ROYAL VISITORS: The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway visited Halden Innovation Park on Wednesday. (All photos: Stein Johnsen)

Wednesday afternoon, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway visited Halden Innovation Park to learn more about the possibilities that lie within current and future technologies.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm

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“Having the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess here, was a good experience for several reasons. There is no doubt that they are genuinely interested in the technological development and the IT revolution we are experiencing. They take interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and understand the potential effect this will have on society”, says Knut H. H. Johansen, CEO of eSmart Systems.

Vertical Innovation

When they arrived Halden Innovation Park, the Royals were greeted by several children from the local kindergarten, who had brought Norwegian flags and big smiles.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were guided through eSmart Systems’ offices, before having lunch with representatives from eSmart Systems, Smart Innovation Norway, Smart Cognition and Halden municipality.

“I explained how we focus on vertical innovation rather than horizontal innovation, which means that instead of concerning ourselves with making more cars, we want to figure out how we can create a self-driving car”, says Ole Gabrielsen, CEO of Smart Innovation Norway.

The IT Revolution

Then, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were more thoroughly introduced to the IT revolution, AI, machine learning and drone operations – before given the chance to perform a physical task; coding the drone so that it would recognize one of the attendees from the Royal staff.

During presentations and coding, both the Crown Prince and the Crown princess actively participated in discussions, asking questions and even filming and taking pictures with their private mobile phones.

(Watch the film from the visit made by Nordic Media Lab)

Video : Kronprinsparet besøker eSmart Systems