Hong Kong investors find Nordic companies to be of great interest. The Nordics have a higher share of unicorns (billion-dollar exits) in comparison to GDP than any other region in the world and 50% of all European unicorns are from the Nordics.*
Nordic Innovation House is a collaboration between Nordic Innovation, a Nordic Council of Ministers’ institution, and the national business organisations from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The idea is to complement national operations.
“I’m convinced that Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong will play a key role for Nordic businesses. Hong Kong brings together the most innovative regions of the world, has a large and growing ecosystem of start-ups and tops the world rankings for business climate,” Dagfinn Høybråten says.
Meeting with Chinese deputy foreign minister
The Secretary General also visited Beijing, where he held talks with China's deputy foreign minister, Wang Chao. In May 2017, the Nordic Council of Ministers and China started working together in five areas: entrepreneurship and business, sustainable development, science, research and education, “people-to-people” co-operation and welfare solutions."I'm glad we had the opportunity to meet. We have made important progress in a relatively short time, especially in terms of sustainable cities, which are part of the Nordic prime ministers’ initiative,” says Høybråten, referring to the initiative to offer Nordic solutions to global challenges launched by the five Nordic prime ministers in spring 2017.
*Source: Nordic tech exit analysis 2016, Creandum; Note: Calculation includes exits since 2005