Business center officially opened


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Sissel Hodne Steen and Rachid Felix cut the red ribbon.

The red ribbon was cut by Consul General Sissel Hodne Steen and NBCC president Rachid Felix.

The formal opening of the Norwegian Business center in Torre Rio Sul took place on March 6, 2018, and center, located on the 24th floor of the office building, currently houses the offices of NBCC, Abran, Norwep and companies like Gard, IKM Testing and Seabrokers Group. Innovation Norway, The Consulate General and The Norwegian Church Abroad also use the center frequently.

«We hope the center will serve as a good instrument for Norwegian companies and businesses in Brazil. It is a very nice space, but a nice space has to have content, and we already see that there is more vibration, more activity and more people here than last year, which is extremely important. We believe that this center can serve a lot of purposes and different players», Consul General Sissel Hodne Steen said before cutting the red ribbon.

In her speech she also thanked manager Johnar Olsen for stepping up and assuming responsibility when Innovation Norway decided to close the former incubator office in 2016.

«We were sad to loose this common space where Norwegian business could come together, and started to look for alternative solutions. Johnar Olsen came forward, and today, the Consulate and Innovation Norway rent the meeting room here from him. The rest of Team Norway is also present here, as well as other tenants», the Consul General said.

Members of the NBCC board, Innovation Norway, the Consulate General, Abran, the Norwegian Seamen´s Church, Gard, IKM Testing and others were present for the event. The business center has been refurbished and modernized for the opening, and still has room for more tenants.

NBCC president Rachid Felix focused on the importance of cooperation.

«Our business community needs to stand together, to meet and discuss problems and issues on the agenda. I think it is amazing what we have accomplished. Our business community has grown stronger the last year, and the close ties, open dialogue and direct lines we have, is our biggest strength. Sharing this space with Team Norway and others, makes it even easier and more comfortable to meet and have these important discussions, so thank you Johnar Olsen for being the backbone of this restart», Mr. Felix said in his speech.

The current manager has on earlier occasions highlighted the importance of networking, and says that the most interesting part of sharing the office with other companies, associations and official government representations is the sharing of market intelligence and the networking opportunities.

«What we have done here, shows how we can work through a period of crisis. We found a way to be together and there is a lot of Norwegian spirit in these walls. Last year was a challenge, but now we see companies are coming back to the business center», Johnar Olsen commented during the opening.

Brasunor manager Johnar Olsen (to the left) during the formal opening.

A little bit of history
The business center actually marked its 10 year anniversary in 2017, and it was the current manager Johnar Olsen who launched the idea back in 2007, together with Erik Hannisdal. At the time the two represented Intsok (today NORWEP) and Innovation Norway.

Close to 40 companies, among them Statskraft, DNB, Solstad, Sintef, Scana, Havyard, Novenco, Vector, FPSOcean, Aibel, Odim, Anchor Contracting, Remora, SPT Group, Bergen Group Dreggen, Gard, IRIS, Scandinavian Bunkering, IKM, Resmann and others have used the offices. «A fantastic track record of contribution for the Norwegian industry in Brazil, according to Mr. Olsen

The office was initially called NBIO (Norwegian Business Incubator office) and in 2010, the name changed for Innovation House. Today is called Norwegian Business center.

By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist