Large gathering at opening of Kvosin Innovation Centre
About one hundred people attended the March opening of the Kvosin Innovation Centre, located at Íslandsbanki's Lækjargata premises in the heart of Reykjavík. The Centre will provide facilities for 20 entrepreneurs and start-up companies though a partnership project between Íslandsbanki, the Innovation Centre Iceland and the Confederation of Icelandic Bank and Finance Employees.
The Director-General of the Innovation Centre Iceland, Dr Þorsteinn I. Sigfússon, welcomed those present and congratulated the partners. He said it was very befitting to open an innovation centre at Íslandsbanki's Lækjargata premises, which were formerly the premises of the Icelandic Industrial Loan Fund, adding that the building thus stood on a time-honoured foundation for future entrepreneurs to build on.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Industry, Energy and Tourism, Össur Skarphéðinsson, addressed the gathering and thanked the partners for their initiative. He said it was important to foster entrepreneurship in Iceland, not least in the current economic climate, and that the government authorities had taken various steps to this end, including through the operation of diverse funds. The Minister added that the Icelandic economy's foundations remained solid despite recent setbacks, pointing out that various foreign-currency generating sectors - such as the fisheries, tourism and energy industries - are in a fairly strong position.
Íslandsbanki's CEO, Birna Einarsdóttir, welcomed the entrepreneurs to the building and expressed her pleasure at witnessing so many diverse business ideas and start-up enterprises in the making. She added that this bore testimony to the dynamism of Icelandic entrepreneurship, and conveyed her appreciation of the partnership behind the Centre's creation.
Representatives of three innovative companies then presented their activities. These were RemakeElectric, which is developing electrical safety devices, MedicalAlgorithms, which is developing health care technology software, Manifesto, which has developed short, targeted web-based training courses for management staff and expert professionals, and Risk.is, which has developed a risk calculator for diabetics.