A national centre of excellence for international Norwegian brands

Norwegian Rooms® builds on a desire shared by a number of trendsetting Norwegian brands to develop stronger international competitiveness. Since the start, the business cluster has focused on challenges that help to ensure companies and academic institutions work towards a common goal.

Networking activities have resulted in cooperation and interaction between companies in the cluster. The project was established at a time when no professional collaboration existed between the companies and they have quickly adapted to a new form of working, characterised by transparency, trust, and cooperation. It is well understood that cooperation is needed to ensure further growth in the industry. A large number of people have taken part in activities organised by the Norwegian Rooms® cluster.

Going forward, there will be an even greater focus on building strong, strategic, cluster relationships between Norwegian finished product companies beyond the current core furniture and interiors industry. Skills training and R&D relationships have also been established with many of Norway's leading research environments. The business cluster has established its first projects with international clusters and wants to develop these further.

 

Official status via Norwegian Innovation Cluster

The Norwegian Rooms® cluster gained its official status via Norwegian Innovation Cluster's Arena Programme in 2013. In 2015, the cluster was awarded Bronze Label Cluster Management Excellence. Its status is confirmation that the cluster has a good strategic foundation and is systematically working to improve the organisation and management of its activities.

Norwegian Rooms AS is organised as a limited company, owned by ten member companies. These make up the general meeting, which elects the company's board. Other companies sign membership agreements. All of the business participants have equal access to the cluster's activities and services. Møre og Romsdal County Authority actively supports the development of the business cluster and is a partner of Norwegian Rooms®.

 

The board and management

Norwegian Rooms AS (business registration no. NO 999 647 243 MVA) was established as an operating company for the business cluster, and is the contractual partner for facilitators in relation to the Arena Programme.

The board

Chairman: 

  • Jon-Erlend Alstad  |  CEO of Ekornes Beds AS and member of the executive management team in Ekornes ASA

Board members:

  • Lillevi E. Øglænd Ivarson  |  Senior Vice President, HR & Organisation Development, Scandinavian Business Seating AS
  • Monika Hestad  |  Master of Industrial Design, PhD, Brand Valley AS
  • Joakim Helland  |  CEO of Helland Møbler AS
  • Jon Daniel Nesje  |  CEO of Wonderland AS and chair of the Federation of Norwegian Industries, Furniture+Interiors.
  • Torbjørn Anderssen  |  Furniture designer MNIL in Anderssen og Voll in Oslo  and adjunct professor at the at Bergen Academy of Art and Design within furniture and component design.

Permanent observers to the board:

  • Oscar Kipperberg  |  Special  Adviser, Innovation Norway
  • Egil Sundet  |  Director, Federation of Norwegian Industries, Furniture+Interiors
  • Øyvind Tveten  |  Adviser, Møre og Romsdal County Authority

Advisory board

All core members and academic and R&D partners sit on the cluster's advisory board, together with the cluster's board. They meet twice a year to provide the board and cluster management with advice and in-depth grounding in relation to the cluster's activities and plans.

Management

Oddbjørn Hatløy  |   Managing Director, Norwegian Rooms AS

Location

Norwegian Rooms® Cluster is co-located with GCE Blue Maritime and Blue Legasea centrally at Campus Ålesund. The proximity to NTNU Ålesund and the various R&D institutions makes this a unique centre for clusters in North Western Norway.

Postal address:

Norwegian Rooms AS

c/o Ålesund Kunnskapspark, Borgundveien 340, N-6009 Ålesund, Norway

Employees

Oddbjørn Hatløy

Oddbjørn Hatløy

Managing Director

Oddbjørn has led the cluster since 2013 when the network first received official cluster status via Norwegian Innovation Clusters. He has managerial and consulting experience from various sectors such as the retail, advertising, furniture, and construction product industries. He lives in Ålesund.

Åsne Helene Folstad

Åsne Helene Folstad

Project Manager - skills training programme

Åsne is the project manager of the cluster's skills training activities. She took up her position in November 2016. She has a background from various roles within tourism and the facilitation system (Innovation Norway). She lives in Ålesund.

Jon Erlend Alstad

Chair

Jon Erlend Alstad has been the chair of the board of Norwegian Rooms AS since the start. He is the CEO of Ekornes Beds AS (which owns the Svane® brand). He is also a member of the executive management team of Ekornes ASA.

Mari Dorte Michaelsen

Økonomi- og regnskap

Mari Dorte is the general manager of GAGN Accounting AS, which is a total provider of finance and accounting services. She is a business graduate from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) with five years' experience within finance, accounts, and business consulting. She is a state-authorised accountant.

Key figures for the cluster

The Norwegian Rooms® cluster continues to develop as a business cluster year by year. The cluster's strategy plan includes CPIs for various target figures that push the cluster forwards towards its established vision.

32 Cluster participants
4 046 Total employees
39 % of women
7,6 Cluster turnover in billions of NOK (2016)
4,7 Cluster exports in billions of NOK (2016)
9 047 867 Registered hours in NOK (operating years 1-3)
3 490 845 Billed business shares in NOK (operating years 1-3)
10 Expert and R&D partners