Telenor unveiled on Wednesday initiatives to support startup entrepreneurship and competence building in Norway in the fields of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.

“We need to build critical competencies within artificial intelligence and we want to give Norwegian startups the resources they need to succeed. This is imperative for our ability to seize digital opportunities and contribute to creating new jobs,” Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group, said in a statement.

In collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and research institute SINTEF, Telenor will establish a lab focused on artificial intelligence and big data. The lab at NTNU in Trondheim will research how machines can contribute to developing new services by identifying structures and hidden knowledge in large data sets.

“More resources, equipment and research positions empower us to solve projects that provide Norwegian companies with competitive advantages on the international, digital arena,” said Gunnar Bovim, Rector at NTNU.

Free IoT networks for startups

The AI Lab will rely in part on data from next generation IoT networks Telenor is launching as the second initiative. Norwegian startups and students will get free access to the IoT networks for developing and testing their products and services. The first pilot will be located in Oslo, in collaboration with StartupLab.

“Internet of Things is changing everything. With the availability of tiny, affordable sensors, we observe how today’s startups assume all products will be connected to the internet at some point. This is why providing them with cost-free access to a next-generation IoT network from Telenor is of critical importance,” said Per Einar Dybvik, Partner at StartupLab.

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