Ministers say Simula is an example to follow
By: Christine Gulbrandsen
The Norwegian Government is going to invest more time, money, and attention to research and knowledge development in the coming years. This was the main message Prime Minister Erna Solberg delivered when visiting Simula Tuesday morning.
“We politicians talk a lot about the future, but we tend to spend the money on the present. Next week, however, we will present our new long-term plans for research and knowledge development, and technology is one of the fields we want to strengthen. I am excited to announce the plan”, she said.
Solberg did not elaborate with details but rather referred to the National Budget, which will be presented to Parliament next Monday.
Research is essential
At her visit to Simula, Solberg was accompanied by Iselin Nybø, the Minister of Research and Higher Education, and Kjell-Børge Freiberg, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
The Prime Minister briefly explained to the Simula crowd why she and the Government want to strengthen the fields of knowledge, research and technology. One reason, she said, has to do with the essential role they play in maintaining and developing the welfare society.
“Norway is a wonderful country to live in, but that is also at the core of a major challenge we face. We have become so used to the level of welfare, and many of us expect it to continue into the unforeseen future. But that relies on several conditions, for instance that we are able to develop new technology that will improve and modernize our society.”
In her speech, she talked about the intense need for highly-skilled research institutions capable of dealing with and helping to solve the societal challenges we face.
“We are dependent on having specialized, unique research institutions such as Simula, because the need for new solutions will in no way decrease in the future. We need more people like you; people who are highly skilled and work with knowledge, research and developing new technology,” the Prime Minister said.
A great example
The Minister of Research and Higher Education also boasted about Simula. During her speech, Iselin Nybø vividly thanked the Simula researchers for all the extraordinary and important work they do.
“Simula is an essential contributor to groundbreaking research and innovation, especially within the fields of communication systems, scientific computing and software engineering. That is why we enjoy showing you off when we have the opportunity to do so. You are an example to follow.”
Simula’s CEO, Aslak Tveito, was very pleased with the visit from the Ministers. He had no problem agreeing enthusiastically with the Ministers on the importance of research and technology.
“It is really nice that they come to visit and appreciate the work we do. I believe that their commitment to research is very real, for that I am very grateful,” Tveito remarked.
Mobile devices turned into 3D scanners
After the brief speeches by Solberg and Nybø, the trio of Ministers continued their visit and were introduced to tech-company Imerso.
Imerso, which is partly Simula-owned, has created software that turns mobile devices into 3D scanners. Within seconds the software delivers an accurate 3D reconstruction of interior spaces with accurate measurements. Imerso´s platform then automatically locates and compares the scans against the building plans.
“By scanning the interior frequently with Imerso's app or any industry-grade laser scanner, the property owners and contractors can easily keep up with the field-work progress in their building projects. It is also a tool with which they can make sure the construction work is executed according to the plans. Any deviations will quickly be spotted. That is a big advantage, because any overlooked issue can rapidly escalate to massive added costs and delays, which could be avoided by addressing them early,” explained CEO of Imerso, Frederico Valente.
Valente and Imerso-colleague Sara Müller demonstrated briefly how their software works, while Solberg, Nybø and Freiberg listened enthusiastically.
“This is an example of how technology can help us work more efficiently. It also shows us how important research is; it brings us forward and provides us with new ways of working”, exclaimed Iselin Nybø.