The energetic rise of Lillestrøm


North east of Oslo, the city of Lillestrøm is making itself heard. A world-leading community of research and business, especially in the field of energy, is the primary engine of transformation.
Lillestrøm is the main train stop between Oslo´s international airport Gardermoen and Oslo Central Station. Lillestrøm has a college about to become university, it attracts a lot of visitors every week to the national exhibition centre, Norges Varemesse, and Lillestrøm has their beloved “Canary Birds,” one of Norway´s leading soccer teams, with distinctive yellow togs. The city has grown steadily, and is set to grow dramatically in the next decades, due to spill-over growth from Oslo.
It might have stopped there: A suburb of Oslo, and the quiet life of a small city surrounded by fields and forest. But Lillestrøm has higher, and more international, ambitions than just another sleepy suburb. Located in Kjeller, lust outside Lillestrøm, the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) is an international research foundation for energy and nuclear technology. The institute was founded in 1948, and has today 600 employees. IFE runs two nuclear reactors, at Kjeller and further south in Halden, both important sites of basic research in physics and reactor safety that attract researchers from around the world.
Lillestrøm has managed to build a wide community for research and innovation around the reactor at Kjeller. The soon-to-be-university has merged with Oslo University College, and Campus Kjeller hosts a large and lively student community. Kjeller Innovation is an incubator where researchers and businesses develop companies for commercialization. Rounding out the mix, the network organisation OREEC (Oslo Renewable Energy and Environment Cluster) has more than 30 members working in renewable energy and environmental technology.
For one of the success stories from Lillestrøm, read more about IFE, their accomplishments and their ambitions, in a related article soon to be published. Stay tuned!

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Posted on: February 19. 2013
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