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A continuous skills developer

The unsweetened truth – Norway is lagging behind when it comes to efficient production processes! This is something that the Catapult Centre at Raufoss intends to change by making the Norwegian manufacturing industry even more environmentally-friendly, smarter, more innovative and more productive than it is today.

 

 

Across Norway there are five so-called Catapult Centres, each with their own focus area. The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway (SIVA) administers the scheme on behalf of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in close collaboration with Innovation Norway and the Research Council of Norway. One of these centres is located at Raufoss where the idea is to develop skills within manufacturing technology – or efficient production processes to put it in layman’s terms. Its aim is to equip companies with a faster, better and less risky innovation process by making it simpler to develop prototypes, conduct tests, and to visualise and simulate more cheaply and with less risk. From within the industrial park, the centre offers tailored services to provide support and assistance in both processes of innovation and for more specific and concrete challenges.

 

No hocus pocus
The Catapult Centre is led by Emma Østerbø who has long since been involved with development work from the industry, SINTEF and the Moelven Group. Fifteen years’ of experience focused on the interchange between humans and machines, continuously on the hunt for improvement, has yielded insights into what is needed and how simple the whole thing is – it all comes down to people and to willingness. The road from the concept stage to market launch should be easier for small and medium-sized businesses, and at Raufoss all competencies and equipment are available. "We have the expertise, the equipment and the facilities to boost your competitiveness and we are here to help you make the right choices when it comes to technology," says Østerbø. With 350 experts within manufacturing technology on board and no shortage of expertise within product, process and material development, it is now up to the companies themselves to make full use of the centre in their R&D work. 

 

We must produce cheaper and better
Working in a competitive global market characterised by constant downward pressure on prices and dwindling returns year on year does something to your mentality. You must be able to constantly sharpen up your production processes in order to keep earnings up and you quickly learn that every little detail counts! This is the experience and the attitude that is at the core of Raufoss in a way unlike anywhere else in Norway. This expertise is transferable to all companies according to Østerbø and the Catapult Centre opens its doors to the secret ingredient. If Norway Ltd. is to retain its competitiveness in the years ahead – in a future that places ever greater demands on innovation, environment and advanced production technology – then its companies must develop together and compete with others. This industrial community already has a hundred-year history here at Raufoss.

 

A gathering place for all, not just for industry
The Catapult Centre is a gathering place and a low-threshold introduction to industry – a place for the development of ideas and knowledge. With SINTEF Manufacturing, NCE Raufoss, NTNU and Fagskolen Innlandet all on board, it is now up to the business sector to take the centre and its competencies into full use. "Regardless of sector, size and what you produce, there are experience-based and academic competencies available for you to draw from – it is only your own ability and willingness to take them into use that’s stopping you, and we are here to help", concludes Emma.